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The European Eel - A species under threat


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#21 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:54 PM

Chris if you stop fishing for eels I will stop using them for bait.

Yes its been proven to me over the past years that there is a problem with the eel population in the bigger picture.However even though I agree that us as anglers must be seen to be whiter than white if we challenge the commercial boys or even (as its not been proven that over fishing is the real problem) try to raise more research into it we must not resort to in house calling.

No rod and line angler is a threat to the eel.Not even by way of the fact he may be encouraging commercial interests to supply them for bait. Forget this line and concentrate on trying to find the real problem.

Now Ive tried to be "gentle" as its your first post on here but by that same fact I think you may have tried to be a bit more tactful/respectful.A lot of us here either/both fish for eels or are aware of the problem.Many of us are predator anglers as well.

You asked whether eel baits are necessary? Well they are the only frozen bait that I have any confidence in for Zander. I prefer lives but deads do work as well but rather than frozen need to be freshly killed! Eel section is a very usable bait frozen and as such can be a god send when you are struggling to catch baits or have just arrived. But as they are only a "stop gap" bait no matter how much Zedding I do in a season I'm most unlikely to use more than half a dozen.These are inevitably ones that I have accidentally damaged when catching be it intentionally or not.

And that brings me to my main issue.I honestly believe that despite the best of intentions that most/all eel anglers kill a lot more than they would like to admit/believe just in the process of fishing for them.Ive never been a believer in the "they can shed the hooks themselves" bit and honestly believe (just like many pike anglers) that by doing so and seeing them swim off (possibly to later die as a direct result) all we are doing is soothing our own conscience. Got to get real.

So I'm all for the eel and will concede that we need to be seen to be doing our bit but we mustn't forget the real issue and certainly not alienate fellow anglers by suggesting the blame may lay partly at their feet.

Hopefully you catch a dam site more eels a year than I do and if I can keep my self in bait just by using damaged/deephooked ones out of the few I catch then jusy how many of yours end up dead? Not knocking you Chris just trying to point out the realities.
And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

#22 ColinW

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 12:38 PM

I'd like to make clear that my post was meant to be against the "scientists" and not against eels or eel fishermen, commercial or recreational. It is very worrying that the stocks appear to be declining so rapidly. It's the response to that which bothers me. I just don't believe for one second that anglers (or even trappers) are affecting eel stocks. Eels are caught the way they have been (sustainably) for centuries, there are no new technological aids that have tipped things over the edge like has happened at sea.

#23 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 12:45 PM

Spot on Colin.All the time we are looking in the wrong direction the problem will never be solved.

Something appears to be wrong with the eels life cycle and this needs looking into and if possible rectifying.
And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

#24 Mark7

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 01:06 PM

Spot on Colin.All the time we are looking in the wrong direction the problem will never be solved.

Something appears to be wrong with the eels life cycle and this needs looking into and if possible rectifying.




There are so many separate influences responsible for the decline in eel stocks that it is impossible to identify one and say it is the prime factor. Over fishing, pollution. predation, river barriers and pumping stations, parasites, disease….the list goes on. Possibly the most significant, however, is the North Atlantic Oscillation, and climate change, and there is little that we can do to alter that. So we concentrate on the areas that we can influence, and we have worked with the EA, and more recently, the Angling Trust, to this end.

It is easy to attack the efforts of organizations with comments such as “This effort by the NAC, Angling Trust and the EA seems like just another 'being seen to be doing something' PR exercise”. This could not be further from the truth, and progress has been made. Restrictions and bans on commercial fishing are coming, and in some cases are already in force. Some countries are further advanced than others. We have been involved with the EA and the Eel Management Plans, and are now also working with the Angling Trust, focusing on the restocking of elvers above river barriers and bypassing of barriers to allow passage to and from estuaries. Commercial fishing will be further restricted in future, and hopefully cease within a few years. The Eel Management Plans (EMPs) require the EA to purchase 60% of the commercial elver catches (starting at 40% this next year, I believe) and restock them in suitable habitat. Obviously, this will at least ensure that there is a larger stock of yellow and silver eels for future migratory attempts once the barrier issues are sorted (also part of the EMP).

As for Budgies comments regarding recreational eel fishing and its effect on eels, then I should state that we (NAC members) do not plan to stop fishing for eels. The NAC policy is one of catch and release. Our members are very careful in their treatment of eels, and we are confident that mortality rates are extremely low. Deep hooking is a major concern for us, and we promote the use of small, barbless hooks and rigs that are designed to minimise deep hooking. There is also scientific evidence (Tesch) that eels are able to tolerate and deal with hooks that cannot be removed and thrive on return to water. The eel is far better suited to survive capture than any other fish that I can think of, provided the captor is sensible. If you are experiencing regular deep hooking problems and eel deaths then I suggest that you take a look at the way that you are fishing and treating your catch.

It is also easy to suggest that anglers using eels as bait have little effect on eel stocks, and make the argument “However over a season I may use 3 or 4 packs of shop bought eels for bait adding up to about 10 eels in total. A small drop in the ocean when you think about the amount of eels harvested for human consumption” The problem is that it’s not just you doing it, and there is a big, profitable market in eel sections, confirmed when Neville Fickling suffered wallet spasm when we suggested that he stopped selling them for bait last year. Multiply the number of mature eels used by however many thousands of pike/zander anglers there are out there, and the number is not so insignificant. Buying these eels feeds the market. Stop buying them and the market disappears.

As for bullying, well, that must be one of the silliest comments I’ve seen on a forum. Chris was merely asking anglers to act as conservationists. There was no element of bullying there.

If you eat eels, or fish with eels as bait then it is apparent that you are not worried about conserving a species that is clearly endangered. That’s fine – there’s no law against it (yet), but please don’t then think that you can claim to be a conservationist, or use the argument that your actions have no impact on the situation. We all have to act to make a difference.

#25 Dales

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 01:53 PM

As for Budgies comments regarding recreational eel fishing and its effect on eels, then I should state that we (NAC members) do not plan to stop fishing for eels. The NAC policy is one of catch and release. Our members are very careful in their treatment of eels, and we are confident that mortality rates are extremely low. Deep hooking is a major concern for us, and we promote the use of small, barbless hooks and rigs that are designed to minimise deep hooking. There is also scientific evidence (Tesch) that eels are able to tolerate and deal with hooks that cannot be removed and thrive on return to water. The eel is far better suited to survive capture than any other fish that I can think of, provided the captor is sensible. If you are experiencing regular deep hooking problems and eel deaths then I suggest that you take a look at the way that you are fishing and treating your catch.

It is also easy to suggest that anglers using eels as bait have little effect on eel stocks, and make the argument “However over a season I may use 3 or 4 packs of shop bought eels for bait adding up to about 10 eels in total. A small drop in the ocean when you think about the amount of eels harvested for human consumption” The problem is that it’s not just you doing it, and there is a big, profitable market in eel sections, confirmed when Neville Fickling suffered wallet spasm when we suggested that he stopped selling them for bait last year. Multiply the number of mature eels used by however many thousands of pike/zander anglers there are out there, and the number is not so insignificant. Buying these eels feeds the market. Stop buying them and the market disappears.

As for bullying, well, that must be one of the silliest comments I’ve seen on a forum. Chris was merely asking anglers to act as conservationists. There was no element of bullying there.

If you eat eels, or fish with eels as bait then it is apparent that you are not worried about conserving a species that is clearly endangered. That’s fine – there’s no law against it (yet), but please don’t then think that you can claim to be a conservationist, or use the argument that your actions have no impact on the situation. We all have to act to make a difference.


Are you for real, so its ok for NAC members to fish for eels because you are the experts and know what you are doing but the rest of us better leave them eels alone! What an arrogant stand point to take. Out of all the species we could fish for, the eel is probably the one that suffers the most from being caught. Granted they are tuff fish and no doubt you could probably pull half its guts out and it would swim away after and look ok, but will no doubt die at some point. Eels must be a great fish to target, I bet in the history of fishing no one has had an eel die on the bank or go belly up in margins an hour latter.

NAC members are no doubt some of the best anglers at handling eels, but do you expect the rest of us to believe that you do not get deep hooked fish! I can see how it makes you feel better to claim that they are the best suited species to be able to deal with hooks being left in as they shed the hook or it rots away. Sorry but I don't buy that, a hook left in a fish is never a good thing. I do not doubt that most NAC members go to great lengths to fish using safe methods and take good care of their captures, but don't be naive NAC members must kill a good number of eels every year.

Just because you do not see any dead eels floating about, does not mean you are not killing them by fishing for them. Well you would not as any dead eels would be snapped up by Pike and Zander, that's why they are such good dead baits.

I wonder how many eels suffer predation from Zander and Pike in the period just after being released after been caught by NAC members?

Maybe you should stop fishing for eels and then you would hold the high ground on other predator fishing and like others I would indeed consider not using eels for bait.

Edited by Dales, 06 November 2009 - 02:35 PM.

Stephen

 

Species Caught 2014

Zander, Pike, Bream, Roach, Tench, Perch, Rudd, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Eel, Grayling, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout

Species Caught 2013

Pike, Zander, Bream, Roach, Eel, Tench, Rudd, Perch, Common Carp, Koi Carp, Brown Goldfish, Grayling, Brown Trout, Chub,  Roosterfish, Dorado, Black Grouper, Barracuda, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Jack Crevalle, Tarpon, Red Snapper

Species Caught 2012
Zander, Pike, Perch, Chub, Ruff, Gudgeon, Dace, Minnow, Wels Catfish, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Roach, Bream, Eel, Rudd, Tench, Arapaima, Mekong Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Marbled Tiger Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Thai Redtail Catfish, Batrachian Walking Catfish, Siamese Carp, Rohu, Julliens Golden Prize Carp, Giant Gourami, Java Barb, Red Tailed Tin Foil Barb, Nile Tilapia, Black Pacu, Red Bellied Pacu, Alligator Gar
Species Caught 2011
Zander, Tench, Bream, Chub, Barbel, Roach, Rudd, Grayling, Brown Trout, Salmon Parr, Minnow, Pike, Eel, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Koi Carp, Crucian Carp, F1 Carp, Blue Orfe, Ide, Goldfish, Brown Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, Golden Tench, Golden Rudd, Perch, Gudgeon, Ruff, Bleak, Dace, Sergeant Major, French Grunt, Yellow Tail Snapper, Tom Tate Grunt, Clown Wrasse, Slippery Dick Wrasse, Doctor Fish, Graysby, Dusky Squirrel Fish, Longspine Squirrel Fish, Stripped Croaker, Leather Jack, Emerald Parrot Fish, Red Tail Parrot Fish, White Grunt, Bone Fish
Species Caught 2010
Zander, Pike, Perch, Eel, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Mirror Carp, Common Carp, Crucian Carp, Siamese Carp, Asian Redtail Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Rohu, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Pacu, Long Tom, Moon Wrasse, Sergeant Major, Green Damsel, Tomtate Grunt, Sea Chub, Yellowtail Surgeon, Black Damsel, Blue Dot Grouper, Checkered Sea Perch, Java Rabbitfish, One Spot Snapper, Snubnose Rudderfish
Species Caught 2009
Barramundi, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Wallago Leeri Catfish, Wallago Attu Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Mrigul, Siamese Carp, Java Barb, Tarpon, Wahoo, Barracuda, Skipjack Tuna, Bonito, Yellow Eye Rockfish, Red Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Black Fin Snapper, Dog Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Marble Grouper, Black Fin Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Mutton Snapper, Redhind Grouper, Saddle Grouper, Schoolmaster, Coral Trout, Bar Jack, Pike, Zander, Perch, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Common Carp, Golden Tench, Wels Catfish
Species Caught 2008
Dorado, Wahoo, Barracuda, Bonito, Black Fin Tuna, Long Tom, Sergeant Major, Red Snapper, Black Damsel, Queen Trigga Fish, Red Grouper, Redhind Grouper, Rainbow Wrasse, Grey Trigger Fish, Ehrenbergs Snapper, Malabar Grouper, Lunar Fusiler, Two Tone Wrasse, Starry Dragonet, Convict Surgeonfish, Moonbeam Dwarf Angelfish,Bridled Monocle Bream, Redlined Triggerfish, Cero Mackeral, Rainbow Runner
Species Caught 2007
Arapaima, Alligator Gar, Mekong Catfish, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Pacu, Siamese Carp, Barracuda, Black Fin Tuna, Queen Trigger Fish, Red Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Honeycomb Grouper, Red Grouper, Schoolmaster, Cubera Snapper, Black Grouper, Albacore, Ballyhoo, Coney, Yellowfin Goatfish, Lattice Spinecheek


#26 Dales

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:20 PM

Hi Mark7 & Chrisd1

I notice that you have not posted many times before and think that maybe a more subtle approach to get your views on eels across and do the species some good may have been to do a posting on the correct way to handle and unhook eels and return them safely.

Most leisure and general coarse anglers who catch them do my accident and not design and I am sure many of them would welcome some good information on how to unhook and handle them. The first few times I caught eels as a kid were a nightmare for both me and the fish. If your wish is to try to encourage other anglers to help protect eel stocks educating the average coarse angler in handling techniques would be a good start.

Alienating other predator anglers by asking them to stop using eels as bait does your crusade no good at all. You will find that after "eel enthusiasts" Pike and Zander anglers take the most care with an eels they catch and give them the same care as their target species and I am sure that NAC members treat the Pike, Zander and Perch they catch with the same respect.

It is no wonder that the whole angling world does not get on and sits in its own little bunkers, when even Eel and Pike anglers can not agree and we are all lumped together as Predator Anglers.

Stephen

 

Species Caught 2014

Zander, Pike, Bream, Roach, Tench, Perch, Rudd, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Eel, Grayling, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout

Species Caught 2013

Pike, Zander, Bream, Roach, Eel, Tench, Rudd, Perch, Common Carp, Koi Carp, Brown Goldfish, Grayling, Brown Trout, Chub,  Roosterfish, Dorado, Black Grouper, Barracuda, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Jack Crevalle, Tarpon, Red Snapper

Species Caught 2012
Zander, Pike, Perch, Chub, Ruff, Gudgeon, Dace, Minnow, Wels Catfish, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Roach, Bream, Eel, Rudd, Tench, Arapaima, Mekong Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Marbled Tiger Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Thai Redtail Catfish, Batrachian Walking Catfish, Siamese Carp, Rohu, Julliens Golden Prize Carp, Giant Gourami, Java Barb, Red Tailed Tin Foil Barb, Nile Tilapia, Black Pacu, Red Bellied Pacu, Alligator Gar
Species Caught 2011
Zander, Tench, Bream, Chub, Barbel, Roach, Rudd, Grayling, Brown Trout, Salmon Parr, Minnow, Pike, Eel, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Koi Carp, Crucian Carp, F1 Carp, Blue Orfe, Ide, Goldfish, Brown Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, Golden Tench, Golden Rudd, Perch, Gudgeon, Ruff, Bleak, Dace, Sergeant Major, French Grunt, Yellow Tail Snapper, Tom Tate Grunt, Clown Wrasse, Slippery Dick Wrasse, Doctor Fish, Graysby, Dusky Squirrel Fish, Longspine Squirrel Fish, Stripped Croaker, Leather Jack, Emerald Parrot Fish, Red Tail Parrot Fish, White Grunt, Bone Fish
Species Caught 2010
Zander, Pike, Perch, Eel, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Mirror Carp, Common Carp, Crucian Carp, Siamese Carp, Asian Redtail Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Rohu, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Pacu, Long Tom, Moon Wrasse, Sergeant Major, Green Damsel, Tomtate Grunt, Sea Chub, Yellowtail Surgeon, Black Damsel, Blue Dot Grouper, Checkered Sea Perch, Java Rabbitfish, One Spot Snapper, Snubnose Rudderfish
Species Caught 2009
Barramundi, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Wallago Leeri Catfish, Wallago Attu Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Mrigul, Siamese Carp, Java Barb, Tarpon, Wahoo, Barracuda, Skipjack Tuna, Bonito, Yellow Eye Rockfish, Red Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Black Fin Snapper, Dog Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Marble Grouper, Black Fin Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Mutton Snapper, Redhind Grouper, Saddle Grouper, Schoolmaster, Coral Trout, Bar Jack, Pike, Zander, Perch, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Common Carp, Golden Tench, Wels Catfish
Species Caught 2008
Dorado, Wahoo, Barracuda, Bonito, Black Fin Tuna, Long Tom, Sergeant Major, Red Snapper, Black Damsel, Queen Trigga Fish, Red Grouper, Redhind Grouper, Rainbow Wrasse, Grey Trigger Fish, Ehrenbergs Snapper, Malabar Grouper, Lunar Fusiler, Two Tone Wrasse, Starry Dragonet, Convict Surgeonfish, Moonbeam Dwarf Angelfish,Bridled Monocle Bream, Redlined Triggerfish, Cero Mackeral, Rainbow Runner
Species Caught 2007
Arapaima, Alligator Gar, Mekong Catfish, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Pacu, Siamese Carp, Barracuda, Black Fin Tuna, Queen Trigger Fish, Red Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Honeycomb Grouper, Red Grouper, Schoolmaster, Cubera Snapper, Black Grouper, Albacore, Ballyhoo, Coney, Yellowfin Goatfish, Lattice Spinecheek


#27 barry luxton

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:37 PM

Alienating other predator anglers by asking them to stop using eels as bait does your crusade no good at all. You will find that after "eel enthusiasts" Pike and Zander anglers take the most care with an eels they catch and give them the same care as their target species and I am sure that NAC members treat the Pike, Zander and Perch they catch with the same respect.

It is no wonder that the whole angling world does not get on and sits in its own little bunkers, when even Eel and Pike anglers can not agree and we are all lumped together as Predator Anglers.


Barking up the wrong tree springs to mind. As Chesters has said, a quick look at the elver fishery would do more good surly than to ask anglers to decist in using them for bait. How much bait can a kilo of elvers make? What with live bait bans.

Why try to restrict anglers in the grand scheme of things when it has taken the eu and all the hangers on over a decade to get something in writing set up to try and give protection to the specis. Thats where efforts and pressure need to be addressed as they are the key to success or not of the specis. Just like the cfp, it has taken many years to come to a conclusion that it is not fit for purpose, the amendments will take till 2012 to come on stream due to the paper shuffling, in the mean time.............

Edited by barry luxton, 06 November 2009 - 02:37 PM.

 Free to choose apart from the ones where the trust poked their nose in. Common eel. tope. Bass and sea bream. All restricted.

 
New for 2016 TAT are the main instigators for the demise of the u k bass charter boat industry, where they went screaming off to parliament and for the first time assisting so called angling gurus set up bass take bans with the e u using rubbish exaggerated info collected by ices from anglers, they must be very proud.

Upgrade, the door has been closed with regards to anglers being linked to the e u superstate and the failed c f p. So TAT will no longer need to pay monies to the EAA anymore as that org is no longer relevant to the u k . Goodbye to the europeon anglers alliance and pathetic restrictions from the e u.

Angling is better than politics, ban politics from angling.
 
Consumer of bass. where is the evidence that the u k bass stock need angling trust protection. Why won't you work with your peers instead of castigating them. They have the answer.

Recipie's for mullet stew more than welcomed.
 
Angling sanitation trust and kent and sussex sea anglers org delete's and blocks rsa's alternative opinion on their face book site. Although they claim to rep all.
 
new for 2014. where is the evidence that the south coast bream stock need the angling trust? Your campaign has no evidence. Why won't you work with your peers, the inshore under tens? As opposed to alienating them? Angling trust failed big time re bait digging, even fish legal attempted to intervene and failed, all for what, nothing.
 
Looks like the sea angling reps have been coerced by the ifca's to compose sea angling strategy's that the ifca's at some stage will look at drafting into legislation to manage the rsa, because  they like wasting tax payers money. That's without asking the rsa btw. You know who you are.. 


#28 gozzer

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:44 PM

First of all I'm not an eel angler or a predator angler, but one thing sticks out from what I've read on this thread.
Mark said,

Our members are very careful in their treatment of eels, and we are confident that mortality rates are extremely low.

.
How low is "extremely low"? Is it 1%, 5%, or what? If the mortality rate is around these percentages for all the NAC members, how does it compare with the number that are used by predator anglers?
As I see it a group such as the NAC, can only put blame or partial blame on the actions of others, if their own actions result in zero moralities.

It's seems a case of glass houses and stone throwing, to me.

John.
Angling is more than just catching fish, if it wasn't it would just be called 'catching'......... John

#29 Steve Coppolo

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:50 PM

It is easy to attack the efforts of organizations with comments such as “This effort by the NAC, Angling Trust and the EA seems like just another 'being seen to be doing something' PR exercise”. This could not be further from the truth, and progress has been made. Restrictions and bans on commercial fishing are coming, and in some cases are already in force. Some countries are further advanced than others. We have been involved with the EA and the Eel Management Plans, and are now also working with the Angling Trust, focusing on the restocking of elvers above river barriers and bypassing of barriers to allow passage to and from estuaries. Commercial fishing will be further restricted in future, and hopefully cease within a few years. The Eel Management Plans (EMPs) require the EA to purchase 60% of the commercial elver catches (starting at 40% this next year, I believe) and restock them in suitable habitat. Obviously, this will at least ensure that there is a larger stock of yellow and silver eels for future migratory attempts once the barrier issues are sorted (also part of the EMP).


Would you elaborate on the bits I've higlighted in bold text, please? What restrictions are actually in place right now, and how many elvers have the EA bought so far? Or is this al still at proposal stage? Also, do you think that the EMP, (must admit this is the first I've heard of it), will fare any better than the BMP or the MMP? If so, why?

As for the rest of your post, get a life.

And if you really want to see the silliest post on the forums, re read what you wrote.
DRUNK DRIVERS WRECK LIVES.

Don't drink and drive.

#30 Mark7

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:16 PM

Are you for real, so its ok for NAC members to fish for eels because you are the experts and know what you are doing but the rest of us better leave them eels alone! What an arrogant stand point to take. Out of all the species we could fish for, the eel is probably the one that suffers the most from being caught. Granted they are tuff fish and no doubt you could probably pull half its guts out and it would swim away after and look ok, but will no doubt die at some point. Eels must be a great fish to target, I bet in the history of fishing no one has had an eel die on the bank or go belly up in margins an hour latter.

NAC members are no doubt some of the best anglers at handling eels, but do you expect the rest of us to believe that you do not get deep hooked fish! I can see how it makes you feel better to claim that they are the best suited species to be able to deal with hooks being left in as they shed the hook or it rots away. Sorry but I don't buy that, a hook left in a fish is never a good thing. I do not doubt that most NAC members go to great lengths to fish using safe methods and take good care of their captures, but don't be naive NAC members must kill a good number of eels every year.

Just because you do not see any dead eels floating about, does not mean you are not killing them by fishing for them. Well you would not as any dead eels would be snapped up by Pike and Zander, that why they are such good dead baits.

I wonder how many eels suffer predation from Zander and Pike in the period just after being released after been caught by NAC members?

Maybe you should stop fishing for eels and then you would hold the high ground on predator fishing and like others I would indeed consider not using eels for bait.


Good afternoon Dales

No, I'm not suggesting that only NAC members should fish for eels, and I have not said that the rest of you should leave eels alone. I suggest that you look at my post again, and read what it says, rather than interpreting it in a way that suits your argument. I am making a point that deep hooking can be avoided by using appropriate rigs and striking immediatly, and I did not say that deep hooking does not occur. I do occasionally deep hook eels, and usually find the hook and short length of wire(barbless) in the sack in the morning. There are many instances in the past of NAC and BEAC members keeping deeply hooked eels in tanks for long periods and they have survived and thrived, and Tesch's book tells of eels disected and found to have the remains of fish hooks or wounds obviously caused by fish hooks, but appearing completely healthy in all respects. Of course some eels die after capture, but then a lot more pike, (for example) die after repeated capture, yet we still fish for them. It is obvious that leaving a hook in a fish is not good, and my point was that if it is happening regularly then there is something wrong somewhere. Too many eel anglers chuck out a leger rig, wait for a run and then wonder why the fish is deep hooked. For me, the use of off bottom rigs, semi rigid short hook links, large hair rigged baits, small hooks and braid with efficient indication, and striking immediately, has reduced deep hooking incidents to a minimum. All we are asking is that eels are not used as bait, and bearing in mind that there are many excellent alternatives, I don't think that this request is unreasonable.

Regards

Mark