Monday, July 23, 2012

Client Catches Potomac River Snakehead

Brian called me up the other day. He was in town on business from Portland. He wanted to get some fishing in before he had to return home on Sunday. We talked about the local fishery and the gear I would provide.

The plan was to pick up Brian at National Harbor. I told him we would fish some two handed rods. I got a hunch that this was going to be a good trip when Brian called back a few minutes after our initial conversation to ask what lines would be on the 2-handers. Technical questions I don't often hear from clients.

I pulled in to the hotel at 0645 yesterday. I was in the wife's car as mine died the day before (it died when I tried to start it to pull the boat out. Having a dead car with a boat floating at the docks is not a fun scenario).

We started off talking fly fishing. Turns out Brian is quite an accomplished angler. He works with rod makers  and fly makers. We discussed his Federation of Fly Fishers casting certification and how I want to do that one day.

We pulled into Roaches Run around 0715 and suited up. We swung streamers in the incoming tide. The tide was already high. We had no love at the inflow. I decided to move us to the spatterdock to fish for snakeheads. Brian got a few tugs on the fly on the walk over the flats. We got to the mouth of Roaches Run. The sky was overcast, the water temps were cooler as the spring fed water entered the tidal waters. Brian cast to a sunken tree and hooked a big crappie. 

The crappie took the big Clouser (I'm just about out of bass/snakehead flies as I lost my big fly box). The 1" Clouser trailer was untouched. We got a picture of Brian with the Washington Monument just over the right side of his hat. We got a plane taking off in the picture too.

Brian Cast again to the same spot and got a tug. He set the hook. We instantly knew this fish was bigger. It was tugging and pulling out line. This of course happens when I don't bring my new GoPro camera or a net.

The fish comes to the surface and I see a small mouth. A small mouth with a fish that size is a snakehead. And it was. We get the fish close and since they won't open their mouth's, I can get the grips on it. I grab the fish behind the shoulders/pec fins and land it. We pry the mouth open with my new hemostats and get the grips in.

A beautiful specimen. The scale was not working. We estimated the fish at 7lbs. It had a beautiful pattern on the sides. 

The dorsal fin was perfect. The mouth was covered in several types of sharp teeth. There was a chunk of styrafoam in the back of its throat.  It obviously ate that. What else do these things eat. 

The stomach was empty. 

 Its a mouth that looks like a hybrid of largemouth bass x barracuda x cat (mammal not fish).

We decided to keep the fish on the grips while Brian fished some more. He fished a bit longer and to lots of moving bait balls. He did not land another fish. 

We walked out with our catch. We headed over to Four Mile Run to try sight casting to largemouth. The tide there was super high, like a foot plus than normal. Brian didn't get a repeat of his earlier day's success. 

As Brian is my first client of the year (first client ever) to land a snakehead,  he won the 2012 Snakehead Challenge. We were unable to go to the Liberty Tavern for lunch. We instead headed over to the Vienna Inn for some chili dogs and fries for lunch. 
Brian is an phenomenal angler, he proved it yesterday. I hope we get to fish together soon again-hopefully he can guide me for steelehead on the west coast.

Check out the iphone video (all pictures taken with iphone)


great, fish is good for health special for eyes. and i like your blog
fashion stylist

He must have tipped the clouser with Styrofoam. It does not matter where he goes, he finds them.

What a fish. It is really tough to get this fishes by Fly fishing. However I like fishing specially Carp fishing . My childhood memories are full of fishing, Carp fishing incidents. After coming from the school, I used to spent my leisure period in Carp fishing with my uncle and grandfather. I miss those days. Thanks for sharing such an informative post.

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