Northern Snakehead / Raigyo

2011/10/8 Northern Snakehead / Raigyo

Northern Snakehead / Raigyo [jp] 
Channa argus (Cantor, 1842)


Snakeheads were imported from Asian Continent in the early 20th century as food fish then this southern speciemen adopted to the waters of Japan from south to north. Much like pike, snakeheads are vicious predator who hides quietly waiting for anything that passes by and fits its mouth from bull frogs to baby goose.


Habitat & Season

Snakehead is a warm water fish best fished in hot summer time. Today, we could see them in slow water such as ponds, shallow lakes,  and small rivers where their food source are abundant. When seeking them, they like to hide under vegetation or along structure. We have to consider that once fight takes place there is no way fly tackle can lift the fish from heavy cover, so always be mindful how to land the fish.
Population of big fish are declining in the recent years in areas surrounding metropolis due to over development and angling pressure. If looking for sure outcome of big fish, it is highly recommended to fly to Kyushu Island.
Tackle & Gear

6-8wt depending on how heavy the target fish is. When knowingly go into area with heavy cover, it is recommended to use 10wt for all time so that fight will be minimal prior to release the fish. It has tendency to keep swallowing what’s in its mouth, so you will need “mouth opener” to protect both the fish and your hands. Otherwise, you can use the same tackle used for pike.