Do Fish Eat Snakes? Some Species Do!

Do fish eat snakes? This question has been asked by many people and the answer is yes, some do. But not all types of fish are capable of catching and eating a snake. The majority of them won’t even try it!

This article will explain why this is the case, as well as what type of fish can be found to eat snakes. 

Do fish eat snakes? a small grass snake floating on a pond

Some Facts about Snakes 

What are snakes? Snakes belong to the order Squamata and consist of over 3000 species. They can be found all across the world, even in areas with a very cold climate. There is no one type of snake that you will find everywhere- they vary depending on where it lives. The most common types of of these reptiles include pythons, boas, vipers and cobras. 

While some people think that wild snakes are only found in water, they can also be on land or inside trees. There have been cases where a snake has lived in someone’s county home for weeks without them ever noticing- until they see their cat playing with the snake! This shows how stealthy these creatures really are when trying to find prey. They will hide under rocks, logs, lakes and grasses waiting for an unsuspecting animal comes too close so that it can strike quickly before disappearing into its hiding place once again.  

Their favourite food consist of birds, lizards, rodents and other small animals like frogs but some larger species may include turtles or even humans if given the chance (though this is quite rare). 

Species of Fish That Eat Snakes 

There are a few reasons why some fish do while others don’t. The most common reason is that the snake doesn’t taste good to them, so they simply won’t try it.  

There are also times when the fish might be too small and can’t overpower a snake- in this case, it will have to wait until they grow bigger before taking on such prey. Typically, the larger fish in the water will be those most likely to consume snakes. 


This is why you’ll find most large types of catfish- like the Mekong Giant Catfish, for example- do eat snakes. They’re big creatures so it’s easier for them to overpower whatever gets put in front of them – this includes snakes!  


Some species of fish do eat other animals, reptiles and even small mammals. This includes the pike (Esox lucius), which is a predator found in freshwater lakes and rivers throughout Northern Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. It can grow up to four feet long and is said to have a voracious appetite for snakes! 


The piranha would also count as an animal eater since they are native to South American freshwaters with millions of them living in or around the Amazon River alone. They feed on prey scattered over sandbanks or along river margins; from time to time these include dead turtles that have fallen into the water – so there’s no doubt about whether it will try taking a bite out of your pet snake! 

Largemouth Bass 

The largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), which is found in rivers and lakes, could also be classed as a snake eater. Originally from North America, it has spread to other parts of the world either deliberately or through trade. This fish is a predator and will eat anything that fits in its mouth, including small mammals such as mice! 


The trout (Salmo trutta), which is living in both freshwater and saltwater habitats, will readily eat other fish. This could include a snake, but only if it gets close enough to the surface! 

Underdeveloped embryo of snake in the egg.

Which Fish do not consider snakes as part of their diet? 

With some exceptions, smaller fish will not eat snakes. If they are big enough, they will be more inclined to take on a challenge like this. 

Smallmouth Bass 

The smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), which is native to North America, eats a diet of insects and crustaceans as well as some plants. It is less likely to consider a reptile as part of its diet, unless it is a really small one, for example a little baby snake. 


This is a deep-sea fish that lives on what it catches by using its light at night for attracting prey. More often than not, they eat small fish that come into the light. It has a protruding jaw with which it can bite prey and swallow them whole. As for snakes, the anglerfish is more likely to eat eels, which are found in its natural habitat. 

Other Fish 

It’s difficult to say whether or not any given fish would bother eating snakes because each situation has variable factors to consider. For example, the snake’s size would play a role in whether or not it could be swallowed by an average sized fish. Obviously, you would probably never catch an herbivorous fish like for example a toadfish to be feeding on a snake. 

Snake River Natrix reptile head swallowed goby fish

Why do Fish Eat Snakes? 

There are a number of reasons why fish eat snakes. One is because the snake might look like a good meal and they will go after it if given the opportunity, especially if there is nothing else in sight. 

Another reason may be that there’s an imbalance in nature and some other predator has made its way into their territory, causing them to switch up what they’re eating for survival purposes.  

There are some species of snake which many different types of predatory fish will recognize as prey. Though these creatures can’t always overpower something that large on their own, when combined with another type of water creature then suddenly you have a team effort. 

The other reason that fish might be eating snakes is because of the introduction of invasive species into one’s territory, such as when some type of non-native snake decides to come and live in this area without any problems which may result in certain types being eaten by these other creatures at an increased rate than they would otherwise. 

What about venomous snakes? 

There is not a huge difference between a venomous snake and any other type of snake when it comes to fish considering them as a meal. The venomous snake, while more deadly to humans if bitten, are not that much more dangerous to fish. 

Can a fish swallow a snake? 

Sure, some fish can swallow a snake. It’s actually possible for any carnivorous being to eat another animal if the size and circumstance are right. 

What is a normal diet for fish? 

Fish are by nature primarily carnivorous and as such they eat a wide range of food from other fish to crustaceans, worms, plants, molluscs or fungi. Basically, they don’t have the privilege of passing up a nutritional meal, still so if that turns out to be a snake!  

Other situations a fish might eat a snake 

Sometimes, snakes are caught on bait hooks or net traps before being fed into an underwater food chain. When being used as lure, the fish won’t hesitate to go for this easy reptilian menu, provided it can fit it in its mouth. After all, a snake is not that different in appearance from a worm and we know plastic lures to work, so why would snakes not? 

a striped water snake underwater


Fish are a great example of how animals can adapt to different environments and food sources. Some fish will eat snakes, while other fish won’t even bother with them!  

We hope you enjoyed this post! Have you ever seen a snake being eaten by a fish? It’s pretty incredible when you see it happen in person.