Despite knowing the snakeheads would not come back into the shallow water this early, it was too nice a day to resist dumping the canoe into the water. The Basswife was getting antsy about going fishing and was as dedicated to the idea of catching a snakehead (she doesn’t know what they look like yet) as I was. Therefore, a recon of Chopawamsic Creek where it joins the Potomac was in order. I knew the shoreline would be unproductive based on my earlier attempt, but was optimistic the canoe would be the silver bullet.
This early in the year, the thick cover of lily pads had not become oppressive. In fact, they had not started growing. This provided us a good view across the surrounding water and allowed us to narrow the aperture of our search. As a result of a conversation with a few guys on the bank who told optimistic stories of massive snakehead catches, we decided to motor up to the headwaters of the creek. This turned out to be a bad idea. Although the water was shallow and muddy the farther upstream we went, it did not make for good fishing. In effect, the only one who could cast was the person in the front of the canoe. Since that was the Basswife, that was fine with me as I wanted to put her onto some good fish. But, as the water became shallower, the whole idea of moving any farther inland looked worse and worse. Finally, I turned the canoe around and decided to head into the broader portion of the bay.
As you can see from the map, we moved to the south and it immediately presented better structure. I saw some surface action, but we were not able to produce any hookups. The water looks like ideal snakehead habitat – shallow and muddy with plenty of emerging cover as the lilies sat just below the surface, waiting to grow with abandon. We threw buzzbaits, chatterbaits as well as some jerkbaits and even a few grubs on a two hook Alabama rig with no results.
I know this has to be productive for snakeheads based on reports I have seen from other folks on YouTube and elsewhere on the Internet. I’ll have to return here once the water warms up a bit and there is a better guarantee that the snakeheads have moved into their pre-spawn habitat.
Google Local Coordinates: 38.514707,-77.334744
Getting There: From I95, take exit 148 towards Quantico. Turn east at the end of the exit and follow Russell Road onto the Quantico MC. If you do not have a military ID, you will have to show a government issued ID. About 2 miles from I95, you will see a small sign for a “wildlife viewing area” on your right. Turn onto the dirt road for the viewing area and it will lead to a small parking area where there is an unimproved launch. It might be sporty to get a trailer in here – I believe it is just for kayaks and canoes.
Secrets Revealed? Snakeheads… who cares?
Tell a friend about this article by clicking on this link
Date Fished: 4/4/2012
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore