Monday, June 11, 2018

Bass, Snakeheads and Gar, Oh My!

Dan and I chartered Mike Starrett of Indian Head Charters for a Bass/Snakehead trip yesterday in Mattawoman Creek, a small tributary of the Potomac River in Maryland. The bite started slow, and we had to sit out a short but intense rain shower, but I finally got started with several 3 lb bass hitting on poppers worked in channels in the Spatterdock. They were kissed and returned to play with Mike again some other time.
Having lost two poppers to the weeds, Dan was relegated back to plastic frogs, and was rewarded with this smaller bass.
A couple of casts later, Dan got a big hit, which we thought might be a big bass, but it turned out to be this Northern Snakehead, the famous Frankenfish. 29 inches and 6 lbs, it comes nowhere close to the Maryland hook and line record of 18 lbs. We kept the snakehead for table fare, as they are excellent eating.
As the sun was setting I got a big hit on a popper, and we were all sure it was a bigger snakehead, but once I got it to the boat it was obviously not the famous invader but a native, the Longnose Gar:
The longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus) is a primitive ray-finned fish of the gar family. It is also known as the needlenose gar. L. osseus is found along the east coast of North and Central America in freshwater lakes and as far west as Kansas and Texas and southern New Mexico. The gar have been present in North America for about 100 million years.
After gingerly handling (they're all sharp edges) it for the photo, it was returned to try again.

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