I usually fish the Potomac below the 301 bridge. I would like to catch snakehead. Is there any particular creek off the potomac where it is best to go. I will be going by boat. What is the best bait and method to catch them. I have read reports of them being caught as far south as Colonial Beach. I figure I can increase my odds by going north. Any ideas or suggestions? I am told they are good to eat and want to find out.
Any creek or tributary south of National Airport and the WW bridge is good .... Lynhaven, Pohick Bay, the hydrilla near the WW, etc. Make sure you have a heavy stout rod with braid as they will rip your arm off otherwise. Think of anything that makes noise .... Buzz Bait, Chuggers, topwater, etc in any back creek. They will eat anything that is in their path as they are destroying the ecosystem of everything from Bass to frogs. Also, along the Potomac River in marinas instructing anglers who catch Northern Snakehead fish to kill these fish, keep them, and notify DNR immediately at 410-260-8320, or toll-free at 1-877-520-8DNR, ext. 8230 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have caught a few near the airport and WW on the MD side and they are a fun fight. I never tried eating them but a few friends of mine say they are tasty. Good luck on your search
I've also heard that the VDGIF was offering a $200 gift card to Bass Pro for every Snakehead that was caught and killed. Provided proof of course ... pic, etc. That maybe just a rumor that I heard back when they were all over the news. Especially since the possible new world record of Snakehead (18 pound monster, 4 ft long) was caught out of the Potomac.
The gift card rumor is blown way out of proportion. There was a snakehead tourney out of Smallwood SP that would have bankrupted the state if that were true. The FACT is they are having a drawing for the gift cards. To be eligible you have to submit your picture of the snakehead on the DNR angler's log.
Now to catch one..Your best bet is to go way north of the 301 bridge. Chicamuxen Creek, Mattawoman Creek, Little Hunting Creek, Piscataway Creek, Pohick Bay are all good choices. I would put in at Marshall Hall (Indianhead, MD) and run across to Little Hunting Creek. Cruise the shallows very quietly and sight fish for them. Lots are killed with a bow this way.
"They will eat anything that is in their path as they are destroying the ecosystem of everything from Bass to frogs."
This is quite overblown also. They are an invasive species..like the LM bass and blue catfish. They have been in the ecosystem long enough now that if they were 1/2 as destructive as the hype, they would have made a detrimental impact by now. The LM bass fishery in the Potomac is as good as it's been ever. The catfishing is ranked up there or even better than the James River. Perch, shad, crappie, carp, and other species are thriving in the Potomac. Listening to people you'd think armegedon is upon us.
I agree. It is overblown. They also do have a predator. People. The fact they are good table fare creates a desire to catch them unlike the nasty asian carp in the illinois river system. Snakeheads are in bigger numbers in florida canals and there are predators there that eat them like gators. What we have here is just another tasty fish to catch
First of all, the definition of an INVASIVE species is:
The first definition, the most used, applies to introduced species (also called "non-indigenous" or "non-native") that adversely affect the habitats and bioregions they invade economically, environmentally, and/or ecologically. I don't think that the LM bass and catfish would be in this category, do you??
Why would they be insisted upon killing every fish that is caught??? Because they are an Invasive species! LM are not invasive and do not eat Everything that is put in front of them. If you have seen them first hand, in a tank, to see their aggressiveness, as I have, then you would agree. In the gut of one of the fish that I caught was a small LM bass whole! Now if they eat the reproducing age fish .... there goes the fishery! As a Biologist friend of mine states: "While all species compete to survive, invasive species appear to have specific traits or specific combinations of traits that allow them to outcompete native species. In some cases the competition is about rates of growth and reproduction. In other cases species interact with each other more directly."
The fact is Snakeheads have a faster growth rate, rapid reproduction, and have the ability to live off of a lot more food types than that of the LM and catfish. They are outcompeting all other fish in the Potomac. Soon you will see a decline in the fishery if something isn't done about the Snakehead. It will take years, yes, but since WE are it's only predator since we have NO gators in the Potomac .... it will flourish!