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Avoiding Eels

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This sounds amateurish but I caught a eel yesterday and it was not a pleasant experience. I am pretty new to fishing and would like to avoid catching another one. I was on the Queens side of the East river, chunking bunker during slack tide around 4pm. I usually fish the East river and South Brooklyn. If anybody has any tips for avoiding eels, or any humorous stories of their own about catching one, it may lighten my mood about the whole experience

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Posted (edited)

First Off,

 

I hope you know that when they find a body in the Hudson River, guess what they find inside it's guts?  :shock:

 

Do NOT EVER Eat an eel you catch around there!  I would also wear gloves when handling them. I never eat eel sushi for that reason.

 

Here is a story which goes back about 15 years:

 

I had 2 eels in a cooler to live line them later in the evening.  I caught 2 blue fish that day and I had promised my neighbor that I will give them to her, because she ate them.  She was not home so I kept them in the cooler with the 2 eels and some ice.

 

I went to pick up the 2 eels that evening and they were gone?  I assumed that when my neighbor came to pick up the blues, she may have knocked the cooler down and they had escaped.

 

Well, the next day I get a call from my neighbor and she was frantic!  She goes on to tell me that her son and her almost had a heart attack, as they were cleaning the bluefish.  All of the sudden, the guts were moving inside the sink! They realized later (and assumed) that these bluefish must have eaten eels just before I caught them!  :bucktooth:

 

I learned that day, that even on ice, their instinct is to penetrate dead corpses.

Edited by FishinKid007

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Use wet burlap (or another textured fabric-- a kitchen towel will work, but it gets covered in slime; I sometimes use an old tshirt) to get a firm hold of their neck (right behind the head). Put a 6/0 circle hook through its nostrils and fish it slow like a jig. If they're still squirming around too much, put it on ice in a cooler or gently slap it on the ground until it is a little less frisky. Even after it kicks the bucket, you can rig it and continue to fish it. Great, great bait for stripers, though, as you learned, a little tough to handle.

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This eel was as wide around as my wrist, and almost longer than my forearm. You guys don't fish with adults right? On youtube videos I've seen people are livelining little ones.

 

Thanks for the nightmares fishinkid007!

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Bunker chunk in about ten feet of water, shallow part of the east river. Fishinkid007 I was under the impression most eel sushi is grown in eel farms in China. You think local eels are making it on to you plate?

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This eel was as wide around as my wrist, and almost longer than my forearm. You guys don't fish with adults right? On youtube videos I've seen people are livelining little ones.

 

You can still liveline the huge ones-- at worst, it weeds out the smaller bass. You never see ones that big in bait shops because you don't need ones that big and (as you found out) they're a PITA to deal with. 

 

Guys who fish eelskin plugs are also always looking for eel skins from eels that big. Eelskin plugs aren't super popular in NY/NJ, but the MA (Cape Cod canal) guys love them. If you google around you can find links and videos showing how to skin an eel and tie it on to an eelskin plug. 

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Posted (edited)

I don't trust the sushi distributors.

 

BTW:  I'd rather see people eat eels from the NY river, than lakes in China!

Edited by FishinKid007

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LEARNED from an old timer that the older than him farmers ,when the plow horse was on its last legs,would take him out at low tide and shoot the horse....would set eel traps around horse      now i guess price of smoked eel is   15-16 lb   so not used for bait, most smoked eels go to germany

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I remember reading a frank daignault passage about how some people believe stripers hate eels and will attack them so readily so much due to the opinion that eels can penetrate and kill a bass/fish by entering through its gills. Might be some truth to that after all

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