Searching for Snakes – Eel fishing 2016

25-06-16 – After a challenging campaign for a monster tench that ended up with a number of frustrating blanks my lake eventually warmed up and the fish began to spawn. It was now time to change species and it wasn’t long before I was back at my local sand pits after the eels. I really do love fishing for eels and target them on quick overnight sessions midweek leaving the weekends free to spend with the kids and Mrs. I have had a few fish from the 100 acre pit up to nearly 6lb but know there are some true monsters lurking in its depths and although it is extremely hard fishing the rewards are there if you are willing to put in the time and effort. I will also be targeting the bream during the same sessions and so hopefully can kill two birds with one stone however the eels will be an easier challenge than the bream which run to 20lb but are extremely elusive. I think there are only two small shoals of large bream that with some younger back up shoals around the 10-14lb mark. Probably 50 or so fish in 100 acre!!!
The first session for the eels was with my fishing mate Danny and we settled in a swim that is rarely fished by the carp boys with the intention of fishing it regularly and introducing bait over a long period. The swim offers great visibility of the south end of the lake and depth ranges from 12-20ft with no real topographic features to speak of. For the eels I targeted the margins in 10ft of water right under the rod tip. I like to use really simple running rigs in conjunction with a Bob Roberts large eye loop that ensures the rig pulls through freely without giving any resistance on a take. I used to fish with rather long hook links and large hooks but have changed this approach over the years following experience. I find that the eels like to bite delicately at times and a long hook link allows slack for the fish the pull before it registers on the alarms. This allows the fish to swallow the hook which can be dangerous, especially with an eel because its internal organs are high up by the fishes gills.

I settled down for the night and at around 12am I had some interest on the margin rod and a few moments later it ripped off. The fight was great and even on 2lb test curve rods it put up an amazing battle. We weighed the fish at 3lb 8oz and although it wasn’t the fish I was hoping for it was a great start to the campaign. The next night I was lucky to catch a two 5lb+ eels including a 5lb 11oz fish (pictured left) but the elusive six still manages to avoid me. During the session a storm passed over that literally flooded the swim and hail the size of marbles struck the water with brute force. I have honestly never seen a storm like it and got some amazing footage of the event that I will post later.

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