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Fishing Live Eels for Bass


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#1 SoleGlo

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Posted September 10 2007 - 9:22 PM

Im new to this forum and also new to fishing live eels for bass but I have seen what they produce. Can someone let me know the ins and outs of it because I would like to take a stab at it... For example the line, rod/reel, hooks, leader, and hooking the eel.. basically everything haha.. I appreciate it in advance... Thanks.. Feel free to post some pics of what you've caught on eels



#2 Hairyjig

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Posted September 10 2007 - 9:34 PM

I would also like some info on how to fish eels... I have tried them on the same rig as I use for chunking(fishfinder) but haven't had even a run off last couple of years. At first they would get all wrapped up in the leader then someone told me to slam there head on something hard to slow them down a little. It worked but still no fish. Seems to me like dead sticking a half dead eel is not that effective. Also, when they're frisky and they don't wrap themselves on the leader don't they bury themselves in the sand???


Fish Hard or GO HOME...

#3 Kml

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Posted September 10 2007 - 9:57 PM

Live eels should be fished more like plugs than like bait and wait. Under most conditions I personaly would never try to fish a live eel with a sinker attached to any part of the line. Just snell a hook to the end of your leader hook eel and cast out. You can hook the eel through the bottom of the jaw and out through an eye or staright in the mouth and out the bottom of the jaw it is up to you and both will work. Cast unweighted eel out into fishy place and they will find it. Let it swim but keep it under control also, do not let him bury himself into any nearby structure. The only exception is that I might use an egg sinker on the main line if I am fishing from a boat in heavy current. But to deadstick a live eel from a spiked rod with weight is a recipe for an eel hari-kari. It will tie itself in knots around the leader. Also I do not agree so much with stunning a live eel. I like them to be a little docile when hooking them which you can do by keeping them on ice. Once hooked and in the water I like them to br lively not dopey.

Good Luck



#4 Bluefish07

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Posted September 10 2007 - 9:59 PM

yea u usually have to fish em with no weight and reel em in slowwww



#5 TinCup

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Posted September 10 2007 - 10:17 PM

was on a party boat once and the mate "broke" its tail by squeezing it hard with pliers so it wouldn't ball up, has anyone tried this?

to some it may sound a little harsh on the eel, but we are tossing them to the lions anyway, so if it works i'll do it

so does it work? and what other "stunning" tactics do you guys regullarly deploy, i personally haven't fished them much but am tired of shorts on bombers and want some real fun this fall



#6 SoleGlo

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Posted September 10 2007 - 11:08 PM

Im assuming you fish the jetty tips at night during the next few months?? What lb test line are we talking about here and leader test... Sorry for all the questions.. But i guess this is the place to ask them



#7 JohnnySI

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Posted September 10 2007 - 11:18 PM

I keep my eels directly on ice but I`ll use 2 buckets so they wont drown,top one with holes draining into the bottom one, they`re kind of out of it when I hook them. If I`m walking to a spot I`ll put the chilled out eels in ziplocks individually and throw`em in a bag that I attach to my belt Bronco just came out with a perfect size bag that I picked up for 5$. Sometimes I`ll shove a bullet weight down their throat to get em deeper then hook`em under the jaw and out the eye always keep contact with the eel. AAHH the Nov. new moon nothin better than that by me................................Johnny



#8 AdrianF

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Posted September 10 2007 - 11:33 PM

Im assuming you fish the jetty tips at night during the next few months?? What lb test line are we talking about here and leader test... Sorry for all the questions.. But i guess this is the place to ask them




around rocks, 65lb braid, 50 lb leader, gamakatsu 4x circle octopus hook. i keep the eels in a mesh bag, occasionally dunk em to keep em wet and happy. i dont whackem.


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#9 ex-bunker dunker

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Posted September 11 2007 - 12:16 AM

50 pound suffix to the 130lb spro swivel to 50 pound flourocarbon snelled live bait hook. NO WEIGHT.


life is short . play hard

#10 lazzyone

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Posted September 11 2007 - 5:22 AM

When you feel the eel getting hit, lower your rod and take a few steps towards the water to give a little slack so the fish doesn't feel any resistance. When the fish commits and starts to run set the hook. A lot of the time the fish will just whack the hell out of the eel and you will never get a chance to do this but other times they seem to play around a little with the eel and this works well.


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#11 FishingWayne

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Posted September 11 2007 - 6:06 AM

All great tips there....Most important ones, reel slow and stay in contact with the the eel becauce they will try to go down into the rocks and the next thing you know you're hung up. No fun, especially when you're using braid. I don't like having to cut that stuff (expensive). When it does happen I walk toward him reeling in the slack without keeping a ton of tension on him. They'll usually and hopefully swim back out or free themselves.. Up 'til now this has worked for me every time. I'm way more conciuos now of staying in contact with him after too many times being up to my neck in water when I finally get him free.
The bucket with holes and ice is what I use. They liven right back up when they hit the water.....A piece of burlap works great for grabbing them.
5/0 or 6/0 circle hook with at least 50 lb. fluorocarbon leader....You can even go with 100 lb. test leader if you've got blues hitting them too. That way it'll last you a while.


It's all good when they're hittn' wood!

#12 SoleGlo

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Posted September 11 2007 - 6:35 AM

do you suggest PowerPro Superline or is there another braided out there that you've found to be superb? By the way.. This forum is great and im officially addicted in less than 24 hours haha



#13 Keith White

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Posted September 11 2007 - 7:07 AM

I'd like to jump in here and ask a few questions...
I've seen the American eel, fished with em in fact.
We where taught to crack the eel over the edge of the bucket
to stop them knotting up on a slow retrieve.
why do they work ?
Have you even seen eels in the water, or migrating from the water or running the inlets into the ponds ?
I ask, because its a bait we have never used here in the UK. Sure we get eels, lots of them in fact, and I've seen them sliding over the golf course to get into fresh water.
This area used to harbour a natural salt pond, but alas, it is now blocked off from the ocean.
Do you think that Bass are eating eels as eels, or as something else ?
Needle fish lures in small sizes work here, but I've always assumed they've worked as sandeel imitations.
However, needlefish lures work best under glassy sea's and at night when there isn't a sandeel in sight. They are all in bed.
Do you think its possible that our bass too would take rigged eels ?
What size of Bass would you consider the average taken on a 12" eel ?
We get greater sandeels here that are a very similar physical size to the
American eels we have used in the past and Bass murder those.
It would be an interesting experiment i think.



#14 MikeH

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Posted September 11 2007 - 7:49 AM

It sure would make getting them easier if I could just go down to the golf course and pick'em off the grass like nightcrawlers

I cant imagine what else a large would think my 20" eel would imatate.I think that they know exactly what they are.Ive read somewheres (prob here) that the fish avoid eels earlier in the year due to eels preying on the fish.But reverse this natural occurence by the fall.

Last fall I heard a large chasing eels at a marshy weedline.When I hooked her,she made a whole lotta surface splashin,almost like a schoolie.I wondered WTH ,this isnt normal.When I was releasing her (32lbs) I saw that the hook was in a gill raker inside the mouth.Just like,what I would imagine would feel like an eel clamped down and her trying to shake it loose.She knew what it was.

Ive also had good luck with completely dead and half stiff eels.This was done more as a half-hearted attempt just to say we tried.We didnt think that there was much around that night.Taught us a lesson.

1 hook,leader,braid...keep the line tight but ready to slack-off.I have the most luck at the start of moving water for the first 2 hours.In or out.night.

Good luck



#15 EBHarvey

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Posted September 11 2007 - 8:01 AM

braid > swivel > 3 feet of 50# mono or flouro > 8/0 inline circle

hook them through the tail - they swim better, stay feisty longer, never ball-up, and getting the hook to the fish's lip doesn't require turning the eel around in her throat.

no weight, even from a boat - barring a wind-drift, you're not moving in relation to the water you're on, so let the eel dig down to the bottom on his own.


originally posted by"Otter"...no matter what even if i came home with that cup of failtry, its clobberin time. you didnt bring me exactly what i asked and lay it at my feet. sometimes i think i married the killer dude from 'no country for old men' in a size 0