Freshwater eels, how to catch and put on the line???

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by crusinman2002, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. crusinman2002

    crusinman2002 New Member

    Messages:
    374
    State:
    Mukwonago, Wisconsin
    i was wondering on how to catch the eels and put them on the line... i've never even seen a freshwater eel... so i'm completely clueless on this... from what i've heard, i can catch them bottom fishing, or with a trap... so i kinda got an idea on how to catch them, but would a cheap minnow trap from walmart work???... if i were going for some flatheads, would i put the eel on the hook live??? where would i hook the eel???

    thanks
     
  2. Kittyhunter

    Kittyhunter New Member

    Messages:
    291
    State:
    Princeton, NC
    I know there are traps for them, Joe0580 can give you more info on that. As far as hooking them, for flats you can put them on live, hooked through the body or head, or cut them in 4-6 inch pieces. Using a rag or glove makes it easier to catch them and hold them in your hand. I can't hold them bare handed, they slide out and feel too much like a snake to me.
     

  3. crusinman2002

    crusinman2002 New Member

    Messages:
    374
    State:
    Mukwonago, Wisconsin
    what is best way to handle them, gloves sound like a good idea to me, but don't they try to bit you?
     
  4. joe0580

    joe0580 New Member

    Messages:
    228
    State:
    north carolina
    you can handle them by hand ask them i caught them out of a 50 gallon tank at any time. if you use a minnow trap it is to small length wise and you need a extender. that way the eels can not back out. i have some that a man in maryland made for me and i get about 100 or more depending on time left in water and area. but i leave mine for a week at a time and must make sure you go by rules for them. the longer you leave the better and more you get. best way may be small rod and reel for right now for you. if you need any info im me i help you all i can.
     
  5. Kittyhunter

    Kittyhunter New Member

    Messages:
    291
    State:
    Princeton, NC
    Joe is the only guy I know that can reach into a barrel with 45 bream and 30 eels barehanded and come out with an eel. We dropped one in the boat the last time I used them and it took 3 of us to catch it. Gloves or a rag make it a lot easier. And NO they don't bite.
     
  6. crusinman2002

    crusinman2002 New Member

    Messages:
    374
    State:
    Mukwonago, Wisconsin
    thanks alot guys for all the help... i figured out a way to make a minnow trap out of 2 liter bottles... i think that if i make a longer one i should be able to catch some eels in it... i'm going to try to post the instructions here real soon in a new thread... i just want to make sure it works first... i've tried it on a pond thats near my house, but there are no minnows in the pond, but i did catch some really small bluegill with it... lol
     
  7. Jordan

    Jordan New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    North Carolina
    Is there a way to catch eels with a rod
     
  8. copycat

    copycat New Member

    Messages:
    1,841
    State:
    New Jersey
    The catfish in my avatar was caught on fresh caught eel. I was out fishing and caught a freshwater eel with a piece of shad and 5/0 kahle hook!!
    So I chopped up the eel and put it out on a 8/0 circle hook and started hauling in one cat after another! What a day!!
     
  9. hungupagain

    hungupagain New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    North Carolina
    ive caught eels with a rod .use chicken liver fishing the river bottom.every time i go down to the smithfield bridge i catch them while trying to catch cannels.
     
  10. navigator

    navigator New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    NC- Brunswick County
    I have used the 2 liter bottle method for crawfish and if you leave them too long they will suffocate because the plastic doesn't allow enough fresh water flow.

    I started drilling a lot of holes in them and that solved the problem.
    3 liter bottles might work better for eels, it will allow for larger ones.
     
  11. bigblaze

    bigblaze New Member

    Messages:
    738
    State:
    NC
    You are so right kittyhunter Joe is the only person i know that can do that...

    cruisman 2202 if your cheap like me and cant afford one of those expensive fancy eel pots you can take a minnow trap from wal-mart and use hardware cloth to extend it. Separate the sections, cut your hardware cloth to your desired size...(some of the eels joe has caught have been over 2'long) and use zip ties to fasten the middle section to the other halfs of the minnow trap...don't forget to cut an access door....use zip ties to fasten your door....

    I will try to attach a picture of the eel traps we made tomorrow...
     
  12. joe0580

    joe0580 New Member

    Messages:
    228
    State:
    north carolina
    ken im me i send you pics of what eel traps look like this can give you some idea. i use ones that were made for commercial fishing for eels. they can hold up to 250 in each trap and range from size any where from 6 inchs to 3 feet. yes i did say 3 feet. john has seen some of the 2 footers i catch regularly. and they are great cut bait. would hate to use one that size whole might sink a boat witht the cat that would eat him. for live bait on falt heads i use from 6 inchs to a foot. just cut tail section off and either hook in head with stinger hook at tail area or hook in tail only. i like tail hooking only . i gives them a more realistic look and gets more bites. hope this helps
     
  13. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    When catching small eels for bait.I used a #6 long shanked hook,and shrimp cut up in segments as their shell runs.Run hook through both sides of shell as this helps hold bait on.When catching eels,just hang over live well or old cooler with ice and cut hook off and leave it in eel.This does less damage than trying to hold on to eel and removing the hook.Cooler with ice drain must stay open or eels will drown in water,as there is no oxygen.( Crabs,crayfish,etc.will stay alive this way) You can hold on to a eel with damp black and white news paper while hooking through both jaws half way between eyes and end of nose or midway through body BEHIND the vent.Make sure that you go below backbone.Carry plenty of news paper and properly discard when used.I found rags and gloves fill up with slime and are hard to clean and use.If they have not changed the makeup of newspaper and black print in the last 12 years,it works great.Male eels are smaller and stay in brackish water( 18"-24")and are good live bait.The females go on up in fresh water and grow large(3+ ft.) and are good cut bait.luck,peewee-williams
     
  14. Jordan

    Jordan New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    North Carolina
    the other day I caught a eel on chicken liver in a pond while catfishing. I saved him and put him in the freezer , he was 28 inches long. I thought of using him for channels in this one pond. What's the best way to rig it and prepare the eel for fishing in a pond?
     
  15. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Just cut it up into bait size pieces sized to the hook size you are using.Hooks through the skin help hold it on.If it is fat and has two front legs it is not a Eel.It will be a "Greater Siren Salamander".They are often caught in ponds.I never could get anything to bite them in my areas.peewee-williams
     
  16. Jordan

    Jordan New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    North Carolina
    it is long and skinney and doesn't have front legs. I am pretty sure it's a eel. Thanks for the information peewee williams I might try it tonight.
     
  17. breadboy

    breadboy New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    North Carolina
    I've caught a siren before, just cut my line. I have caught three eels on occasion. One about 18" in my minnow trap, and two others about 7" long with my dip net netting for bait below a spillway. Never used them as bait though, should've. My former neighbor's grandson once caught a freshwater eel 40" long, fishing for catfish we were so freaked out lol. I've even caught a moray eel deep sea fishing for snapper.
     
  18. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    40 inches is a BIG Eel.We stretched out and measured a 61 in.,yep,5 foot 1 inch Eel on a sand bar in the Savannah River about 35 years ago.It was a huge freak.I had a friend who ate them.He said it was great tasting.My grandfather liked them when he was alive.They are O.K.,but like Bass,I will pass for other fish.peewee-williams
     
  19. Jordan

    Jordan New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    North Carolina
    today I used a small peice of eel in a pond and had one on but he came off. I think i'll start using eel more instead of chicken livers. The chicken livers were producing a few catfish but I was catching alot of bream not long after I casted out. When I was using the eel the bream wouldn't hit it.
     
  20. breadboy

    breadboy New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    North Carolina
    Yeah, my former..... you know..... thought it was a snake and I said that ain't no snake, it has gills and fins. My grandma is Japanese and she says eels are a delicacy over in Japan. I will stick to catfish are far as taste.