Maryland officials say it’s true. Emory (Dutch) Baldwin III, a bow-hunter from Indian Head, MD, has caught the biggest snakehead fish every seen in the mid or upper Chesapeake Bay.
— MD DNR Fisheries (@MDDNRFISH) May 26, 2016
Dutch and his hunting partner, Franklin Shotwell, were wrapping up a night of stalking northern snakehead on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, when they decided to move the boat to the flats near Marshall Hall to look for giant blue catfish that might have moved into the grass.
“Franklin saw the big snakehead,” Dutch says, “but it was on my side of the boat.”
Dutch lined up on the fearsome creature with compound bow, made a slight adjustment to account for the refracted shadow cast by their rail-mounted search lights, and shot his arrow. It went into the fish, starting a tug-of-war between beast and man. And, as you know, Dutch won.
He realized how huge it was when he finally pulled it in the boat. The next day, Dutch took the fish to Gray Brothers Market in Marbury, Maryland, where it was weighed on a certified meat scale.
Dutch caught himself a 18.42-pound snakehead, a new Maryland record.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Southern Region Manager Mary Groves confirmed the species, and the new record was made official.
— Darryl Fears (@bydarrylfears) May 24, 2016
Snakehead are an invasive species of fish, meaning it’s not native to Maryland. Normally, Dutch couldn’t capture a state record by fishing with a bow and arrow. A rod and reel are required. But the state makes an exception for invasive species — northern snakehead, blue catfish and flathead catfish.
And bad news for what’s called the “Frankenfish” — snakeheads have become a lot less scary and seen more as good eatin’.
— Bay Journal (@ChesBayJournal) May 20, 2016