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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Virginia, PMK, and the Ultimate Nemesis

Northern Snakeheads have been a goal of mine since before 2009. An apex predator hated by an entire nation,  disdained with such intense fear people have created horror movies (snakehead terror, swarm of the snakehead, and frankenfish) in their image. Though the propaganda machine was successful of winning the hearts and minds of many bass anglers (thanks a lot  national geographic), no amount of "banking snakeheads" could stop them from taking hold. Now here we stand years later, looking at a healthy Potomac full of bass and dare I say....SNAKEHEAD. And there we were, two Pennsylvania anglers heading to VA to meet up with legendary angler  PMK, who lived up to his reputation imbued in our minds by Moose as a masterful and passionate angler, and that he is.

We arrived at 10am and at the advice of Pat we forewent chasing snakeheads in favor of lifer Flier and micros. You see the Northern Snakehead is so adept to survival he lured lifelisters away the best way possible, with the promise of acquiring a new types of sunfish. Armed to the gills we headed into the VA swamplands in search of our query. Pat was the first to connect, two flier back to back. I shortly followed with this lovely speciemen.

True to my code I set down my rod in an attempt to garner my friend Mark (apparently never joining the site) the best possible chance at flier. I also had a secret agenda, I was nursing poison ivy from a previous outing and would much rather submerge myself in water than sit bankside with mark. We also got to see a rare/bizarre sight, a massive beaver carrying around a smaller beaver screaming, here is a picture of the smaller one after an escape, he wouldn't leave our feet the entire time.

A few hours had passed and mark hadn't hit the mark, so Pat and I hit a nearby creek for redbreast and micros. Still a little new to the micro game I quickly landed two new lifers the Comely Shiner and the Swallowtail Shiner. More hours passed and mark approached, although he put in a worthy effort, the sun, zero hydration, and the elusive flier finally got to him. He did produce a nice looking warmouth though. (Waiting on his photos) Unfortunately traffic was a constant nuisance and what was a long day to begin with became even longer and came to an end. Virginia did reward us with such treats as the "poop mobile" and a nice wreck...

We awoke the next morning rested and reinvigorated, we decided to pursue the longear sunfish of the Potomac and then hit up the snakeheads by noon when it was our best shot. This went exactly as planned (with more traffic included!) everyone secured their lifer longear specimens and I got to photograph some local snakes! We headed back home and geared up for snakeheads and the hunt was on....

Pat led us through dense brush to a nearby big city creek, you could tell these were his stomping grounds by the way he hopped through the dense brush as though it was nothing. After what seemed like an epic trek, we finally arrived at aforementioned snakehad spot, I saw one right away and casted at a 4-5lb speciemen but Mark signaled me to keep following (not knowing that I was in the process of sightfishing), I obliged anyway. However anglers and anglerettes, thats all she wrote, we put in a dedicated effort and came up empty, we tried again but that to wasn't destined to land us our target. This trip was riding on the heels of Mark's hectic work schedule and unfortunately we had to head back. Skunkings are a big part of fishing seldom displayed for fear of embarrassment, but the Northern Snakehead has won this round. I will get one for this 3rd attempt, and who knows maybe i'll eat one for the effort next time...

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