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Targeting Snakeheads


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#21 GC

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 11:33 AM

George, I'm game for Saturday if you are. Personal message me your number if you want, and I could give you some pointers on tackle if you need help.


PM sent... I appreciate your guidance...thanks!

#22 Aki

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

Mike is right about the heavier tackle on weedy area. There are many snakehead speciality rods, reels and lines on Japanese market, and most of them are heavier than musky tackle. We use 60~120lb braids on culcutta 400 or abu 6500. Weedless type frog/mouse lure is the most popular lure to target large snakeheads. Just like musky anglers, most snakehead anglers here in Japan only target adult fish and uses heavier tackle. Snakehead can be caught on any tackle. I've caught 30" snakehead on 4lb line and crappie jig, but when I target them, I use at least 40lb braid if not 60, 80, or 100.

As for handling them, you can grab them by holding gill plate without damaging their gill. You need long nose plier to unhook them. USE BARBLESS HOOK unless you intend to kill them. Snakeheads, especially large ones, won't open their mouth after being landed. Unhooking them can be little tricky even with barbless hooks. Don't force them to open their mouth. Gently shake the plier and and the hook and they will open their mouth.

I think I wrote this somewhere on the forum long time ago, but again, they are fragile fish. Angling pressure can do damage on their population, especially when people mishandle them. They can't breath out of water or they can't live out of water for too long. Snakehead population is declining here in Japan. They are almost gone around Tokyo and half of it is because of too much angling pressure, mishandling, and fishing the spawning bed. It's so easy to catch them on their nest, just like black bass. And unlike bass, it's easy to find their nest since they breath and the juvinile breath like crazy. Snakehead eggs and juviniles are easy meal for sunfish. Don't target the nest if you don't intend to destroy their population. If you intend to do so, fish the nest. It's upto you.

Here's basic way to target adult snakehead. You cast out and walk your fake frog on lilly pads or weeds. When they are there, you'll see the weeds moves behind the lure. Then you stop the walking action and pause for 5~10 sec. Give it a tiny shake to let the fish know where the bait is and give another pause. Continue this, maybe with long shaking motion til you get a bite. When they bite, watch til the lure goes underwater, and give one second or so, and set the hook with full power.

hope this helps. :)
good luck!
Always thinking of fishing around Philly....

#23 GC

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 05:47 PM

First, I have said this before and I'm sure I'm going to say it again, but the expertise and willingness to share that members of PAC exhibit never ceases to amaze me. Thanks to ALL that have contributed to this thread thus far, it is truly inspirational.

Aki, thanks for such specific input. You are an extremely knowledgeable angler with a willingness to share the fine points which I enjoy reading. I especially appreciate your feedback concerning the proper handling of the fish. I know this may be controversial, but I personally intend to release any snakehead I catch hopefully unharmed. Is closing the barb on a barbed hook with pressure from needlenose pliers as effective as a true barbless hook?

Just the mention of watching the weeds move behind has my adrenaline pumping.

#24 mr.fish

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:08 PM

George, that number is no good. It's saying it's not in service any more

#25 GC

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:06 PM

George, that number is no good. It's saying it's not in service any more

Pm sent

#26 Aki

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:22 AM

Is closing the barb on a barbed hook with pressure from needlenose pliers as effective as a true barbless hook?


Yes, that'll work :)
Use the flat part of pliers to press the barb down.
Always thinking of fishing around Philly....

#27 Tom

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:24 AM

I have no plans on eating any that I might catch and intend to release any I may get as well. Since they seem to be here to stay, what is the point anyway? I pinch down the barbs on all of my lures when I fish for bass, muskies, etc. Just makes it easier on me and the fish.

#28 Mike P

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 09:18 AM

Mike is right about the heavier tackle on weedy area. There are many snakehead speciality rods, reels and lines on Japanese market, and most of them are heavier than musky tackle. We use 60~120lb braids on culcutta 400 or abu 6500. Weedless type frog/mouse lure is the most popular lure to target large snakeheads. Just like musky anglers, most snakehead anglers here in Japan only target adult fish and uses heavier tackle. Snakehead can be caught on any tackle. I've caught 30" snakehead on 4lb line and crappie jig, but when I target them, I use at least 40lb braid if not 60, 80, or 100.


I am wondering, how is it playing the fish on a rig like this? Is it like dragging it out of the weeds with a broomstick? I don't have much experience with heavy duty tackle (other than my stiff catmaxx rod, with which I can't imagine catching anything smaller than a big catfish) so I am curious.

#29 Doc Watson

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 09:49 AM

I am wondering, how is it playing the fish on a rig like this? Is it like dragging it out of the weeds with a broomstick? I don't have much experience with heavy duty tackle (other than my stiff catmaxx rod, with which I can't imagine catching anything smaller than a big catfish) so I am curious.

You're not "playing" so much as hauling the fish when you fish the weeds. ;)

#30 GC

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:36 PM

Thanks to Jerry (Dirty Byrd) I got a chance to see my first snakehead swimming in the Schuylkill this morning!

#31 CO

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:24 PM

I have no plans on eating any that I might catch and intend to release any I may get as well. Since they seem to be here to stay, what is the point anyway? I pinch down the barbs on all of my lures when I fish for bass, muskies, etc. Just makes it easier on me and the fish.



I never pinch barbs down except for native trout fishing, from actual gut hooked fish I usually kill 1 every other year or so, if you never read the infisherman article on how to take out hooks on a gut hooked fish I will try to find it and post it. I saved a 5lb bass in canda for my friend that was really deep, I usually need to use that trick a few times a year, comes out like pulling a circle right from the lip. The key is to turn you wrist in one motion, it is almost an art.

#32 CO

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:26 PM

It works, trust me.

http://www.electric-...oughTheGill.htm

#33 Aki

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:27 PM

some of the snakehead videos on you tube :)





Always thinking of fishing around Philly....

#34 Aki

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:04 PM

CO,
I read some academic articles about motarity rate on gut hooked fish. And it also discussed about the methoed you posted. I'm sure your method may work if done properly and quickly, but the article concluded that the best way to improve survival rate is to simply cut the line as shot as you can. I've seen good amount of fish with line sticking out from mouth or ass. I'm not trying to say that your method is bad or wrong, but your method is for someone who really know how to handle fish with care. :)

And as for using barbless hook for snakehead fishing, I'm not worried at all for gut hooking snakehead. Snakehead is hard to unhook, even with barbless hook fairly hooked on lip. They tend to shut their mouth very tight and it's impossible to force them to open its mouth. Barbless hook will be much easier to unhook, when they loosen their mouth for short period of time. And most fake frogs are equipped with mean xl barb.
Always thinking of fishing around Philly....




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