Originally Posted by jccgogamecocks
I have fished in the swamp around Bamberg my whole life. There are snakes everywhere there. Usually I can fish as close as five ft from most snake without them even moving. I have however been charged by a cottonmouth before and unfortunately had to end his/her life. I can say that is not usuall behavior for snakes though it happens occasionally, mostly on land.
There are a lot of snake "myths" that still seem to pop up from stories that
were told YEARS ago, by some people who's fears generated some wild
stories about snakes.
Some of the more common ones are that Coachwhips could chase people
for long distances, and use their tails to whip people on the legs while they
were in chase.
Or the most common one (My Grandma once told me this too), was that
they were chased for over a mile by a water moccasin. They SWEAR it's
true because after they ran XXX distance, they stopped and looked back
and the snake was right behind them.
Some snakes actually got their names from misconceptions or wrong
ideas of them over a century or two ago. Corn Snakes were thought to be
the animals eating farmer's corn when the farmers noticed them all over
their grain bins, and saw "droppings" around their scattered corn.
Milk Snakes were given that name when local farmers claimed that they
actually saw the snakes sucking the milk directly from the cow's utter.
Actual studies of the snakes by Herpetologist proved these myths to just
Just that. Corn snakes were actually around the corn bins waiting to kill and
eat the mice and rats that were coming in and eating the farmers corn, and
leaving the droppings in and around the grain.
The fastest snake on land in the U.S. are the coachwhip and Black Racers.
They can reach speeds on the ground of about 6 miles an hour. The average
human can run at speeds up to 11 miles an hour, and in short bursts, can
run up to 13 mph. Water Moccasins (the subject of thousands of peoples
myths of pursuing them for miles) are among the slowest moving snakes in
the U.S., moving at top speeds of about 4 mph. ....IMPOSSIBLE even in the
best case effort of Moccasins (even Black Racers) and the worst efforts of
Humans, for a Moccasin to still be close pursuit of a human after 10-15
yards, let alone a half mile, or mile.
Studies done with all breeds of snakes worldwide over hundreds of years,
have failed to produce one single shred of evidence that snakes will eat
vegetation of any kind. Basically, there's no such thing as a vegetarian snake.
They only eat meat of some kind. Insects, worms, lizards, fish, frogs, rodents
etc..... No foliage of any kind. ALSO, no snake has ever been recorded to drink
milk. Studies have resulted in snakes dying of dehydration before taking a
single mouthful of milk.
I am not disputing the statement that the Moccasin pursued you while you
were in the boat. I posted a story here of being followed by a banded water
snake while I was walking around the banks of a pond at Edisto Island. This
snake followed me for about 30 minutes and would swim right to the point
on the bank that I was standing before diving under water for several minutes
before resurfacing a few yards later, down the bank....This happened for two
days in a row. I even posted a picture of the snake that at one point, crawled
out of the water, and within a few feet of where I was standing. It never
attacked me, but crawled over to where I was, and stopped until I reached
down to try to pick it up. then it hightailed it back into the water and I never
saw it again.
I have a theory as to why this happened, and I would almost bet that it is
something similar to what took place with you in the boat. As well as other
boaters / fishermen. I noticed there years ago on that bank, that when
I would walk around the pond (usually looking for alligators), when I would
stop for a short time, a lot of turtles would swim over to where I was standing.
There would also be a large number of small fish and minnows swimming
around the bank too. .. What I think was going on with the snake, is that
they've learned over time, that humans (big creatures to them) were feeding
the turtles, fish and gators at times, and where ever they were standing
on the shore, there was going to be a WHOLE LOT of minnows and small
fish there. SO, the snake was following me, to feed off of the small fish and
minnows that gathered there.
I would almost bet that the moccasin was not chasing you, but was coming
toward the boat out of habit, from years of knowing that where there's a boat
in the water, a lot of times there's a fish / fishes around it as well. Either
those you were seeing on your depth finder and the area you were fishing,
or on the line people had in the water. My guess is the snake was expecting
to see a fish(s) close by.