Snake attack

The gun talk reminded me of the two times a snake has chased by boat to get on it.

Once was in Cross Bayou in Florida and I was in a 10 foot jon boat with the motor running slowly Snake came over the bow. I jumped out the stern. Boat went off into the mangroves and a friend following me in his boat picked me up and we encourage that snake to return to the water with his oars.

The second time was in the Pamlico sound and these snakes were everywhere. I saw more than a dozen snakes that day in the water. An it seems they were chasing us but I wasn’t sure until one got on the deck of my boat. You know a paddle can break a snakes back pretty quickly.

Why do these snakes want to get on a boat? Both times it was in the summer and both times there was dry shore or mangroves nearby. Are they just stupid or are they actually agressive.

In any case I now have three places where I won’t paddle in the summer. These are nice places but there are just too many snakes. You rarely see them in the spring or in the fall.

not aggression …
snakes have very poor eyesight. they like to ‘bask’ on dry land during the day and to them, a boat looks as dry a place to get outta the water as any.

too many people mistake water snakes for moccassins. and too many feel the need to kill any snake that lives and breathes. ‘the only good snake is a dead one’ is a saying i hear around here in northeastern north carolina all the time. you’d think that people who are virtually brought up with snakes would learn to understand and accept them.

while many snake species will stand their ground when cornered or threatened, i don’t know any that will actually chase you down.

if you don’t like them, simply avoid them. they don’t get up every morning and say to each other, “hey, let’s us get out there and bite us a human bein today”. if they get too close for your comfort level, simply poke at them with your paddle. as soon as they figure out you’re not something to bask on or eat for lunch, they’ll be gone.

dan - a snake lover.

I did an experiment once down in

– Last Updated: Jan-01-07 10:22 AM EST –

the Everglades, since I have noticed that many time cottonmouths and plain old water snakes will head for the boat.
A young cotton mouth was heading across a open stretch and as we approached, it changed it's course and headed toward our canoe.
As it approaced, I laid the blade of the paddle down flat in the water, and the snake swam onto it. I picked it up a few inches from the water, and all the snake did was lay there.
I am guessing that what a lot of people think is an attack is just that the snake is looking for a good place to sun itself.
I have a picture of it sitting on the paddle blade and if I can find it I'll post it

We had similar experiences in the river behind Kitty Hawk Woods Reservation close to where you are talking about, only these were much larger, and would swim around the boat as if they were trying to get in, only each time one would start to I would gently push it back in the water with my paddle. Never once did any of them strike at the paddle or seem to be aggressive.

I have added the picture.
For any herpetologists out there, note that in the second picture you can see the yellow on the end of it's tail.
When I saw it I was amazed since I thought just the baby copperheads had the yellow tipped tail and I knew that copperheads like it dry better than wet.
I got together with a NP ranger, and we did some research and found that the two are identical at that stage and the only way to distinguish one from the other is the fact that it was in the middle of the water in a swampy area.



You’re wrong…
…I have it on good authority that while

occasionally snakes will continually change

course to follow a boat the never, ever

follow boats.

What’s-his-name went to extreme lengths to

explain that to me in the other thread.

time to grow up and get over it !!!



I just love…
…pricking holes in pomposity.

Nice pictures and explanation
I’m not a herpetologist, although I did take the course in college (long before Holiday Inn Express…). Commonly accepted knowledge that snakes seek out logs and floating material to bask in the sun. The debate is about why they do this - shedding parasites, drying skin for shedding, “it just feels good…” opportunity to feed, and whether the benefits outweigh the higher exposure to avian predators, etc. Basking sites in a swamp or river may be limiting and a paddle or boat might be worth exploring - from the snake’s perspective. I don’t consider it to be aggressive behavior as much as curiosity.

I assigned no agression to THAT…
…particular “habit.” At least I did not

intend to.

I merely got ripped into for suggesting that

snakes followed boats then was treated to a

long explanation why they did. I found it

amusing that the experts first said how full of

it I was for suggesting that snakes ever did

such a thing and then got a highly detailed

explanation of why snakes did what snakes never


I figured it was either easier to move with the

canoe or less trouble swimming through the clear

water path I made through the floating scum.

Good to know
Next summer I’ll try to get less excited and gently push the snake away with my paddle.

I think Gary Larson…
…“The Far Side” cartoonist had a fascination with snakes…remember how often they would appear in his strips & they usually wore sock-like clothing.

Larson was a HEPetologist, rather
than a herpetologist.

A liver specialist?

I heard a great story about Larson and his college roommate. They used to pull practical jokes on each other, and once Larson took a dead, frozen mouse (food for his pet snake) and buried it at the bottom of his roomie’s extra-large jar of Miracle Whip. The roomie didn’t discover it until he got to the bottom of the jar months later.


ah just shoot it already

snakes only follow hard chine boats

My Old Town Canoe is…
…hardly hard chined, however.

I don’t know myself
Some kayak guys told me so.

S N A K E ! ! ! ! !
While fly fishing in the aptly named Fishing Creek of PA with a friend, I noticed a ripple in the water, moving left to right. It was a large water snake, swimming directly towards my friend, who was waist deep in the water downstream of me. The snake swam right up to him and began resting in the eddy created by my friend’s body… He was there for about 3 minutes before my friend looked down & saw him, his little snake head right at belt buckle level. Comedy ensued, but the eddy was busted so the snake swam away.

I was wondering just how many snakes approach boats sensing an eddy for resting?

I think you scared him
He spotted your NRA sticker on the hull.