Over the past two decades the invasive snakehead has expanded it US range. It has become a gamefish common to many freshwater bodies along the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states. The jury is still out on their impact. There is one thing for certain though, anglers have a blast catching these things. Snakehead are an explosive gamefish, which putting on a visual display. Not to mention they get huge, have a monstrous appearance, and, for those so inclined, can make a tasty meal.
So just what are the best ways to target Northern Snakehead? Two Old Town anglers, Rob Choi and Roland Butler, are here to share their pro tips for catching snakehead. In this video from Choi, the duo break down their tactics for fishing tidal creeks in Northern Virginia.
We were sure to grab our notepads and hear what Choi and Butler had to share, and here are a few of our takeaways.
Tips for Catching Northern Snakehead with Robert Choi and Roland Butler
Think Structure and Ambush
“Little feeder creeks are great areas for them to ambush. Pads are great. In, around and through the pads. Other areas include alleyways between the pads, and the edge of the grass. And honestly all along the shoreline. Anytime you see some structure and think it might be a good ambush spot, more than likely you’re going to find them in that area.” -Rob Choi
Increase Your Line of Sight
“Standing up is by no means a requirement, but having a kayak that’s stable enough for you to stand and get that extra height advantage can definitely help. Sometimes you’ll see them hanging out on the edge of a marsh or the pads. Or just cruising the flat.” – Choi
Cast Bait With Some Good Vibrations
“Early in the season, because there’s not a lot of grass, I love a chatter bait. Black and blue is usually my favorite color. You usually want to throw a trailer on that.” – Roland Butler
“The best way to really fish for snakehead is a top water frog. Whether that’s a hollow body, just a regular plastic kicking leg frog, or a popping frog. It’s something out of this world to see snakehead come out of the water. You don’t know how big the fish is about to be, all you know is there’s a wake coming at your bait.” – Butler
“They’re attracted to noise, vibration and movement. They have relatively small eyes so it’s a lot of sensing.” – Choi
Be Ready for the Final Round
“One of the more interesting parts of dealing with snakehead is what happens when you get them in the boat. Clear what you have in your cockpit because it’s going to go crazy.
The fun part is watching them hit, and then, the explosion. For the most part after that they’re pretty much coming straight to the boat. But once you get them in the kayak there’s a whole other fight you’ve got to deal with.” – Choi