Category Archives: Snakehead Season

A Beast of a Snakehead

Huge Snakehead on Top Water!

Some of my best video, up close  and personal.

I was scouting for a Bass Fishing Tournament this Sunday and headed to Aquia out of Hope Springs Marina.  It was a sunny day started at 3 pm and fished until dark.  There was a slight northeasterly wind but a great day to kayak fish.  I headed around the entire bay area across from the marina fishing the shores and got a few nice 2-3 lb. largemouths on chatterbaits and crawfish jigs (that short video is coming).   No snakeheads in in the clear water.

So then I headed to the lillies…  Worked the inner channles between the large lillies that went out into the main water and the tall grass swampy banks that go back for 100 yards or more and are unfishable even in a kayak.  These shallow sideline channels are where I have been finding snakeheads this year.  No action in the open water or even the edges of the big lilly patches that border the “big water” which were good last year.  The smaller channels and little lilly lined “smaller” rivers is where I am getting bit.  This 9.52 pounder (thought it was closer to 15 lbs. but the scale said different) faught hard and pulled my kayak as I reeled him in.

big snakehead Aquia Creek
Snakehead caught in Aquia Creek July 12, 2016. 9.52 lbs well over 30 inches.

Sight fishing for snakeheads is one of the best ways to catch them as their numbers are way down now compared to years past. Seeing the serpentine ripples that slowly ungelate through the back channels can get you a nice one. It is hard to see the ripple in this video as there is no zoom on my Ion Air Pro 3 which takes these nice HD videos so you have to squint a bit.  But if you look hard right as it starts before I cast you can you see what I saw just before I through the Stanley top water frog at him.

On an ecological note, the bass population seems fine I am catching nice ones and some days I catch bass and no snakeheads! I definately see a drastic decline in the Potomac River snakehead population compared to previous years. At Pohick Creek up by Mason Neck(I hate the I-95 traffic to get there but try it once or twice a season) I got one small one just as I was paddlng back to the ramp on July 1, 2016 and it looked like perfect snakehead territory.  I spoke with a local bass/snakehead kayaker that I ran into who said the bow fisherman are out in numbers every weekend shooting everything they see, 10-20 boats!  Ah Northern Virginia so calm and “not crowded”, that is why I live down here by Charlottesville and head southwest or up a mountain whenever I can!  But I digress….   So us rod and reel guys are not seeing big snakehead catches like years past because the bow guys are killing ’em fast and the years past of catching 10 and 20 fish in one day and keeping them is showing up now.  Many days this summer I have not caught any snakeheads which is unusual compared to years past.  So I have released all my snakeheads this year and most of the ones I caught last year.  I want to see and hook more of them when I go and big ones like this one.  Now I know Virginia/Maryland Wildlife said, “They’ll mess up the enviornment and eat all the local fish…” just not true.  Have snakeheads had an impact on the ecosystem, sure but the bass, perch and crappie seem to be balancing out just fine. I am catching more big bass this year than last so things are working out.  I just want to catch more snakeheads though.  Nothing fights as hard or does so much acrobatic leaps in fresh water as a snakehead.  So keep one or two big ones for the frying pan as they are the best eating fish out there but release the rest for someone else to catch and enjoy.

 

Dr. D, Chiropractic Nutritionist and Snakehead Enthusiast!

www.totalchiro.net

 

Snakeheads are Expanding

Snakeheads are Increasing Their Range

Many sightings and catchings here in Central Virginia of Northern Snakeheads, from Lake Anna to Kelly’s Ford in the Rhappahanock River.

Carl "Junebug" Broyles with his 31" Snakehead caught June 2016 in the Rhappahanock River
Carl “Junebug” Broyles with his 31″ Snakehead caught June 2016 in the Rhappahanock River

These fish are making their way into the smaller waterways which was to be expected.  But not to fear a balance will be struck and I believe they will NOT destroy the bass or other fish in those systems.  I am seeing a drastic slow down in the number of fish being caught in the Potomac River over the last 4 years.  I really noticed the slow down last year and it is still “slow” so far this year many days so far with no fish which would never have happend in 2014.  There are less snakeheads being seen and caught, I disturb far fewer this year on my kayak forays than I did 2 years ago in the vast lilly pad beds of the Potomac River.  Their thunderous explosivie splashes as you disturb them when you cruise by are much less frequent so far this t year in Potomac Creek.  My catches are way down but then the bass fishing has been unusually slow in the river and the lakes so far this year too.  Maybe all that rain and cooler April/May weather has slowed down all the fish.  Not sure.

Now Snakeheads are Confirmed in Lake Anna

Lake Anna Snakehead
Large Northern Snakehead in Lake Anna, June 2016. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Taylor Photography

This phots from McCotter’s Lake Anna Guide Service from a woman who took it by her dock at Lake Anna this June said she saw another large fish and a “bunch of little ones” so  they are now embedded in the lake and breeding.  Lets catch some fish, I will have to start fishing Lake Anna more which is good for me(it’s closer) as I live in Gordonsville and Potomac creek is a good drive for me!  High Point Marina is currently paying a bounty of $10 for every fish caught in the lake and brought to him.  Not sure how long he will do this as he may find that he goes broke pretty fast as there are most likely a lot of snakeheads that will be caught!

Keep us posted on your snakehead sightings and catches.   Where, what were you using and what was the weather and water like. Thanks to all!

Dr. D or “Dr. Snakehead”

 

Chiropractic and nutritional services offered in central Virginia, even housecalls!  www. TotalChiro.net

All This Rain is Killing My Fishing!

Weeks of Rain on East Coast Slow Fishing

Well it’s been slow for me at least.  I’ve put in on Potomac Creek, Aquia Creek and the fish bites are far and few between.  Kayaking, Bass Boatin’ and not much to show for it.  Water temps have been around 64 degrees F and the river is muddy brown and fast.  I see fish on the sonar but not many takers, a few bass here and there granted some nice ones, 2-5 lbs. but not many.  Even the snakeheads are not hitting that much a few nice ones before all this rain but the last two trips nothing.  I saw two bug out as I cruised past their “sun bathing” spots last Thursday on Accokeet Creek(off Potomac Creek) but not biters that day.  Fouled hooked this shad one day while I was kayaking fishing way up Potomac Creek but not other bites that day.

What are you guys doing to land some fish?  Any fish any where leave your rainy weather tips.

See you on the water,

Dr. Snakehead (Dr. D for my chiropractic patients)

If you are into natural health and chiropractic check out my office website, www.Totalchiro.net. I and a Nutritionist and Chiropractor for over 30 years now and still love seeing people get well who failed at other doctor’s offices.

Snakehead Season in Virginia is NOW Open!

8 lbs. 3 oz. male snakehead caught on an orange/chartruese chatterbait 04/22/2016 Accokeet Creek, Virginia
8 lbs. 3 oz. male snakehead caught on an orange/chartruese chatterbait 04/22/2016 Accokeet Creek, Virginia

Had a good day on the water yesterday over on Potomac and Accokeet Creeks.  Cloudy the first half of the day then the sun came out (and I forgot my sunscreen)!  I got there a little past high tide at 9AM and fished the channels,  and into the early lilly pads somewhat.  I did best in the channels using a chatterbox, red-black with craw trailer and orange-chartruese with a brown craw trailer.  (I did not have my ruler so I used my tackle box for size in photos it is 10″ long so you can guess the length as they lay next to it. )   All my bites, bass and snakeheads were deeper in the main channles of the side creeks about 6′-15′ deep.  Not many bites but the few I had produced well!

4 lb. female snakehead about 22"
4 lb. female snakehead about 22″

I had seen fish jumping and rolling all morning, mostly carp and cats,  a few large shad but a few looked to me like snakeheads.  Sure enough they were awake finally after a “long” winter!  I had a nice 2.5 lb. largemouth first thing that morning in the lillies, a male just cruising but could not finf any more for the rest of the day.  My first snakehead bite was an hour later, around 11:30 AM and my biggest fish, a nice 8.2 lbs.  He bit my orange/chartruese chatterbox  taking it right from the middle of the channel close to my boat not in the lillies!  I missed one 30 min. later then got another nice 4.2 lbs. again from the middle of the channel.  Then things slowed for an hour or so as slowly drifted back up Accokeet creek to the Crow’s Nest state park kayak/canoe ramp. I did not see much in the way of bass or snakeheads in that part of the creek accept for carp and a few larger shad.  No gar fish there yet either.    So I worked my way back to the middle and widest part of Accokeet where I had caught my first two snakeheads and sure enough got another nice 5 pounder

A nice 5 lb + on a red/black chatterbait
A nice 5 lb + on a red/black chatterbait

and scared a whopper!  He jumped clear out of the water as my bass boat came up the edge of the lillies, had to be a good 12 lbs! (okay maybe 10lbs.  I am a fisherman after all)  It was huge!  No luck finding where he swam off to so I now at early afternoon and sunny I worked the inside the lillies and nothing.  Then I went back out to the channel and slowly worked it back to the main creek mouth and hooked another nice fish, takin’ drag but spit the hoot before I could get it up to the surface.  From the way it faught it most likely was a big snakehead.

A keeper that 8 pounder headed for the filleting board
A keeper that 8 pounder headed for the filleting board

I kept the large one, a male and put the others back large females so we’d all have nice fish to catch another day.  Now I know many of you want to kill or keep every one you catch but I definately noticed a big decline last year compared to the years before so we must be limiting their expansion just fine.  Practice good stewardship and lets make sure there are fish tomorrow for all of us.

So they are warmed up and active- let the games  begin!

Snakeheads are Down for the Winter

Snakeheads in the Mud

Well the Snakeheads are in the mud and not really active as far as I have been told.  If you come across one please share and post a commet here.

Deer Season has been good in Central Virginia.  How has your luck been? Post links to your Facebook or Youtube pages with nice deer shots.

See you in the Spring!

 

Dr D

www.Totalchiro.net

Chiropractor and Functional Medicine Specialist…find out why you’re sick today.  Autoimmune, cancer, mystery conditions

I Think the Snakeheads have Gone Deep

Snakehead Fishing in Fall

I am now going on 3 weeks with bascially no fish.  I have only had the two little ones that you saw in my other post a little while ago.  I have no idea where the snakehead fish have gone?   Maybe they head into the mud but not sure.  I haven’t even scared that many paddling around, it’s like they all migrated somewhere else!

If anyone is catching anything in September please leave a comment and let us know.  If you don’t want to share your “spot” then at least let us know where in the water they were; along the weedlines, on top of the remaining weed beds, in the lilly pads or out in the deeper channels?  What lure or bait were you using?

 

This is Dr D heading into the woods this week not on the water. I will be scouting a good tree for my deer stand for bow season that is coming up soon here in Virginia.

 

Chiropractic will keep you on the water or in the woods longer!  www.TotalChiro.net

Snakehead Fishing Fall Drop Off?

Snakehead Fishing Drop Off?

I am not a biologist just a fisherman who spends a lot time on the lower Potomac River chasing snakeheads.  It has become my addiction!  I am new to this and only started May 2014.    But last year I noticed that by the end of August the fishing had slowed down dramatically.  Now this year was a “slower” year all together compared to last year and everyone I spoke with who was snakehead fishing agreed with me.  The fishing this year did have a little peak in certain creeks like Accokeet off Potomac Creek in July and early August then it died by September 1st.   Like I said earlier I saw the same pattern last year and think this may be a seasonal change in snakehead fish behavoir more than a population change.

One interesting thing I noticed the last few weeks is that I get fair amount of “follows” and short strikes now they are much less aggressive so the “misses” happen more often now than the pole bending slammers of July.   I am also catching and seeing mostly small fish under 20″.  In the past 3 weeks I have only seen 4 “bigger” snakeheads (caught one 27″).  When you seem them they are the ones that just crash out as you get close to their sunbathing spot or when you cast a bait over them and it scares them. I assume they think it’s a bird trying to eat them!   Early last month even when catching them was slow I was still spooking 10 or 12 big ones with their characteristic big swirly splashes as I cruised by them in the weeds!  Now nothing but small ones bugging out occassionally and only a few.

So maybe the big ones move to deeper water and hang in the channels as opposed to their summer haunts in the weeds.  No sure.  Any observations you have please leave your comments below, all us snakehead fishing fans would appreciate it.

See you on the water but the woods will be calling me soon as bow season is not far away and I have a buck or two that I’ve been watching all summer!

 

Dr. Demetrios Kydonieus, Chiropractic Nutritionist with a passion for the outdoors!

Check out my chiropractic website or radio show pages.  www.TotalChiro.net or www.DrDSays.net, my weekly radio show.

Snakehead Fishing As Summer Winds Down

Is Snakehead Fishing Slowing Down?

Well not sure yet come back over the next few weeks to see and I will keep you posted.   Lately it’s good and bad days (isn’t that called fishing? LOL).    

Did this video last week on the upper Potomac Creek and it was a fair day.  Started just before low tide(dead low was 9:30ish that day) around 7:30 am and caught 3 nice ones by 11am and missed 3.  Then it died for the rest of the afternoon no bites just sore arms from casting and paddling my kayak! Then after high tide around 3:30 pm I paddled up the creek to the “small” area  and got off the “wide” water part of the creek with the big weed beds cause nothing was biting there and  caught 4 more, 3 small ones 18″ – 20″ and one average one at 26″ between 4 pm and 7.      So overall my 11 hour day on the kayak yielded 6 fish which sounds good but remember it was quite dead during the middle of the day and hot too!

Yes, when I go out I go all day dawn to dusk if I can!  10 -12 hours whether I kayak or bass boat it!  I make my 90 minute car ride to the river worth my time and gas.

Post your comments, questions so I can answer them. Do not post unless it is about fish or fishing I delete all other comments.

 

Dr. D chiropractor and outdoor enthusiast!

If you have nutrition or health interests direct those questions  to my other blog.  Check out my radio show in Charlottesville, Virginia, www. DrDSays.net and read my blog there!

 

A great 12 lb. Snakehead with video too!

12lb Snakehead caught on green floatin' Toad top water
12lb Snakehead caught on green floatin’ Toad top water

A Great Way to End a Snakehead Fishing Trip!

I fished all day that day on Potomac and Aquia Creeks, it started out well with a 6 pounder and a 9 pounder in the first 45 min

Two nice Snakeheads, 6-9lbs.
Two nice Snakeheads, 6-9lbs. Gave the smaller one to a nice young couple fishing on their aunt’s dock. I have plenty in my freezer.

of an outgoing tide that morning but then it died for the rest of the day only 3 bites.  Two of those strikes missed the lure but tore up the weeds as they dove back down and one bite spit the hook, that’s fishin’.  But as high tide came in the late afternoon and then started going out again the evening bite picked up.   That is when I missed 4 and caught 3 more by dark, one of which is the 12lb monster you see pictured at the beginning of my post.

They were again in the large grass or weed flats along the edges at low tide and across the flats in the higher tide times.

but not in the leafy lillies that stick up above the waterline where you “usually” find them hanging out. But as fish change habbits with many factors you never know for sure and have to just start your day figuring out their current pattern.

 

See you on the water!

 

Dr D

For nutrition or chiropractic check out my office webpage.  www.TotalChiro.net