Invasive Fish Tipped Scales at 19.9 Pounds
It was a long, memorable Memorial Day weekend for 41-year-old Andrew “Andy” Fox of Mechanicsville. Fox, along with two of his closest friends headed to Indian Head, Mattawoman Creek, in Charles County for a little overnight bowfishing for northern snakehead.
The trio was out on the water for a few hours the night of May 24, waiting for low tide, but despite the favorable tides, recent rains made visibility nearly impossible.By pure luck, Fox caught a glimpse of a fish illuminated in the glare of the boat’s lights. Thinking it may be carp, Fox said he was slow to respond, but after a few seconds determined that it was a snakehead. “That’s the biggest snakehead I’ve ever seen,” said Fox.
Pulling back his bow, Fox struck the snakehead and hauled in the monster “frankenfish.” With the snakehead in the boat’s hull, Fox removed the arrow and said, “This might be a new state record.” In fact, it is now the biggest northern snakehead caught in the state of Maryland invasive species division.
Fox’s snakehead was officially weighed and certified by theMaryland Department of Natural Resourcesand Gray Brothers Market. The record-breaking northern snakehead tipped the scales at 19.9 pounds with a length of 35.157 inches, breaking the2-year-old recordof Dutch Baldwin’s 18.42 pound catch in May 2016.
Fox plans to have his record breaking northern snakehead mounted for display.
Northern snakeheads are considered an invasive species in Maryland. Current regulations prohibit the importation,possession and transporting of live snakeheads. Anglers are encouraged to catch-and-harvest snakeheads immediately or to release them back in the exact location they were found. There is no minimum size or creel limit, and they can be harvested year-round. To learn more, please visit ourinvasive species page.