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Cost of Eels


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#1 fishbulb

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Posted February 22 2010 - 12:17 PM

So, this will likely be my first year fishing with eels.
I'm looking forward to it and have been tying leaders and reading up on it. Will probably work on a small cooler for them as well.
One thing though...I've never seen a discussion on the cost of them. Is it something that will change with the season?
Thanks for the info!



#2 55chev

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Posted February 22 2010 - 12:47 PM

Fishing with eels can get expensive. In my opinion, the best way to keep your costs down (if you'll be fishing alot of eels) is to make or buy the proper equipment to store them. If you browse around here you'll find multiple threads on how to store live eels.

As far as the cost...if you buy them by the eel, you're looking at anywhere between 1.50 and 2.00 per eel. I got to know a couple of baitshop owners and made deals to buy them by the pound (much more economical)$7.99- $8.99 per lb depending onn the cost from their supplier. Then I went to Cabelas...$12.00 per dozen. That was by far the cheapest I have seen in years. Although it was a great price and I stocked up once, it is not economical for me to go their once a week (cost of fuel, time, and the extra $$$$ I'd spend if I went once a week would put me in the poor house).

Last year I averaged 3-5 dozen a week, so buying in bulk and storing them was my best option. Look around at your local shops and see what kind of deal you can make if you plan on fishing them alot. There are alot of options out there as to where to buy eels, but in my opinion your local bait shop will do what they can to keep you coming back week after week!



#3 Salt and Fresh

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Posted February 22 2010 - 12:51 PM

Like everything else, price goes up with cost of living or supply and demand. My B&T went up .25$ last year..from 1.50$ to 1.75$. I use them once in awhile. he gives me some dead ones too..use them after the live.
Have heard people putting in eel tanks in their garage and buy eels in bulk, some day I may do this, when I can fish more.
Google eel bucket, few good products out there. I use a shiner bucket with an insert that has drain holes. Ice the eels before the trip and drain them once in awhile so they wont drown in their slime.
Good Luck Happy Eelin


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#4 HugeDinghy

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Posted February 22 2010 - 1:22 PM

black rubbermaid trash can, a drain put on the bottom and a floating bubbler...can keep them forever just change the water every once in a while..

I pay $1.50 each but will go with bulk this year, prolly go in with a couple of guys and buy a sh't load



#5 fishbulb

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Posted February 22 2010 - 2:09 PM

I don't think I will be fishing so much that I would need to buy them in bulk or get a trash barrel. Just wanted to get a good idea of what I should expect to pay.



#6 seadogface

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Posted February 22 2010 - 2:54 PM

$1.50 per
cheaper by the dozen


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#7 robc22

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Posted February 22 2010 - 8:38 PM

Buy your eels.....everything else is a hassle.........



#8 Angler #1

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Posted February 23 2010 - 9:01 AM

during the season can be a challenge, especially before the bass start to be on them. many shops will just carry them when they get turned onto them. Some places that deal wuth eels wholsale will sell them to you for so much a pound and depending upon the size you are buying depends on the price per pound.

Many local shop will only sell then per eel and the price will vary from 1.50 to 2,00 and again this may be according to size.

If you make a good contact with a shop and you are a regular customer,conditions may change some what as to price and how they will sell them to you. So cultivate a good relationship with a local shop and work the situation, best you can.


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#9 robc22

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Posted February 23 2010 - 9:17 AM

Lets keep in mind harvesting eels is a comm. fishery.....supply and demand rules......



#10 bob_G

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Posted February 23 2010 - 9:32 AM

For quite a few years, all we used was live eels in the canal. We'd begin as soon as the herring died off around mid June. We went through huge quantities of eels. Usually ~ 4 dozen per night. To save $$$, we made arrangements, and bought our eels directly from the wholesale bait guy in Maine who sold to the local bait shops. We had to buy a 100lb minimum @ $1.50/lb. The eels ran 7-10 per pound. So eels cost us ~$0.15-$0.21 per eel.
We had a 200 gallon stainless tank (our old herring tank) at my buddies plumbing shop, which had circulating well water, that would change itself every 24 hours, plus one of those 'paddle-style' agitator air pumps.
The well water was very cold, and the eels would almost become dormant when they were placed in the tank. But would come back to life as soon as they hit the warm summer air.


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#11 robc22

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Posted February 23 2010 - 7:42 PM

For quite a few years, all we used was live eels in the canal. We'd begin as soon as the herring died off around mid June. We went through huge quantities of eels. Usually ~ 4 dozen per night. To save $$$, we made arrangements, and bought our eels directly from the wholesale bait guy in Maine who sold to the local bait shops. We had to buy a 100lb minimum @ $1.50/lb. The eels ran 7-10 per pound. So eels cost us ~$0.15-$0.21 per eel.
We had a 200 gallon stainless tank (our old herring tank) at my buddies plumbing shop, which had circulating well water, that would change itself every 24 hours, plus one of those 'paddle-style' agitator air pumps.
The well water was very cold, and the eels would almost become dormant when they were placed in the tank. But would come back to life as soon as they hit the warm summer air.


Sounds like a great set up......but a lot of maint. and work.......



#12 captain josh

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Posted November 08 2012 - 7:25 PM


I live in Florida and I am trying to get a early jump on my up coming season in april. I would like to buy about 200 pounds of eels probly about 6-8 count per pound my be 8-10. I have looked all over and can not found a direct supplier to buy them by the pound does any body know where? a phone number or web address? Thanks, Josh




#13 GeneralSwimBait

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Posted November 08 2012 - 9:01 PM

I live in Florida and I am trying to get a early jump on my up coming season in april. I would like to buy about 200 pounds of eels probly about 6-8 count per pound my be 8-10. I have looked all over and can not found a direct supplier to buy them by the pound does any body know where? a phone number or web address? Thanks, Josh


Google search Toms Wholesale bait Middleboro Mass.. About the only place that could MAYBE handle that load.


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#14 DuckDu80

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Posted November 12 2012 - 4:28 PM

Not to hi-jack the threads (its old anyway!) but how do you keep these suckers alive. I couldn't keep'em for more than 3 days tops! I'd throw in guppies and had a larger tank + aerator, clean water etc..



#15 convaonly

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Posted November 12 2012 - 7:03 PM


ice