nickd9283

How do YOU fish LIVE eels?

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Let's not get into live vs dead.. I have a spot I want to try snakes at with 12-15 foot deep water close to shore so I don't need the extra casting distance of dead. Plus I like the physical feedback of feeling the eel periodically head shaking to try and get off the hook.

 

So.. how many casts do you make before you switch your eel? I've noticed after 4-5 casts my eels are not dead but start acting like it. Are they just as enticing when they're not wiggling around?

When they get sluggish, do you continue a straight retrieve or do Start imparting an action at that point?

Do you always fish them at the bottom or have you ever tried suspending them about 3 feet below the surface with a balloon? My spot has very sticky bottom and would prefer to suspend it if possible

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Half dead is better than lively, lively usually means balling up in a mess of eel snot. Hook them through the mouth and cast and slow retrieve or you can attach a weight either on a fish finder or a 3 way swivel and let them swim on the bottom without retrieving. I like to keep them on ice before handling or hooking them up, they get lethargic with the cold, grab them with a scotch brite pad, smack them on something hard like a concrete block so they aren't as wiry and lively and have at it.

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I like to break the tail bone, toss them unweighted, and reel in as slow as I possibly can (just so they can't establish any hiding places in the rocks or bottom structure). Switching is very subjective as some days dead works as well as live. If something isn't working, thats when I try switching things up. No real rhyme or reason, more of a try it til they buy it approach for me.

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I personally like them as lively as possible, just gotta keep them of the bottom a bit, I’m looking forward to trying out the eel jig concept OTW just featured, looks very convienent.

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hook them in the tail and suspend them under a bobber made from a water-balloon sized balloon.  the eel will stay very lively for a long time and swim aggressively towards the bottom.  you only need to blow up the balloon a little, like tennis ball sized at most - it doesn't take much to keep them off the bottom and its OK if the balloon gets pulled under a little - any bigger and it makes the whole thing a lot harder to cast.  

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I wouldn't worry about sticky bottom with eels. They are great for that. As long as you are casting and retrieving they rarely get stuck. Just retrieve as slow as possible. Depends on the eel but some last hours and others seem to never die. 

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45 mins ago, EBHarvey said:

hook them in the tail and suspend them under a bobber made from a water-balloon sized balloon.  the eel will stay very lively for a long time and swim aggressively towards the bottom.  you only need to blow up the balloon a little, like tennis ball sized at most - it doesn't take much to keep them off the bottom and its OK if the balloon gets pulled under a little - any bigger and it makes the whole thing a lot harder to cast.  

Do you use a wire leader with that setup?

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Sometimes the fish like them lively, other times dead. I would say there’s no standard. The fish decide. Also, I’m not sure suspending them under a ballon will accomplish much, other than the eel creating ungodly tangles in your leader. 

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1 hour ago, EBHarvey said:

hook them in the tail and suspend them under a bobber made from a water-balloon sized balloon.  the eel will stay very lively for a long time and swim aggressively towards the bottom.  you only need to blow up the balloon a little, like tennis ball sized at most - it doesn't take much to keep them off the bottom and its OK if the balloon gets pulled under a little - any bigger and it makes the whole thing a lot harder to cast.  

This sounds very interesting. I'm definitely going to give that a shot next season.

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Hook, leader, no weight, change the eel out when its destroyed or gone is my general approach.

 

But, as always it also depends on what the fish want. If they want alive and kickin' - that's what they get. If they want less action - the eel is going to have an abrupt stop with a rock before it gets fished.

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Package them in small thin ziplock bags individually, then put in surf bag and go. hook them through the bag rip them out. get in the water fast and after first cast you don't have to worry about balling. if you need to get down deeper use them as a trailer on a bucktail (I can't believe I'm actually saying this).

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3 hours ago, Gooch said:

Package them in small thin ziplock bags individually, then put in surf bag and go. hook them through the bag rip them out. get in the water fast and after first cast you don't have to worry about balling. if you need to get down deeper use them as a trailer on a bucktail (I can't believe I'm actually saying this).

Lol.. is that your secret technique? Thanks for sharing, will certainly give that a shot!

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