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robow7

SnakeHeads on the fly?

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Just wondering if any of our eastern flyfishermen have ever caught one of the new invasive Snakehead fish on a fly and if so, what they hit on? In case you've never seen one of these, here's a pretty decent clip on Youtube

 

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Sounds to me like they'll hit anything that moves. Match the hatch. What is the forage fish in your stream? How about game fish that are lower on the totem pole, like bluegill? Tie up some 3-5" long rabbit strip flies and clousers in the popular predator colors (I like white/red, black/red, chart/white, chart/olive, all black, all white). Very your stripping speed and depth of water. They look like they hang out on the bottom so fish closer to the bottom and work your way up.

 

Of course, this is how I fish for just about everything that actively chases other fish... and its worked for me, from panfish to pike, to brown and rainbow trout.

 

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Just make sure you KILL every single one you catch. They're the next zebra mussel. These things are bad, and some states even offer bounties for them.

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Just make sure you KILL every single one you catch. They're the next zebra mussel. These things are bad, and some states even offer bounties for them.

You guys should check out national geographic they recently had a show about snakeheads in the United States. In the show they were fishing for snakeheads by looking for the ball of eggs or fry that hang on their backs. It was visible when they came up for air. As far as killing them goes it is my personal opinion that you should only kill what you intend to eat. Take the carp for example: I still hear people say that the minnesota dnr says you should kill all non-native carp when infact the regulations state that it is illegal to wantonly waste any fish. As with most invasive species, the snake head is here to stay

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Just be sure that it is a snake head and not a bowfin. They look similar. bowfin are not legal to keep or kill in PA

 

I chased a bowfin all year at this grist mill I fish in SE PA. Can't get that guy to bite a fly. He looks and looks and looks and looks. Im almost tempted to soak a fly in my own blood. :wallbash:

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Just make sure you KILL every single one you catch. They're the next zebra mussel. These things are bad, and some states even offer bounties for them.

You guys should check out national geographic they recently had a show about snakeheads in the United States. In the show they were fishing for snakeheads by looking for the ball of eggs or fry that hang on their backs. It was visible when they came up for air. As far as killing them goes it is my personal opinion that you should only kill what you intend to eat. Take the carp for example: I still hear people say that the minnesota dnr says you should kill all non-native carp when infact the regulations state that it is illegal to wantonly waste any fish. As with most invasive species, the snake head is here to stay

 

I normally agree with the "eat what you kill" but this is different. I saw that same show, and have seen others and read articles on them. In some states it's illegal to put them back in the water. I say kill every one you can, because as soon as they make their way into the Great Lakes, it's all over. Education is the key here.

 

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Just be sure that it is a snake head and not a bowfin. They look similar. bowfin are not legal to keep or kill in PA

 

I chased a bowfin all year at this grist mill I fish in SE PA. Can't get that guy to bite a fly. He looks and looks and looks and looks. Im almost tempted to soak a fly in my own blood. :wallbash:

 

Indeed. They are different fish.

 

If you're looking for bowfin, try big pike flies. I can't keep the dang things off my line!

 

P6120361.jpg

 

P6120358.jpg

 

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I live in South Florida and they're established here. I haven't caught one yet but then I haven't specifically targeted them. FWC advises "kill" on all of the non-native fish except for Peacock Bass.

 

Some of our club members (south florida fly fishing club / www.sfffc.org ) hold IGFA records on snakeheads which were caught down here. They tell me that they can be pretty challenging fish to target and they don't always bite anything that moves. They also tell me they're quite a bit of fun to catch.

 

I've seen them when fishing and they didn't bite. They seemed pretty wary even though other species were biting. Or maybe I just didn't have the right fly. :)

 

But yeah, they're here and it's doubtful they'll get rid of them at this point.

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I say kill every one you can, because as soon as they make their way into the Great Lakes, it's all over. Education is the key here.

 

 

That's exactly what everyone said about zebra mussels and gobies. Those are the two most significant "end of the Great Lakes" events in my feeble memory. The brainiac Piled-higher-and-Deeper state and federal scientists all said the zebra mussels would filter so much plankton that the base of the entire foodchain would be destroyed. Didn't happen. Then they said the gobies would eat all the ova and fry of the native fish species, AND no predator fish would eat the gobies. Now we have more jumbo smallmouths than ever, and lure companies can't make enough Goby imitations to keep people happy.

 

I'm not saying these are "good" things. I'm just saying that if these fish enter the Great Lakes or anywhere else for that matter, it's not THE END. Talk to some people who fished the Great Lakes in the late fifties and sixties. They used to call Lake Erie the Dead Sea. Blue Pike became extinct (probably extinct) due to mismanagement and pollution. If the Lakes can handle that and bounce back relatively quickly, they can handle some of these other fish.

 

I wish they weren't here, because there is no doubt they must push some native fish out of it's ecological niche. Look at Super_Fly's comment about Peacock Bass- FWC advises "kill" on all non-native fish except Peacock Bass.... Peacocks had to push out some numbers of native fish, period. But, Hey, they generate revenue and they are pretty... so don't kill them, just the others. Brilliant.

 

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JSzymczyk,

sorry, the Snake head will have to wait its turn and get in line in order to kill off the Great Lakes, first up is the Asian Carp :lol: Hence the electric barrier in place in order to keep them from entering Lake Michigan.

 

 

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Meh, I dunno. My concern is the snakehead's DIRECT competition with the other apex species of the Great Lakes drainage, especially LSC. The muskie and smallies do well here because they "fit" well together in a system. Pike and largemouth are distant seconds to muskie and smallies respectively. Throw a "healthy" snakehead population in there, and who knows what will happen. Snakeheads reproduce much more prolifically than pike and especially muskie, and they eat much the same thing. Have a couple of years where muskie reproduction is off, and snakehead holds in full swing because they're more adaptable, and the balance can tip quickly.

 

And just remember, we ain't out of the woods yet with mussels and goby's. Just because they haven't destroyed the GL's yet doesn't mean they haven't yet damaged, and won't continue to harm down the road.

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I've been promising myself for the last two springs that I'd head down to the lakes in South Philly to take a shot at catching one. Maybe this year. Even tied up a bunch of weedless surface and subsurface flies for it. On one of the local boards there's a dedicated group of snakehead chasers, who go after them with standard bass tackle and always the arguement as to whether release them or kill them or kill and eat them. A friend of mine caught one on a fly, all 14 inches of it. He had it mounted and it's hanging on the back wall of the Sporting Gentleman, a fly shop in Media, PA if anyone in that area wants to take a look at one.

One thought is to target ball of fry, and that will usually get you a strike. The positve effect is that with no mama or papa guarding them. They'll become dinner for the other predators in the lake. These lakes are semi-closed ecosystems and they haven't been stripped bare of all other fish. Then maybe folks who put them in the first place are now harvesting them for dinner and resale.

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Guys all I can say is, This is a problem that there is no answer to yet.

Manageing small ponds and lakes for the past ten years has taught me one thing . The only thing man does better than nature is destroy. Spieces adapt and overcome with even the tiniest of footholds. I have completley erradicated ponds of all fish life only to find in the spring almost all species had returned . I have seen ponds completely drained only to find an adult fish two months later. If we cannot control the things in small ponds , what makes you think we can, in an open waterway.

And if they make it down here, I hope they taste better than they look.

Fred

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