Eel

If you want to discuss Catfish, Perch, Zander, Ferox Trout or Eels, this is the place for you
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Re: Eel

Post by zodiac » Fri Oct 27 2017 10:36

Kev Berry wrote:
zodiac wrote:
I remember watching footage on 'wildlife on one'- it was narrated by the great man himself, Mr Attenborough, so it must be genuine!!- of eels crossing across fields from a landlocked pond to a nearby river, on a wet night. It was a good few years ago, 20 maybe, but it stuck in my head.
was that the one where a tawny owl was eyeing one up ?
Possibly Kev, i'd be lying if I said I remember that specifically, but that rings a bell now you mention it.
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Re: Eel

Post by Kev Berry » Fri Oct 27 2017 11:15

zodiac wrote:
Kev Berry wrote:
zodiac wrote:
I remember watching footage on 'wildlife on one'- it was narrated by the great man himself, Mr Attenborough, so it must be genuine!!- of eels crossing across fields from a landlocked pond to a nearby river, on a wet night. It was a good few years ago, 20 maybe, but it stuck in my head.
was that the one where a tawny owl was eyeing one up ?
Possibly Kev, i'd be lying if I said I remember that specifically, but that rings a bell now you mention it.
I was hoping to see some footage of it grabbing one---would have been ---er-- interesting :laughs:

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Re: Eel

Post by Bob Watson » Fri Oct 27 2017 12:18

Lots of "Wildlife on one" on you tube. I had a quick look through but couldn't find any titles with "Eel" in.

I've had a recent interest in the species stir me and would have been interested to see this.

There's a few waters local to me that have possibilities, even more so now! I've always known about the possibility, or rumour of the ability, for them to cross land from water to water. How far and if they do habitually, or for reasons unbeknown was always a grey area to me.

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Re: Eel

Post by Wat Tyler » Fri Oct 27 2017 18:13

mark salt wrote:
There are loads of anecdotes regarding eels crossing land, but no scientific evidence. I can see that they will follow a flow of water, for example, in flood conditions when the surrounding land has an inch or so of water, or in marsh environments, but I am sceptical that they will cross dry land. Tesch carried out an experiment in which they removed eels from a stillwater and located them some 5 metres from the waters edge. The intention was to determine whether eels could find their way back to the water. In all cases the eels went off all over the place, and did not navigate back to the water, so it is unlikely that they would be able to locate watercourses across dry land. Cue someone to say they have seen this...........
I must admit it surprises me to read this. As kids we would drop them in the grass pointing away from the river to see them navigate across land, and infallibly they would immediately turn towards the water and start trying to get there.
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Re: Eel

Post by mark salt » Fri Oct 27 2017 19:00

Wat Tyler wrote:
mark salt wrote:
There are loads of anecdotes regarding eels crossing land, but no scientific evidence. I can see that they will follow a flow of water, for example, in flood conditions when the surrounding land has an inch or so of water, or in marsh environments, but I am sceptical that they will cross dry land. Tesch carried out an experiment in which they removed eels from a stillwater and located them some 5 metres from the waters edge. The intention was to determine whether eels could find their way back to the water. In all cases the eels went off all over the place, and did not navigate back to the water, so it is unlikely that they would be able to locate watercourses across dry land. Cue someone to say they have seen this...........
I must admit it surprises me to read this. As kids we would drop them in the grass pointing away from the river to see them navigate across land, and infallibly they would immediately turn towards the water and start trying to get there.

Usually happens because banks run downhill to the water and the eel follows the law of gravity. I doubt that they know where the water is.

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Re: Eel

Post by Bob Watson » Fri Oct 27 2017 19:14

mark salt wrote:
Wat Tyler wrote:
mark salt wrote:
There are loads of anecdotes regarding eels crossing land, but no scientific evidence. I can see that they will follow a flow of water, for example, in flood conditions when the surrounding land has an inch or so of water, or in marsh environments, but I am sceptical that they will cross dry land. Tesch carried out an experiment in which they removed eels from a stillwater and located them some 5 metres from the waters edge. The intention was to determine whether eels could find their way back to the water. In all cases the eels went off all over the place, and did not navigate back to the water, so it is unlikely that they would be able to locate watercourses across dry land. Cue someone to say they have seen this...........
I must admit it surprises me to read this. As kids we would drop them in the grass pointing away from the river to see them navigate across land, and infallibly they would immediately turn towards the water and start trying to get there.

Usually happens because banks run downhill to the water and the eel follows the law of gravity. I doubt that they know where the water is.
What do you look for in a potential water Mark? and how would you explain the presence of Eels in still waters good distances from waterways when they're a migratory species?

I'm not provoking a t*t for tat by the way, I'm genuinely interested in your opinions.

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Re: Eel

Post by mark salt » Sat Oct 28 2017 12:46

Ideally I look for waters with little or no eel history. A few accidental captures are OK, but I tend to avoid waters that have been eel fished in the past. Best waters are those that have "no eels in 'ere mate" when enquiries are made; I had four eels over 6lbs from such a water. Most waters have been flooded at some time, or have irrigation ditches near to them, and this is ideal for elver ingress. Often ditches and inlets to lakes have been piped or culverted, and are not obvious. It has also been suggested that elvers can move through gravel seams. Certainly they can shoot through gravel at the bottom of a fish tank with ease, so would have no problem in moving between gravel pits. There aren't many still waters that have never had a connection to any of the above, so it is more likely that eels are present than not.

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Re: Eel

Post by delboy » Sat Oct 28 2017 16:06

delboy wrote:
mark salt wrote:
Danny's right about growth rates; they vary dramatically depending on the environment. Generally speaking, however, the eel does have a slow metabolism and growth rate. Without wishing to start a row, I would ask that you consider using smaller hooks. It is easy to deep hook an eel, and even an eel that is hooked at the back of the mouth is in danger. The major organs and blood vessels are all situated just behind the head, and sticking a size two or 4 in there is a recipe for disaster. Prior to changing exclusively to small circle hooks for eels, for the last 7 seasons I used size 6 and 8 barbless hooks for all types, and sizes, of bait, attaching baits by a very short hair to leave the hook fully exposed, and using very short hook lengths for immediate bite indication. Reducing hook size did not seem to affect results (a couple of 8s, a couple of 7s and many 6s attest to that), and it certainly reduced the damage that can occur through deep hooking. Any eels that were hooked inside the mouth were left sacked until morning, the hook length having been unclipped. In almost all cases the hook link, and often bait, were in the bottom of the sack in the morning. The use of circle hooks has reduced deephooking dramatically, and I have found that it is not necessary to leave the take for any longer than when using a conventional hook. As soon as I reach the rod I engage the bail arm, gently tighten up, and allow the fish to hook itself against the rod. Don't wait for runs to "develop". They've either got it or they haven't!
Morning boy,can you tell me what make and size and where you get them from please,
Is it a secret.
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Re: Eel

Post by mark salt » Sat Oct 28 2017 16:34

delboy wrote:
delboy wrote:
mark salt wrote:
Danny's right about growth rates; they vary dramatically depending on the environment. Generally speaking, however, the eel does have a slow metabolism and growth rate. Without wishing to start a row, I would ask that you consider using smaller hooks. It is easy to deep hook an eel, and even an eel that is hooked at the back of the mouth is in danger. The major organs and blood vessels are all situated just behind the head, and sticking a size two or 4 in there is a recipe for disaster. Prior to changing exclusively to small circle hooks for eels, for the last 7 seasons I used size 6 and 8 barbless hooks for all types, and sizes, of bait, attaching baits by a very short hair to leave the hook fully exposed, and using very short hook lengths for immediate bite indication. Reducing hook size did not seem to affect results (a couple of 8s, a couple of 7s and many 6s attest to that), and it certainly reduced the damage that can occur through deep hooking. Any eels that were hooked inside the mouth were left sacked until morning, the hook length having been unclipped. In almost all cases the hook link, and often bait, were in the bottom of the sack in the morning. The use of circle hooks has reduced deephooking dramatically, and I have found that it is not necessary to leave the take for any longer than when using a conventional hook. As soon as I reach the rod I engage the bail arm, gently tighten up, and allow the fish to hook itself against the rod. Don't wait for runs to "develop". They've either got it or they haven't!
Morning boy,can you tell me what make and size and where you get them from please,
Is it a secret.
Sorry Delboy-missed that one! Size 4 Mustad Demon Fine circle hooks from e bay. About the size of a conventional 6.

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Re: Eel

Post by Bob Watson » Sat Oct 28 2017 16:35

mark salt wrote:
Ideally I look for waters with little or no eel history. A few accidental captures are OK, but I tend to avoid waters that have been eel fished in the past. Best waters are those that have "no eels in 'ere mate" when enquiries are made; I had four eels over 6lbs from such a water. Most waters have been flooded at some time, or have irrigation ditches near to them, and this is ideal for elver ingress. Often ditches and inlets to lakes have been piped or culverted, and are not obvious. It has also been suggested that elvers can move through gravel seams. Certainly they can shoot through gravel at the bottom of a fish tank with ease, so would have no problem in moving between gravel pits. There aren't many still waters that have never had a connection to any of the above, so it is more likely that eels are present than not.
Thanks for that Mark :thumbs:

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Re: Eel

Post by Bob Watson » Sat Oct 28 2017 16:47

I've just had my local tackle dealer recommend these to me for perch fishing

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/322793001127?c ... 541&crdt=0

Off the sea shelf and less than half the price of coarse tackle alternatives. Available in sensible coarse fishing sizes too.

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Re: Eel

Post by delboy » Sat Oct 28 2017 20:51

mark salt wrote:
delboy wrote:
delboy wrote:
mark salt wrote:
Danny's right about growth rates; they vary dramatically depending on the environment. Generally speaking, however, the eel does have a slow metabolism and growth rate. Without wishing to start a row, I would ask that you consider using smaller hooks. It is easy to deep hook an eel, and even an eel that is hooked at the back of the mouth is in danger. The major organs and blood vessels are all situated just behind the head, and sticking a size two or 4 in there is a recipe for disaster. Prior to changing exclusively to small circle hooks for eels, for the last 7 seasons I used size 6 and 8 barbless hooks for all types, and sizes, of bait, attaching baits by a very short hair to leave the hook fully exposed, and using very short hook lengths for immediate bite indication. Reducing hook size did not seem to affect results (a couple of 8s, a couple of 7s and many 6s attest to that), and it certainly reduced the damage that can occur through deep hooking. Any eels that were hooked inside the mouth were left sacked until morning, the hook length having been unclipped. In almost all cases the hook link, and often bait, were in the bottom of the sack in the morning. The use of circle hooks has reduced deephooking dramatically, and I have found that it is not necessary to leave the take for any longer than when using a conventional hook. As soon as I reach the rod I engage the bail arm, gently tighten up, and allow the fish to hook itself against the rod. Don't wait for runs to "develop". They've either got it or they haven't!
Morning boy,can you tell me what make and size and where you get them from please,
Is it a secret.
Sorry Delboy-missed that one! Size 4 Mustad Demon Fine circle hooks from e bay. About the size of a conventional 6.
Thanks boy. :thumbs:
Nothing wrong with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 Its everyone else.

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Re: Eel

Post by mark salt » Sun Oct 29 2017 10:48

Bob Watson wrote:
I've just had my local tackle dealer recommend these to me for perch fishing

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/322793001127?c ... 541&crdt=0

Off the sea shelf and less than half the price of coarse tackle alternatives. Available in sensible coarse fishing sizes too.
They look interesting-will buy some and have a look. I see they have an offset point. I usually bend the offset out, as it can cause deep hooking if the point section of the hook is not aligned with the shank.

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Re: Eel

Post by Mike J » Sun Oct 29 2017 12:08

mark salt wrote:
Bob Watson wrote:
I've just had my local tackle dealer recommend these to me for perch fishing

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/322793001127?c ... 541&crdt=0

Off the sea shelf and less than half the price of coarse tackle alternatives. Available in sensible coarse fishing sizes too.
They look interesting-will buy some and have a look. I see they have an offset point. I usually bend the offset out, as it can cause deep hooking if the point section of the hook is not aligned with the shank.


Mark is right.
Never, ever use a circle hook that has an offset point as they are a sure way of getting a deep hooked fish.

Loads of circles available here; https://www.uk-hooks.com/category.php?selected=261

Perch, bream, roach, et al, circles work for all and every, just ensure the line comes out/off the front of the eye (hook point side).

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Re: Eel

Post by Bob Watson » Sun Oct 29 2017 12:53

I thought the point (no pun intended) of circle hooks was the offset point. I thought the mechanics of the offset point were to allow the hook to "slide" out of the throat and catch on an edge, ie, the lip :shrug:

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Re: Eel

Post by Nobby C » Sun Oct 29 2017 13:46

Do any circle hook users here tie a loop for hook attachment or just tie direct,? I ask​ because a cat angler uses the former for his fishing as it imparts more hook movement/pivot point .

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Re: Eel

Post by mark salt » Sun Oct 29 2017 13:54

Bob Watson wrote:
I thought the point (no pun intended) of circle hooks was the offset point. I thought the mechanics of the offset point were to allow the hook to "slide" out of the throat and catch on an edge, ie, the lip :shrug:

When hook manufacturers talk of offset they refer to the curve of the hook having a slight twist so that the point is out of line with the shank. This is separate to the attitude of the hook point of a circle hook. Having had a closer look at the link you posted earlier, Bob, I notice that these hooks are not true circles, as the point is far too straight.

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Re: Eel

Post by Bob Watson » Sun Oct 29 2017 14:01

mark salt wrote:
Bob Watson wrote:
I thought the point (no pun intended) of circle hooks was the offset point. I thought the mechanics of the offset point were to allow the hook to "slide" out of the throat and catch on an edge, ie, the lip :shrug:

When hook manufacturers talk of offset they refer to the curve of the hook having a slight twist so that the point is out of line with the shank. This is separate to the attitude of the hook point of a circle hook. Having had a closer look at the link you posted earlier, Bob, I notice that these hooks are not true circles, as the point is far too straight.
The manufacturer does another circle pattern, the link I posted was for "mutsu" circles, they also do just a circle pattern. Not sure what the difference is!

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Re: Eel

Post by mark salt » Sun Oct 29 2017 17:35

Nobby C wrote:
Do any circle hook users here tie a loop for hook attachment or just tie direct,? I ask​ because a cat angler uses the former for his fishing as it imparts more hook movement/pivot point .
I prefer the hooklink material to exit the eye to the front, as it seems to help turn the hook correctly on exit. Excellent Avatar, by the way. One of my favourite Zappa albums!

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Re: Eel

Post by Wat Tyler » Sat Nov 04 2017 13:26

mark salt wrote:
Wat Tyler wrote:
mark salt wrote:
There are loads of anecdotes regarding eels crossing land, but no scientific evidence. I can see that they will follow a flow of water, for example, in flood conditions when the surrounding land has an inch or so of water, or in marsh environments, but I am sceptical that they will cross dry land. Tesch carried out an experiment in which they removed eels from a stillwater and located them some 5 metres from the waters edge. The intention was to determine whether eels could find their way back to the water. In all cases the eels went off all over the place, and did not navigate back to the water, so it is unlikely that they would be able to locate watercourses across dry land. Cue someone to say they have seen this...........
I must admit it surprises me to read this. As kids we would drop them in the grass pointing away from the river to see them navigate across land, and infallibly they would immediately turn towards the water and start trying to get there.

Usually happens because banks run downhill to the water and the eel follows the law of gravity. I doubt that they know where the water is.
The banks I'm talking about were flat. Perhaps it was just coincidence and youthful imagination though.
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Re: Eel

Post by Wat Tyler » Sat Nov 04 2017 13:31

I also fish a land-locked stillwater for eels that has nil potential to flood. Unless somebody once purposefully stocked it with eels they have managed to arrive there somehow across land. I'm not sure I subscribe to the idea that they migrate with impunity across land but there is no doubt in my mind that they are able to travel across short distances if necessary.
"No one speaks English, and everything's broken..."

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Re: Eel

Post by mark salt » Sat Nov 04 2017 15:58

Wat Tyler wrote:
I also fish a land-locked stillwater for eels that has nil potential to flood. Unless somebody once purposefully stocked it with eels they have managed to arrive there somehow across land. I'm not sure I subscribe to the idea that they migrate with impunity across land but there is no doubt in my mind that they are able to travel across short distances if necessary.
Is your still water supplied by surface water only then?
As for stocking, there were certainly some illicit stocking of elvers and small eels into waters in the past. I agree with your suggestion on land travel. I like to think that in very wet conditions this might happen, but for very short distances. Elvers swim upstream against downstream current instinctively, so I can't see why they might break out across land.

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Re: Eel

Post by delboy » Sat Nov 04 2017 16:05

mark salt wrote:
delboy wrote:
delboy wrote:
mark salt wrote:
Danny's right about growth rates; they vary dramatically depending on the environment. Generally speaking, however, the eel does have a slow metabolism and growth rate. Without wishing to start a row, I would ask that you consider using smaller hooks. It is easy to deep hook an eel, and even an eel that is hooked at the back of the mouth is in danger. The major organs and blood vessels are all situated just behind the head, and sticking a size two or 4 in there is a recipe for disaster. Prior to changing exclusively to small circle hooks for eels, for the last 7 seasons I used size 6 and 8 barbless hooks for all types, and sizes, of bait, attaching baits by a very short hair to leave the hook fully exposed, and using very short hook lengths for immediate bite indication. Reducing hook size did not seem to affect results (a couple of 8s, a couple of 7s and many 6s attest to that), and it certainly reduced the damage that can occur through deep hooking. Any eels that were hooked inside the mouth were left sacked until morning, the hook length having been unclipped. In almost all cases the hook link, and often bait, were in the bottom of the sack in the morning. The use of circle hooks has reduced deephooking dramatically, and I have found that it is not necessary to leave the take for any longer than when using a conventional hook. As soon as I reach the rod I engage the bail arm, gently tighten up, and allow the fish to hook itself against the rod. Don't wait for runs to "develop". They've either got it or they haven't!
Morning boy,can you tell me what make and size and where you get them from please,
Is it a secret.
Sorry Delboy-missed that one! Size 4 Mustad Demon Fine circle hooks from e bay. About the size of a conventional 6.
Hello boy,got some of them in size 4,they look about right for eels etc but I think i will have to get some bigger ones for piking. :thumbs:
Nothing wrong with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 Its everyone else.

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Re: Eel

Post by mark salt » Sat Nov 04 2017 16:27

delboy wrote:
mark salt wrote:
delboy wrote:
delboy wrote:
mark salt wrote:
Danny's right about growth rates; they vary dramatically depending on the environment. Generally speaking, however, the eel does have a slow metabolism and growth rate. Without wishing to start a row, I would ask that you consider using smaller hooks. It is easy to deep hook an eel, and even an eel that is hooked at the back of the mouth is in danger. The major organs and blood vessels are all situated just behind the head, and sticking a size two or 4 in there is a recipe for disaster. Prior to changing exclusively to small circle hooks for eels, for the last 7 seasons I used size 6 and 8 barbless hooks for all types, and sizes, of bait, attaching baits by a very short hair to leave the hook fully exposed, and using very short hook lengths for immediate bite indication. Reducing hook size did not seem to affect results (a couple of 8s, a couple of 7s and many 6s attest to that), and it certainly reduced the damage that can occur through deep hooking. Any eels that were hooked inside the mouth were left sacked until morning, the hook length having been unclipped. In almost all cases the hook link, and often bait, were in the bottom of the sack in the morning. The use of circle hooks has reduced deephooking dramatically, and I have found that it is not necessary to leave the take for any longer than when using a conventional hook. As soon as I reach the rod I engage the bail arm, gently tighten up, and allow the fish to hook itself against the rod. Don't wait for runs to "develop". They've either got it or they haven't!
Morning boy,can you tell me what make and size and where you get them from please,
Is it a secret.
Sorry Delboy-missed that one! Size 4 Mustad Demon Fine circle hooks from e bay. About the size of a conventional 6.
Hello boy,got some of them in size 4,they look about right for eels etc but I think i will have to get some bigger ones for piking. :thumbs:
I have been using VMC 2/0 circles for Pike with success.

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Re: Eel

Post by delboy » Sat Nov 04 2017 16:41

mark salt wrote:
delboy wrote:
mark salt wrote:
delboy wrote:
delboy wrote:
mark salt wrote:
Danny's right about growth rates; they vary dramatically depending on the environment. Generally speaking, however, the eel does have a slow metabolism and growth rate. Without wishing to start a row, I would ask that you consider using smaller hooks. It is easy to deep hook an eel, and even an eel that is hooked at the back of the mouth is in danger. The major organs and blood vessels are all situated just behind the head, and sticking a size two or 4 in there is a recipe for disaster. Prior to changing exclusively to small circle hooks for eels, for the last 7 seasons I used size 6 and 8 barbless hooks for all types, and sizes, of bait, attaching baits by a very short hair to leave the hook fully exposed, and using very short hook lengths for immediate bite indication. Reducing hook size did not seem to affect results (a couple of 8s, a couple of 7s and many 6s attest to that), and it certainly reduced the damage that can occur through deep hooking. Any eels that were hooked inside the mouth were left sacked until morning, the hook length having been unclipped. In almost all cases the hook link, and often bait, were in the bottom of the sack in the morning. The use of circle hooks has reduced deephooking dramatically, and I have found that it is not necessary to leave the take for any longer than when using a conventional hook. As soon as I reach the rod I engage the bail arm, gently tighten up, and allow the fish to hook itself against the rod. Don't wait for runs to "develop". They've either got it or they haven't!
Morning boy,can you tell me what make and size and where you get them from please,
Is it a secret.
Sorry Delboy-missed that one! Size 4 Mustad Demon Fine circle hooks from e bay. About the size of a conventional 6.
Hello boy,got some of them in size 4,they look about right for eels etc but I think i will have to get some bigger ones for piking. :thumbs:
I have been using VMC 2/0 circles for Pike with success.
Thanks boy
Nothing wrong with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 Its everyone else.

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Re: Eel

Post by Wat Tyler » Sat Nov 04 2017 18:07

mark salt wrote:
Wat Tyler wrote:
I also fish a land-locked stillwater for eels that has nil potential to flood. Unless somebody once purposefully stocked it with eels they have managed to arrive there somehow across land. I'm not sure I subscribe to the idea that they migrate with impunity across land but there is no doubt in my mind that they are able to travel across short distances if necessary.
Is your still water supplied by surface water only then?
As for stocking, there were certainly some illicit stocking of elvers and small eels into waters in the past. I agree with your suggestion on land travel. I like to think that in very wet conditions this might happen, but for very short distances. Elvers swim upstream against downstream current instinctively, so I can't see why they might break out across land.
There is a dyke which carries surface water perhaps twenty yards away but unless there is an underground aquifer or something other unknown to me, the eels would have to be human stocked (And I would say that is unlikely) or have traveled in some way across the dyke. Even the latter, to be absolutely truthful, would seem unlikely as the dyke is probably eight feet deep with near vertical sides and never has more than perhaps a foot of water in it.

It is the only eel water I have fished where -for me personally at least- I have reasonably convincing evidence of eels traversing dry obstacles.

It is an enigma but my take on it is that I have only seen the one badger by accident myself in many, many years of outdoor nocturnal pursuit: The oft quoted reference of doubt around eel migration across land is that nobody has ever seen or filmed the event. Given that not many if any have ever set out to film or even see the event, could the lack of any real, even anecdotal evidence of eels moving across land, not just be the 'badger factor'?
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Re: Eel

Post by mark salt » Sat Nov 04 2017 19:37

Wat Tyler wrote:
mark salt wrote:
Wat Tyler wrote:
I also fish a land-locked stillwater for eels that has nil potential to flood. Unless somebody once purposefully stocked it with eels they have managed to arrive there somehow across land. I'm not sure I subscribe to the idea that they migrate with impunity across land but there is no doubt in my mind that they are able to travel across short distances if necessary.
Is your still water supplied by surface water only then?
As for stocking, there were certainly some illicit stocking of elvers and small eels into waters in the past. I agree with your suggestion on land travel. I like to think that in very wet conditions this might happen, but for very short distances. Elvers swim upstream against downstream current instinctively, so I can't see why they might break out across land.
There is a dyke which carries surface water perhaps twenty yards away but unless there is an underground aquifer or something other unknown to me, the eels would have to be human stocked (And I would say that is unlikely) or have traveled in some way across the dyke. Even the latter, to be absolutely truthful, would seem unlikely as the dyke is probably eight feet deep with near vertical sides and never has more than perhaps a foot of water in it.

It is the only eel water I have fished where -for me personally at least- I have reasonably convincing evidence of eels traversing dry obstacles.

It is an enigma but my take on it is that I have only seen the one badger by accident myself in many, many years of outdoor nocturnal pursuit: The oft quoted reference of doubt around eel migration across land is that nobody has ever seen or filmed the event. Given that not many if any have ever set out to film or even see the event, could the lack of any real, even anecdotal evidence of eels moving across land, not just be the 'badger factor'?
Possibly a balancing pipe somewhere.

Wat Tyler
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Re: Eel

Post by Wat Tyler » Sat Nov 04 2017 20:03

mark salt wrote:
Wat Tyler wrote:
mark salt wrote:
Wat Tyler wrote:
I also fish a land-locked stillwater for eels that has nil potential to flood. Unless somebody once purposefully stocked it with eels they have managed to arrive there somehow across land. I'm not sure I subscribe to the idea that they migrate with impunity across land but there is no doubt in my mind that they are able to travel across short distances if necessary.
Is your still water supplied by surface water only then?
As for stocking, there were certainly some illicit stocking of elvers and small eels into waters in the past. I agree with your suggestion on land travel. I like to think that in very wet conditions this might happen, but for very short distances. Elvers swim upstream against downstream current instinctively, so I can't see why they might break out across land.
There is a dyke which carries surface water perhaps twenty yards away but unless there is an underground aquifer or something other unknown to me, the eels would have to be human stocked (And I would say that is unlikely) or have traveled in some way across the dyke. Even the latter, to be absolutely truthful, would seem unlikely as the dyke is probably eight feet deep with near vertical sides and never has more than perhaps a foot of water in it.

It is the only eel water I have fished where -for me personally at least- I have reasonably convincing evidence of eels traversing dry obstacles.

It is an enigma but my take on it is that I have only seen the one badger by accident myself in many, many years of outdoor nocturnal pursuit: The oft quoted reference of doubt around eel migration across land is that nobody has ever seen or filmed the event. Given that not many if any have ever set out to film or even see the event, could the lack of any real, even anecdotal evidence of eels moving across land, not just be the 'badger factor'?
Possibly a balancing pipe somewhere.
Not impossible I guess. There are reasons why I still think it improbable, but in the interests of maintaining anonymity for the water I'll have to leave it at that.
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Mike J
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Re: Eel

Post by Mike J » Sat Nov 11 2017 11:17

Ive been out and about at night all my life, even now into my retirement I still fish for sea trout at night, but I have never ever seen an eel moving across land at night.
Ive also fished many landlocked waters that have contained eels, some were half a mile or more from running water.

The underground aquifer is probably the best hypothesis I have heard.

For really big eels, my experience is to fish where they are not supposed to be or a big place full of snags.
Eel trappers, legal and otherwise, will set a net wherever they think they can get a good catch and get away without being noticed.
Ive pulled up nets from private lakes that were set by EA licensed trappers, but never recovered any type of eel trap from a river, which is probably the best indication of where to fish for good sized eels.

I and several others fish a place where we cannot catch an eel under 4lb but have had nothing over 5, lots of eels but not a big one - yet.

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Duncan Holmes
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Re: Eel

Post by Duncan Holmes » Sat Nov 11 2017 12:07

I have heard anecdotally that some feel fishermen seed waters with small eels
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