Most anglers know that freshwater fish like to eat small rodents and snakeheads in particular will eat just about anything, but we’re not about to suggest that anyone swing by the pet shop to grab some livies on their way to their favorite hotspot. A much better idea (and a lot less messy) would be to pick up a few topwater mouse lures.
Armed with these mini-Mickies, when the water warms up enough for topwater bites you’ll then want to:
- Wait for a day when you’ll be fishing during or right after heavy rains. This is when small rodents get forced out of their holes due to rising water, have to travel during broad daylight, and become natural prey for the fish.
- Look for logs. Mice do sometimes crawl out over the water on a logs and limbs, and fish often hide under those same logs and limbs. While a mouse splashing down right next to one may not be a common occurrence, it’s definitely not an unnatural one.
- Keep that critter moving. Real mice don’t stop to leisurely practice their backstroke, they’re trying to get to dry land. So pausing the retrieve only serves to make the presentation unrealistic.
- When a snakehead explodes on the mouse, control your reaction (yes, we know this is a tall order), and rather than setting the hook immediately, drop the rod tip back towards the fish and wait for the line to come tight before setting the hook.
If you miss the hookset and the mouse stays in the strike zone, twitch it for several seconds because you might be able to fool the fish into thinking it’s injured its prey. If you don’t get a follow-up strike after five or six seconds, begin retrieving again. If the mouse flies out of the water when you missed the hookset (DUCK!), immediately re-cast as close as possible to where it was hit and begin twitching.