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Fishing Eels Upside Down

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Another topic I've always wondered why I've never seen discussed, if you fish dead eels on a single hook you are fishing them upside down. Personally I've long thought that the hook-up ratio (for me) was better with dead and this is one of the major reasons why.

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There's a lot of variables fishing live vs dead: If you give them slack when alive they'll ball up or twist around the line but dead you're always working them. Live eels tend to head for bottom whereas with dead you'll more likely be out in the open mid water column- again depending on other factors like currents depth etc.  If anything it's the action and location that you present that eel.   Eel skin plugs are made and fished with inside out eel skins....and they produce. So I dont think having a dead eel presented upside down will be an issue

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10 mins ago, SurfCasterNJ said:

I’ve never personally fished with eels or eelskin plugs, they seem like a lot of effort to me. 

Totally missing out ! I fish live eels, but to be honest, I cant wait for that trip to be over so I can get that skin on a plug which is more convenient . I will not kill a live eel just for the skin, I always fish it till it dies on it's own.....then fish it dead for a while..... then skin it !! I get a LOT of mileage out of a $5 eel !!  :laugh: I have no idea why, but I always have much better luck on a skin plug than a live or a dead eel. Go figure !!  :confused:

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Just now, Mandoborg said:

Totally missing out ! I fish live eels, but to be honest, I cant wait for that trip to be over so I can get that skin on a plug which is more convenient . I will not kill a live eel just for the skin, I always fish it till it dies on it's own.....then fish it dead for a while..... then skin it !! I get a LOT of mileage out of a $5 eel !!  :laugh: I have no idea why, but I always have much better luck on a skin plug than a live or a dead eel. Go figure !!  :confused:

Awesome, yeah I’m definitely not against it, just laziness I guess is what has held me back haha, I like to stick and move, and I’ve heard horror stories of eels haha I’ll definitely have to give a go though. Can’t knock it till you try it they say !

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I fish dead and alive upside down.  My thought was that alive they struggle to right themselves and dead they don't camouflage very well because their white belly is on top.  Upside down outfishes the other method by far for me.

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3 hours ago, SC said:

Another topic I've always wondered why I've never seen discussed, if you fish dead eels on a single hook you are fishing them upside down. Personally I've long thought that the hook-up ratio (for me) was better with dead and this is one of the major reasons why.

I froze some leftover eels after live eel trip and took the frozen eels to some back water a couple weeks later. I observed that when the eels were hooked through the bottom of the mouth and out the eye socket and casted out they would suspend upright and stay upright on an very very slow retrieve but picking up speed they would flip over. I tested them under some dock lights to observe micro bass attacking them and for the several trips I went out there any bass in the area would come out like a lightning bolt to hit the upright eel but I caught few bass on the upside down eel. Fishing my other spots with waves and current I cant observe the eel to see if its upright but I assume its probably flipped upside down. 

 

When you mean dead eel do you mean fresh dead or frozen and later thawed out for use? Fresh dead I would imagine suspend upsidedown becasue of gas buildup like all dead thing. Thawed eels from my limited experience seem up stay upright. I'm curious about your thoughts. 

 

Edited by Bwt570

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2 mins ago, Bwt570 said:

I froze some leftover eels after live eel trip and took the frozen eels to some back water a couple weeks later. I observed that when the eels were hooked through the bottom of the mouth and out the eye socket and casted out they would float upright and stay upright on an very very slow retrieve but picking up speed they would flip over. I tested them under some dock lights to observe micro bass attacking them and for the several trips I went out there any bass in the area would come out like a lightning bolt to hit the upright eel but I caught few bass on the upside down eel. Fishing my other spots with waves and current I cant observe the eel to see if its upright but I assume its probably flipped upside down. 

 

When you mean dead eel do you mean fresh dead or frozen and later thawed out for use? Fresh dead I would imagine flot upsidedown becasue of gas buildup like all dead thing. Thawed eels from my limited experience seem up stay upright. I'm curious about your thoughts. 

 

I was referring to fresh dead eels

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I always felt that a rigged eel casted better than a live one and they were better producers as well. My shake is that when rigged you're imparting the movement/fishing it slower thus providing a easier target.

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1 hour ago, XBMX said:

I always felt that a rigged eel casted better than a live one and they were better producers as well. My shake is that when rigged you're imparting the movement/fishing it slower thus providing a easier target.

Having fished all three , live , dead, and rigged. And I agree rigged are best. You cover more water and the eel is always working as it should. 

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2 mins ago, Jayfish said:

Great winter thread!     Let’s keep this one moving forward .   Never tried them upside down 

If you've fished dead eels you've likely fished them upside down

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41 mins ago, SC said:

If you've fished dead eels you've likely fished them upside down

Ain’t that the truth.  Surf casting  any kind of eels in daylight is a eye opener.  Some come in upside down, sideways, or spin.  

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16 mins ago, DZ said:

Ain’t that the truth.  Surf casting  any kind of eels in daylight is a eye opener.  Some come in upside down, sideways, or spin.  

I always wondered if the "obvious random dead action" triggered a different "strike" response from the bass. To me the initial strikes on a dead eel seemed more voracious. Ambushing something that is alive vs scavenging something swirling around in the backwash may trigger different attack strategies and responses.  I'm sure many have had nights where a lively eel (right-side-up with natural shading/counter-shading) does better or worse than a dead eel (upside-down with reverse shading/counter-shading) and always wondered how much this has to do with it if at all.

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9 mins ago, SC said:

I always wondered if the "obvious random dead action" triggered a different "strike" response from the bass. To me the initial strikes on a dead eel seemed more voracious. Ambushing something that is alive vs scavenging something swirling around in the backwash may trigger different attack strategies and responses.  I'm sure many have had nights where a lively eel (right-side-up with natural shading/counter-shading) does better or worse than a dead eel (upside-down with reverse shading/counter-shading) and always wondered how much this has to do with it if at all.

Our mutual friend TC is a big advocate of "morto anguilla" 

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