onthefly

Snakeheads

33 posts in this topic

Going for snakeheads first time tomorrow any lure tips, presentation?

Do I kill and eat them or release?

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A white paddletail rigged weedless is your best friend. I use 4" deizel minnows from zman in white or slam shady, but I have better luck on white. Make sure to use the zman brand hooks, because they will slip on normal ones. Only bad part about the zman hooks is that they are a bit expensive, but they are quality and 99% of the time I use straight braid for snakehead and I'm in a yak so I can't really break off and I can paddle over to the hook if I get snagged and I can wiggle it out. If you don't want to use zman you can use another brand of bait but the zmans are tough and last for more than one fish, which is nice because any other plastic will only last one fish with the way they fight. There are many other baits you can use like frogs, chatterbaits, poppers, etc, but if you are snakehead fishing I'm assuming the water is full of weeds so stick to weedless baits. Chatterbaits are always a great option if you are fishing waters that aren't as weedy and you want to change things up in terms of lures. I haven't put much time into frogs because I normally snakehead fish before the frogs come out, at least in enough numbers to make snakeheads start hunting for them. Right now would be a good time to fish topwater I think.

 

Snakehead teeth aren't like muskies or pickerel, so you do not need a leader. I've had some hard fights with snakeheads on straight braid and even though they inhaled the bait, the braid is undamaged. Leader will just take away your setting power with the stretch it can have. These fish have very bony mouths, and I have lost some nice fish, even after what I believed to be a great hookset because of that.

 

I fish the eastern shore of MD and at this point it doesn't even matter if you catch and release or keep them. They are here to stay. If I catch a snakehead around 3-4 pounds I'll keep it. Normally I'll only keep 1-2 and release the rest. They have a lot of meat and I don't need more than 1-2 fish. Just make sure you are allowed to release them in your area. In MD you can release them, no size or creel limits. They taste pretty good, a little fishy if I remember from the last time I had them, but they are overall a tasty fish. 

 

Snakeheads are hard fighters and are fun to target. Sometimes they can be tough to get to bite, but fish long enough and you will eventually catch something. Good luck:)

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9 hours ago, ProSkateFisherman said:

A white paddletail rigged weedless is your best friend. I use 4" deizel minnows from zman in white or slam shady, but I have better luck on white. Make sure to use the zman brand hooks, because they will slip on normal ones. Only bad part about the zman hooks is that they are a bit expensive, but they are quality and 99% of the time I use straight braid for snakehead and I'm in a yak so I can't really break off and I can paddle over to the hook if I get snagged and I can wiggle it out. If you don't want to use zman you can use another brand of bait but the zmans are tough and last for more than one fish, which is nice because any other plastic will only last one fish with the way they fight. There are many other baits you can use like frogs, chatterbaits, poppers, etc, but if you are snakehead fishing I'm assuming the water is full of weeds so stick to weedless baits. Chatterbaits are always a great option if you are fishing waters that aren't as weedy and you want to change things up in terms of lures. I haven't put much time into frogs because I normally snakehead fish before the frogs come out, at least in enough numbers to make snakeheads start hunting for them. Right now would be a good time to fish topwater I think.

 

Snakehead teeth aren't like muskies or pickerel, so you do not need a leader. I've had some hard fights with snakeheads on straight braid and even though they inhaled the bait, the braid is undamaged. Leader will just take away your setting power with the stretch it can have. These fish have very bony mouths, and I have lost some nice fish, even after what I believed to be a great hookset because of that.

 

I fish the eastern shore of MD and at this point it doesn't even matter if you catch and release or keep them. They are here to stay. If I catch a snakehead around 3-4 pounds I'll keep it. Normally I'll only keep 1-2 and release the rest. They have a lot of meat and I don't need more than 1-2 fish. Just make sure you are allowed to release them in your area. In MD you can release them, no size or creel limits. They taste pretty good, a little fishy if I remember from the last time I had them, but they are overall a tasty fish. 

 

Snakeheads are hard fighters and are fun to target. Sometimes they can be tough to get to bite, but fish long enough and you will eventually catch something. Good luck:)

Wow - sounds like you are really tuned in! It seems the snakeheads have settled into your area. I wonder how far north they have migrated. Also, do you think they are pushing out the native species like bass? Can they survive ice season? And, finally, how big do they get in your area? I have relatives in Va. and would like to share the info. Thanks in advance for any replies. 

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7 hours ago, finbar said:

Wow - sounds like you are really tuned in! It seems the snakeheads have settled into your area. I wonder how far north they have migrated. Also, do you think they are pushing out the native species like bass? Can they survive ice season? And, finally, how big do they get in your area? I have relatives in Va. and would like to share the info. Thanks in advance for any replies. 

They just confirmed a snakehead in CT a few weeks back.  It's been a rumor since 19 so I think they can survive the ice. 

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Was at know spot on Delaware river not much going on did see one breach in the middle of river probably 8 to 10 lbs water levels very low just out of casting range locals said it's more of spring thing when there on beds in shallow water so next year will hit it earlier 

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The Snakeheads around here are Northern Snakeheads. They're native to colder climates in Asia, and can survive comfortably in cold water. Their tropical relatives, not so much.

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They're smart and fast. They can wrap around a lily pad and spit the hook. I can catch them; but have a hard time landing the big ones.

 

Friends claim they are good eating. So, catch and keep all you want!

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, finbar said:

Wow - sounds like you are really tuned in! It seems the snakeheads have settled into your area. I wonder how far north they have migrated. Also, do you think they are pushing out the native species like bass? Can they survive ice season? And, finally, how big do they get in your area? I have relatives in Va. and would like to share the info. Thanks in advance for any replies. 

I know there are some snakeheads in NJ and south eastern Pennsylvania, and after reading this apparently there are snakeheads in CT. A really popular area for snakeheads is Blackwater wildlife refuge in MD. Probably the most well known snakehead fishery in MD, along with the Potomac river. In Blackwater, they did a study about the decline of other species after the snakehead was introduced, and found that many species declined in numbers from 2008-2018. So they are damaging the populations of some fish. 

Look up “snakeheads vs largemouth bass in blackwater” and the MD DNR study should pop up. 

 

I’d assume Blackwater freezes sometimes and the Potomac definitely doesn’t, but I know they survive through the winter regardless. Otherwise we wouldn’t have any! You can catch them in winter on minnows sometimes, depending on where you are fishing. 

 

The MD state record snakehead is I think 19.9 pounds and was around 35 inches if I remember correctly. In April I went into a shop to get some stuff and I started talking to a girl who worked there and she said a man walked in with a snakehead the day before and asked to get it weighed. They put it on a scale and it was 15 freaking pounds. Biggest I’ve ever seen. He just wanted to make sure what he was seeing was correct. That fish must have put up one hell of a fight! Most of the snakeheads you’ll catch (depending on location) are between 1 and 8 pounds, with an occasional 9 or 10. Anything above 10 gives you bragging rights and above 15 is a true trophy snakehead IMO.

Edited by ProSkateFisherman

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13 hours ago, finbar said:

Also, do you think they are pushing out the native species like bass? 

 

Native bass?  Where?

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On 7/15/2022 at 6:48 PM, onthefly said:

Going for snakeheads first time tomorrow any lure tips, presentation?

Do I kill and eat them or release?

Topwater!   Any soft plastic frog (Z-Mann Pop Frog or similar) or those hollow body frogs but hook up ratio drops.

 

Chatter baits.  Spinner Baits.   Zoom Fluke

 

Depending on where you are, the rules change.  They are very good table fare.

 

 

 

 

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Anyone you guys cook and eat them? I was watching some chef Gordon Ramsey program recently where he was in Asia, and they were cooking them in stir fry.

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Top Toad or any weedless frog. Rig straight to 50-80lb braid, no leader. A 7” pink fluke is deadly too! They have a very hard boney mouth. Don’t be shy on the hookset! 

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absolutely delicious!   Few drops of olive oil, Lemon pepper or preferred seasoning, fry em up!  Usually use very minimum seasoning because they are so delicious.   They don't "flake" like most white meat fish and spouse says they are more like a pork chop in consistency.

 

The 20 - 25 inch range is ideal.   Over 30 inches, they get mealy and often have worms in the meat.

 

Did a side by side comparison with Redfish in the skillet.  Snakehead won in my and the family's opinion.

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