"Fellow anglers beware. Several snake bites this season have came from baby copperheads found alive inside of feeding fish. With the top water bite happening now the snakes get more oxygen to prolong there life inside the fish while the fish continues to feed. Makes the want to have bass thumb a little less desirable."
Maybe you've seen this pop up as many times as I have. Let's take it down.
1. This is not a new picture. It showed up at least six years ago in this Outdoor Life slideshow.
2. This is not a Copperhead. It's a harmless Garter Snake that is identifiable by its markings, eye, and head shape.
Copperheads do sometimes hang around wetland edges but they don't tend to swim too often. So, it's not realistic to suggest bass are eating them in great numbers. Although it is not unusual for large predatory fish to eat small snakes, they tend to be species that hang around in the water a lot.
Some snakes can hold their breath for a long time, even up to 45 minutes or longer. But, they can't breathe water, no matter how much oxygen is in it. Interestingly, sea snakes may be able to take up some oxygen from the water through their skin, but this isn't a major strategy for other species, if they can do it at all.
This little tale about several Copperhead bites is bogus. I've never heard of any snake of any kind coming out of a fish and biting someone. It's just not something worth worrying about. Fish on.