July 21, 2005


Invasion of the Frankenfish: Five years after the first snakehead catch in Florida, anglers are bagging world-record catches of the infamous exotic invaders in Northwest Broward canals. (CURTIS MORGAN, 7/21/05, Miami Herald)

Hardly anyone had heard of snakeheads when Bob Newland pulled the strange, slithery invader out of a Tamarac lake five years ago.

Ten states, countless headlines and three schlocky sci-fi movies later, snakeheads boast a fear factor that would give a bull shark pause.

Since Newland's catch -- the first documented in Florida -- the Asian imports have been found from Virginia to Massachusetts. Many scientists worry the ravenous, rapidly reproducing, air-gulping predator could spread, devouring native species in its razor-choppered wake.

If the environmental threat wasn't enough, campy movies like Frankenfish morphed them into monsters hungrier for humans than crappies. So it might sound unsettling that Northwest Broward County has become Snakehead Capital, USA.

The fish are getting along so swimmingly that one expert angler -- Martin Arostegui, a retired Coral Gables physician fishing with guide Alan Zaremba of Hollywood -- has bagged six snakehead world records, all out of canals in Margate. The International Game Fishing Association published the latest four, caught on assorted light tackle, this month.

He's got a ways to go to catch Mary Matalin.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 21, 2005 12:30 PM

What, the deaf actress?

Snakehead fishes and killer bees are a good reason to live in a reagion that has a real harsh winter.

Posted by: Governor Breck at July 21, 2005 1:19 PM

James Carville's wife. You were thinking of Marlee Matlin.

Posted by: joe shropshire at July 21, 2005 2:17 PM

For conspiracy theory folks, two datapoints: 1) Invasive Asian fish introduced into the U.S., threatening native species. 2) Chinese military figures write alot about attacking the U.S. in unconventional ways. Hmmmm....

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 21, 2005 3:06 PM

Given a lasso or a harpoon gun, I could have bagged Carville a couple of weeks ago from my seat in the 15th row behind the third base dugout at RFK (James apparently sits in Row 2 near the front end of the dugout, for any out there seeking to set the new District of Columbia snakehead catch record...)

Posted by: John at July 21, 2005 4:01 PM

Izaak Walton might not have liked fishing so much if he was catching James Carville.

Posted by: pj at July 21, 2005 4:54 PM

If you get the chance, it is really much better than a movie called Frankenfish has a right to be.

Posted by: carl at July 21, 2005 5:22 PM

Yeah, but how do they taste once dipped in bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, sauteed and then served with a lemon butter sauce?

Posted by: bart at July 21, 2005 5:34 PM

Why are you picking on Mary Matalin, she has her own problems. She has to live with Carville.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 21, 2005 9:16 PM