Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Potomac Snakeheads Continue To Hate On Me

I dropped off the pixie at school this morning and headed to the Tidal Basin (told the wife I was at home cleaning). The drive only took about 45 minutes to go 10 miles!

My 8wt was rigged up with floating line, short leader of 30lb-->20lb mono with a lipped baitfis. 

The tide was just starting to move in. The Potomac is still heavily stained from last week's deluge and the incoming water stained the Tidal Basin's settled water. Before I had my fly ready to cast I spotted a small snakhead (~18") sitting just under the surface on the corner of the Ohio Drive bridge. I cast to it and it just sank to the bottom like a submarine.

It wasn't long after that snakeheads started to rise to breathe ALL AROUND ME. It was nucking futs. The small ones came up with a subtle surface, gulp of air, and head turn followed by a sink. The big ones -I'm talking 30"- would come up with a more violent surfacing, sink, and major swipe of the tail to get them back down. Bunch of teases.

I fished my baitfish fast, slow, twitched, dead drifted. I stripped it through the fast water, I stripped it through the slack water. Nothing. One fish rose to breathe just off the corner of the bridge. Not sure if it was the same as the one that was there earlier. I put the fly right in front of it and started to swim it around. I could not believe it when the fish turned to its left and locked eyes on the fly. My adrenaline was cranking. The fish just stared at the fly as it hovered right off its nose. The fish may have even bumped into the fly with its nose. What seemed like several seconds was most likely just a few. As soon as it started the fish slowly sank back into the murky depths. No love from the snakehead.

I switched up the fly to a gar Clouser and then to a small reaper. I put on a curly tail and a snallygaster worm. I walked the shoreline toward and back from the Jefferson memorial with just one tug. I set the hook to nothing. A few perch and herring schooled along the walls.

I went back to the bridge and changed flies. Fish continued to surface and swirl around me with no love. I'm going to go with they are still in their spawning mode and don't want to eat. I must have put my fly over several dozen fish in the few hours I was there. I had one large hickory shad eat a super Clouser. I was rather disappointing that it wasn't a snakehead.

By noon it was time to pack up and run errands. I'll continue my quest for more snakeheads (I've only landed 3 in the 10 years they have been in the river). Stay tuned.


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