The big snakehead

The big snakehead

George Drew | Wednesday, 19 July 2023

Coming towards the end of Declan and my stay with Paul, we headed up towards the top end of the lake, getting ready to make the trip back home. We still had a week or so left. Declan and I had a bit of a dry spell with the fish, unable to land anything in the boat for a week. Things had to turn around soon!!

We left the Battleship, Paul and Declan on the Rocket C and I was on the Ronan. We all headed up the lake, to the end of a big arm. Then we split up to fish the bays on the way back. I had little hope for the day, because of the dry spell we had. As we split up I said something like “see yous back at the boat with nothing.” As I drive into the first bay, I straight away saw a set of babies. I watched them come up a second time and I moved to where I thought they would pop up again. Getting into position I waited and then I saw them the complete opposite direction. I moved the boat back out into the middle of the bay and watched for them again. I just turned the electric off and hadn’t even gotten the fly out of its keeper, and a snakehead rose a meter off the back of the boat. In a frantic rush I smacked the popper down as hard as I could, (thinking I was too late). But one pop and the fish came up and smashed it right at the side of the boat. I was shitting em, my legs started to shake then my whole body. I knew it was a big fish, it took the most powerful runs I’ve ever felt. It didn’t give up till it hit the net and I was fighting it for nearly 10 minutes. Landed in the net I couldn’t believe it, it was huge. Still shaking and barely able to put a sentence together I grabbed the walkie talkie and said “boys can you get over here and get a photo.” They rushed over, knowing something big had happened. As I pulled the fish out of the water onto the deck, Paul and Declan’s eyes lit up. We got a few photos and a quick weigh (5.8kg), then let it swim off. The fish took off with such power even after a long fight!!






Paul and Declan left me and started fishing again, I had to take a break and come down from the high I was on. A bit of time passed and I figured out what happened, there were two sets of babies in that bay. That’s how they changed direction and moved so far away. The fish that I caught was a free riser. I was so lucky to catch that fish!

I was back into it, on the look out for one of the sets of babies. I found them far in the back of the bay, on their way out. I set up on a tree and waited for them to come past. I saw the babies start to rise around a tree and then the parents rose. I put a cast in and it landed perfect, they both came and charged the fly. One hitting it, I stripped into it and felt tension but only for a split second. I kept popping and the other came up and smashed it but didn’t hook up either. I didn’t get another shot at them, I spooked them pretty well.

The rest of the day was very quiet for all of us, only seeing a couple more fish for the day. I was over the moon with that fish and still am today a year later, I reckon it’ll last a life time. I can still picture it eating the popper at the side on the boat and how I could barely speak on the walkie talkies!