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Eel Societies

Guest Ian Cresswell

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Guest 'eelfisher'

Dear Ian

I (and possibly Spac-e-man) will try to answer these questions sometime over the weekend, OK.

The questions may seem 'daft'....but ask away anyway....the answers may well prove to be just as 'daft'.!!!

Yours With Respect.....


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Guest Spac-e-man aka eelangler



I'll have a go at answering some more of your questions.


1) Hot conditions?


Eels are primarily, although not exclusively a summer "species". As such the first requirement would be water temps in excess of 11 degrees C. but I am happier once water temps are at least 2 or 3 degrees above this. As regards weather conditions I would say that the conditions, are those that are suitable for most other species i.e. warm and preferably a breeze. It is said that when there is a thunderstorm that these are the ideal conditions, but I have yet to catch an eel either before, during or after a storm. The one thing I will say is that I have found that rain does not do eel anglers any favours. At least not while the baits are in the water. One factor that I believe has a big effect on the feeding habits of the eel, is the moon and the phase it is in, and amount of avilable light it provides.


2) Heavy gear?


At first glance it may appear that the lines hooks, rods etc that we use are a tad on the heavy side. But once an eel is hooked they are not "played" as is the norm with most other fish. As one angler put it, it is brute force meets brute strength. Pound for pound eels fight much harder than most other fish. For a start they are in effect a head and one big paddle. Due to their shape letting eels get near or into snags cannot be risked. They can literally tie themselves in a knot around any branch or other snag that maybe in the water and will definately be lost. The other thing that eels are capable of, is swimming backwards, which no other fish apart from maybe catfish is capable of doing. The "fight" from an eel is quite unique. So heavy gear is used to help ensure that once hooked, an eel does not take too long to land.


3) Wire traces.


I advocate the use of wire traces for all eel fishing. Eels do have teeth and these can vary on the eels from water to water. Where the eels in a water have become predatory and feed almost exclusively on live fish they can develop an impressive set of dentistry. Indeed eels have the capability of biting a fish in half. It is not uncommon to retrieve a livebait only to find that either the head or tail end is missing an you have had no indication? Just ask the zander anglers on the fens. I have been unfortunate enough to lose an eel because of a "bite off" even depite using wire. I believe that this happens due to a combination of two things. Eels tend to clamp onto a bait and even when hooked the fight takes place with the eels mouth firmly closed and clamped onto the bait/trace. This in itself is not too much of a problem but when combined with the fact that the way eels swim it produces a sawing motion across the trace, and unfortunately this sometimes results in the wire trace giving way.

I have used Quicksilver(45lb b.s) in the past for some of my worm traces and have landed eels up to 4lb 08ozs on them. On inspecting the trace after an eel has been landed, there has been considerable damage done to it. If eels in the 3-4lb bracket can inflict that amount of damage to it, I doubt if it would withstand the punishment a really large eel may be capable of. Better safe than sorry in my book. There is of course the possiblity of hooking into a pike, but in my experience this is an infrequent occurence.


4) Hooks.


You are right in assuming that we use single hooks. I personally use the E.S.P. Raptors between size 1 and and size 8. This is dependant on the type and size of bait I am using. The size 1's and 2's are used for big bunches of lobworms(8-10) and the other sizes are used for live and half deadbaits.


5)Two rods over 24hours.


First of all it is rare that I fish a 24 hour session preferring to go home for the day and return that night, if the wife will let me. Most of my sessions are from 8pm until around 9/10pm the following morning. I would always fish one rod on a bunch of worms, and this bait would always be fished "off bottom" by approx 18 inches i.e. suspended or popped up. My other rod would be fished ledgered with a roach head as bait. If runs are not forthcoming over 3 or 4 session then I would then change the ledgered deadbait rod over to an "off bottom" livebait. I would always fish one rod on worms, no matter what, until it can be esablished that the eels in the lake are definately fish eaters. Then it would be a case of fishing a ledgered deadbait and an "off bottom" livebait, unless the eels are feeding exclusively "off bottom" in which case it would be a live bait and a deadbait "off bottom", unless it is established that the eels are exclusively livebait feeding, in which case it would be two "off bottom" livebaits.(that bit was a little long. I hope it makes sense!!)


6) Lure fishing/Fly fishing.


Eels have been caught on both lures and fly. I would look on these captures an flukes and really don't see them as effective methods for eel anglers to use.


I hope I have managed to answer your questions.


I await some more.




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Guest Spac-e-man aka eelangler



You flatter me. Thought I might catch you on here tonight. Tried to phone but you were engaged. Were you talking to Spike?





PS I luv you too.

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Hello Stu, yes he was on the phone to me. I disagree with every think you say but then again I would. Keep up the good work.


PS Where is that Brummie

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Guest Spac-e-man aka eelangler



Good to see yer mate. You always were an argumentative B******.


Try the Engine House lake, Earlswood thread to find Brummie.





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Guest tony jolley

Hi, Ian.

Sorry for my late reply to your questions as I have mentioned I have been on a training course. I would like to say a few things on the questions you asked,

I would like to say that MY view on the points raised will be differant to spacemans but that dosent mean that I think stu`s wrong just that he has his views and I will have mine,

I use quicksilver for hook lenghts of around 10>15 inches long. after looseing 3 eels on wire over a couple of sessions these were not big eels only about 1.5lbs, I beleive the eels were spinning on the way in and the swivels got clogged with weed so the wire kinked and broke, I exsperimented with the wire and noticed that if weed stems became traped in a loop of the wire (as though the wire had looped around on itsself on settleing on the bottom on tighening the wire somtimes kinked were the weed was trapped.) this was enough to put dought in my mind on the bennifets of wire.

Conditions for eels.

I have found that the so called hot sticky nights and perfect conditions. tend to be very un productive.

But the nights of full moons, dampness, light winds with alittle drizzle are my favourate conditions. These are the type of night when I used to think to myself "should I go or stay home in the dry?"

I remmember talking to Clive Elison ex n,a,c who told me that he thought the nights with dirty weather were best, this discribes the conditions best I think.


I have posted about lures on NEWTS thread earlyier I would luv to try lures and aim to try them this year.

If as most eelanglers believe eels to be very predatory then I think eels could be caught on lures by design. I have mentioned this to N.A.C members and I can understand their thoughts that eels are hard enough to catch any way. But didn`t eelanglers never fish on a full moon at one time as they thought they did`nt feed, we all know that to be wrong dont we. I believe we could experiment on this.

A short run down of my eeling tackle.

I use braided line (fire line).

2.5lb testcurve shakespear rods (SKP CARP)

super specialist hooks 8,6,4s. and mustad livebait hooks. 8.6.4s.

50inch net.

home made drop off indicators.

A,J,S, alarms


Dyson Rigs, running lead rigs, john sidley rigs. feeder rigs.


dead coarse baits, live baits, worms, maggots

and frozen day old chicks.



I hpoe this is of use to you,




Tony B.T Jolley

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