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Snakehead fishing on the Potomac River and elsewhere

by Ned Kehde   |  February 16th, 2013 28
Captain Steve Chaconas with a Maryland snakehead.

Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, and I have fished together for many hours across the past two decades on the flatland reservoir of northeastern Kansas. Although he loves to chase temperate bass and likes to tangle with largemouth and smallmouth bass, most of his piscatorial dreams are  focused upon catching snakeheads.  To placate those dreams, he has traveled as far as  Malaysia to fish for them. When he recently  returned to Lawrence from one of his snakehead forays in Asia, he was delighted  and amazed to discover that some of the waterways around Washington, D.C. abound with northern snakeheads. And once he returns from his wintertime forays with some tarpon, peacock bass, snook and other denizens in the Caribbean, it is likely that he will be making plans to chase the northern snakeheads that abide in the Potomac River and adjoining waterways once the spring and summer unfolds.

Pok-Chi Lau with a toman in Malaysia.


The northern snakehead population in the Potomac River and its tributaries has multiplied dramatically since they were first discovered in 2004.  In fact, a world-record northern snakehead, weighing 18.37-pounds, was caught in May of 2012 on the Occoquan River, which is a tributary to the Potomac.

Captain Steve Chaconas, who is the proprietor of the National Bass Guide Service in Alexandria,Virginia, and a snakehead enthusiast, says the Potomac’s snakehead fishing provides anglers with some of the most exhilarating topwater fishing that they will ever encounter.

According to Chaconas, April through September are the best months of the year for anglers to pursue the snakeheads that abide in the Potomac River.

For information about lodging and other accoutrements, Chaconas can be reached at 703-380-7119. His e-mail address is, and his Web site address is


Photographs are courtesy of Steve Chaconas and Pok-Chi Lau

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