OK, may be a really stupid question, so I’ll splain the scenerio before I ask the question. While fishing last Saturday, I had a croaker online and my fishing partner yells at me, “Hey dude, watch out for that snake coming your way!” I laughed and yelled back, “Yeah, right, you just don’t want me to catch more fish than you.” “No, IM serious, theres a snake swimming right for you, 10 feet away on your left!” Whilst cranking in the fish and turning to look… sure enuff, here comes a snake right for my kayak. I cranked faster and began paddling to get out of that gentlemans way. In all the comotion, I lost sight of him.

My question…is it likely that this gentleman would swim up to a yak and crawl on? (Cause if he had, I think he might woulda had the yak all to himself!!!)

and before you ask…
I didnt ask him what his first name was, but his last name was “snake.”

not uncommon
It is not uncommon for a snake to swim and climb up on a boat. When swimming, they will naturally go for a place to haul out when they see it. They aren’t the brightest, so don’t realize a kayak is different than a log.

Few snakes are dangerous. And even fewer are dangerous and would actually chase someone (cottonmouths during breeding season have been known to do it, but that is it). The vast majority of snakes will take any chance to run, once they realize there is a person on their log.

(I used to keep and breed snakes in a prior life)

few are dangerous…
but all are dangerous to me! Never was one for playing with snakes. Darn…am I gonna have to take up skydiving or something?

there are flying snakes
There are flying snakes…

long as he dont land on my kayak while im on it im ok…lol.

i saw
A fish chasing a snake today for about 40 yards. That was a first for me. It was a 12 inch bass and what looked like a 3 ft. Copperhead could have been a corn snake? their color is close to the same from a distance.

The snake I hate the most is those dang black snakes that will most definitely chase you.

Ryan L.

It never crossed my mind
to watch out for snakes crawling up on your yak with ya…til last Saturday. And that one woulda came up from the rear and Id never had known he was there til about 3 seconds before I gave him the yak!

Fish and whistle, whistle and fish
Dear Greywulff,

Nice moniker, and your query is truly not in keeping with the originator of the fly.

They are snakes, they do what snakes do. One might enter your boat, it’s not like they know who owns it, right?

Grab a paddle, or if it gets really ugly, it’s tail and toss it back into the drink. You’ll get by and so will the snake.

I realize you might have been startled by the snake but it’s just trying to make it’s way in the world. I’m not afraid to say that your post might lead to a few snakes getting whacked for I know that wasn’t your intent.

Still, it will be the result.


Goobs, AKA Tim Murphy - confirmed snake lover and general layabout

I got nothing against a snake
that’s at least 20 feet away form me and visible. Much closer and I know hes there…I got issues with him. I realize we all got issues…snakes and me is one of mine.

On Trails…
On trails watch out for hoop snakes. They hold their tail in their mouths and roll like a wheel to chase you down!

i have never been
able to figure out where the tail stops and the neck starts…lol.

Didn’t profess that you did
Dear Greywulff,

All I was saying is that you can’t blame a snake for being a snake.

When a snake poses a problem for you it’s just trying to get by. Look up canoeists and kayakers killed by snakes and look up canoeists and kayakers who died while on water.

Snakes are not a problem.


Goobs AKA TimMurphy

Shouldn’t be a problem

– Last Updated: May-19-12 1:02 AM EST –

Recent example: Two weeks ago on the North Fork of the White River in Missouri, some of our group saw a nice-sized black rat snake swimming in the river. It approached two different boats, but once the boat's occupant moved too much or held a paddle blade close to the snake, it sprinted off a few feet, then settled down and chose a new direction to swim.

I've seen that happen with northern water snakes more times than I could ever count.

Cases of defensive behavior on land are usually mistaken for "chasing" activity by those with unnatural fear. There is no way to change their perspective on this. I've seen this type of confrontation myself, in-person, several times, and what I saw in each case was NOT what the scared person "saw". I've also been called an idiot for saying this on this board before, but that goes with the territory when it comes to dealing with a skewed and fearful perspective. Those same people do not believe that a person can easily walk faster than almost any snake going full speed, but it is true. Their appearance of speed can be deceptive.

Jackl once got a nice photo demonstrating what "aggressive cottonmouths" are really doing when they approach the boat. He offered his paddle blade to the snake as a nice climbing ramp, and the snake simply settled down on the blade and got comfortable, and did NOT try to get any closer to the boat. Jackl has probably had more close encounters with snakes on the water than just about any of us, but he doesn't believe they approach aggressively either. Maybe he'll chime in soon.

Snakes have rather poor vision, and often won't perceive a waving paddle blade as being different from vegetation swaying in the breeze. Give them a little time to figure out that a really big creature is in front of them before assuming they are on the attack. Also, snakes that are about to shed are essentially blind, and will not see you no matter what you do. They also tend to strike aggressively because when you can't see, putting up a good show of force might be your only chance of escaping. Snakes that are about to shed are usually not out and about, but people can encounter them at times.

Here you have one of the reasons
I live in the north.

Well of course the behavior is defensive. I certainly didn’t think they were hunting me. I like snakes, ill catch them, leave them alone, whichever. But, occasionally it falls to me to remove snakes from their locating due to the fear of others. The worst is a four to five foot black snake that decides he is going to move when he wants to. They become very aggressive and move toward the danger instead of away. Of course I can just walk away, but I’m still calling it chasing.

Ryan L.

Never had one climb into a canoe. Maybe time to sell the yak and get a canoe…one one of the thousands of reasons why canoes are superior.

My sons had one try to get in a canoe
they just pushed him away with a paddle, after a couple times he left. Later that day we seen a hawk grab a snake out of the water, sometimes they are feeling exposed and looking for cover. Usually a gentle nudge and some movement are all it takes to get them to leave.



I’m impressed!
As someone who grew up with snakes and reptiles & amphibians in general,(and took courses in herpetology a whole lotta years ago), I’m really impressed at the responses in this thread. Most are responsible and dead on, except that of the Hoop snake of course! I find it refreshing not to read what is normally a lot of misinformation. A big bravo to these posters.

try to learn how to identify …

– Last Updated: May-19-12 8:53 AM EST –

....... what type of snake you may be encountering .

There are 4 species of poisonous snakes in the US . Vipers which are the Rattlers , Copperheads , and Mocosins (Cottonmouth) ... and then the Coral snake .

The poisonous ones should be dealt with caution , all others may be ignored ... except for the huge Constrictors (Python , Boa) that inhabbit south lands like Fl.

If a snake like the Black snake bites you , it's because you picked him up , it's really nothing more than a light scratch like you might get from a briar bush , and that's only because you jerked away and got the scratch .

Rear fang snakes like the common water snake are mildly poisonous but for all purposes you can consider them non-poisonous , won't harm you at all but a fish or mouse , yes .

If scratched by a snake , wash the scratch w/soap and water , disinfect if possible , same as any scratch .

Snakes are very doicile critters , they try to avoid humans ... except for the Mocosin in the water .

Like the others have said , a swimming snake will approach you , it is looking to land on something , not bite . Water snakes , and swimming sanakes in general are simply curious , not aggressive at all ... unless you purposely attack them 1st , thewn they will attack back .

Non of this info. will likely have any change in your fear of snakes , but by reading up on snakes and learning to identify them , at least the poisonous ones , that may help put them into a different perspective for you and reduce your fears greatly ...