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Old 06-15-2014, 09:08 AM   #1
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Default Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

Okay, I have been Kayak Fishing in Lake Murray lately.. love it, but I see snakes all the freaking time!!

Question, I usually stay a good 20-30' from the shore, will a snake come after me to protect its territory?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

Quote:
Originally Posted by U-Dub Gamecock View Post
Okay, I have been Kayak Fishing in Lake Murray lately.. love it, but I see snakes all the freaking time!!

Question, I usually stay a good 20-30' from the shore, will a snake come after me to protect its territory?

Thanks in advance.
NO

1.) Snakes are not territorial.
2.) Snakes (in the U.S.) and the majority of them worldwide, do not attack
any animal they are not hunting for food. They are Terrified of ANY animal
that is larger than they are. Even those snakes outside the U.S. that have
been known to attack humans, were doing so to protect a nest. No snakes
in the U.S. will do that. Domestic Snakes that lay eggs, do so, then leave
them to hatch on their own. Same with snakes that give birth to live snakes.
3.) Snakes will only strike Humans if they have no means of escape, or
someone just happens to step on, or right in front of them. They aren't
the aggressors in any attack. They only strike larger animals defensively.
4.) If you are seeing a lot of snakes that far off the shore, 90% chance they
are true watersnakes. (non venomous breed). Not 100% etched in stone
rule there, because all snakes are excellent swimmers, but only true Water
Snakes will swim in water that far from shore for long periods of time.
True Water snakes spend the majority of their day in the water. They can
swim under water for long periods of time. Other snakes will only spend
as much time in the water to get from point A to point B. Water Moccasins
are the only venomous snake that will spend as much time in water as they
do on land, because their diet consists mainly of small fish, frogs, and
small water snakes.
5.) I would almost bet the farm that you are seeing either Common Banded
Water Snakes, or Brown Water Snakes that far off the banks at Lake
Murray. Those are extremely common water snakes in this area
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

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.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

just an fyi (and this is the only time you will EVER hear me recommend a Taurus gun) the Taurus Judge is an excellent snake/boat gun, can carry 5 .410 shells and #6 or "lower" bird/small game shot (numericly lower= bigger pellet size but fewer pellets) should handle any snake at a safe distance and most small animals/rodents.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurticus View Post
NO

1.) Snakes are not territorial.
2.) Snakes (in the U.S.) and the majority of them worldwide, do not attack
any animal they are not hunting for food. They are Terrified of ANY animal
that is larger than they are. Even those snakes outside the U.S. that have
been known to attack humans, were doing so to protect a nest. No snakes
in the U.S. will do that. Domestic Snakes that lay eggs, do so, then leave
them to hatch on their own. Same with snakes that give birth to live snakes.
3.) Snakes will only strike Humans if they have no means of escape, or
someone just happens to step on, or right in front of them. They aren't
the aggressors in any attack. They only strike larger animals defensively.
4.) If you are seeing a lot of snakes that far off the shore, 90% chance they
are true watersnakes. (non venomous breed). Not 100% etched in stone
rule there, because all snakes are excellent swimmers, but only true Water
Snakes will swim in water that far from shore for long periods of time.
True Water snakes spend the majority of their day in the water. They can
swim under water for long periods of time. Other snakes will only spend
as much time in the water to get from point A to point B. Water Moccasins
are the only venomous snake that will spend as much time in water as they
do on land, because their diet consists mainly of small fish, frogs, and
small water snakes.
5.) I would almost bet the farm that you are seeing either Common Banded
Water Snakes, or Brown Water Snakes that far off the banks at Lake
Murray. Those are extremely common water snakes in this area
Most of the snakes I see are right on the edge of the water, they swim around the grassy areas(where I am fishing)... I figured they would just leave me alone if I did the same with them.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jccgogamecocks View Post
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.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

Quote:
Originally Posted by U-Dub Gamecock View Post
Most of the snakes I see are right on the edge of the water, they swim around the grassy areas(where I am fishing)... I figured they would just leave me alone if I did the same with them.
Check the post right above this (last paragraph).... It adds credence to my theory !
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

I was walking the bank of the little salk. Unfortunately it is a little too small for a boat. I generally don't kill any snake that I happen across and I know my swamp snakes pretty well. I more tban probly did not have to kill that snake but I was backed up to the water with it coming towards me. I always carry a 22 pistol with rat shot with me wnd I fish the swamp often. Nothing like the pull of a rooster redbreast on light tackle. I very very rarely ever use my pistol but would'nt walk in without it. I really enjoyed reading your post, snake have always facinated me.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurticus View Post
Check the post right above this (last paragraph).... It adds credence to my theory !
Yes, just read that... Just as long as they do not want to jump in my Kayak with me...
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jccgogamecocks View Post
I was walking the bank of the little salk. Unfortunately it is a little too small for a boat. I generally don't kill any snake that I happen across and I know my swamp snakes pretty well. I more tban probly did not have to kill that snake but I was backed up to the water with it coming towards me. I always carry a 22 pistol with rat shot with me wnd I fish the swamp often. Nothing like the pull of a rooster redbreast on light tackle. I very very rarely ever use my pistol but would'nt walk in without it. I really enjoyed reading your post, snake have always facinated me.
I love to fish as well... I could stay out for hours fishing. I am looking at getting a 10' Jon boat with a trolling motor, just so I can fish up and down the Coves near my lakehouse.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Kayak Fishing & Snakes (Yes Spurticus, need your expertise)

Nothing like being on a long distance canoe trip and having a snake fall in the boat while paddling at night. I love snakes, but that made me jump out of the canoe real fast. Turned out to be a rat snake, but in the dark I wasn't taking a chance.
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