how do you hook live eel?

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by jsthumb, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. jsthumb

    jsthumb New Member

    South Carolina
    Now I have to ask this question because I used to live in charleston and we would occasionally catch eels, but when you reel them in they would be all tangled up in your line and the only thing you could do was cut the line and re-rig. I do admit that I have used cut eel on several occasions with decent success but I was reading earlier that someone uses LIVE eel for bait. My first question is how in the heck do you hook them and keep them from making a mess of your rig? 2nd question is how good of success do you have with live eel?

    I have even gone through the trouble of skinning and cleaning them and frying them up side by side with catfish and there is only a little taste difference between them (couple of buddys couldnt tell the difference between the two until I told them which was which) but I wouldnt recommend it as they are a SOB to clean with all that slime on them.
  2. jerseycat9

    jerseycat9 New Member

    Oakwood Georgia
    When using Live eels in the north Jersey surf I always kept a bucket of ice water to slow them buggers down a great deal. Try to keep from holding them off the ground while hooked also that cuts down on them twisting over there bodys and tangling you up. For hooking them I took them out of the bucket rolled them in the sand or dirt to give me some grip and I would hook him up through the lower jaw and out one of the eyes. Hope this helps buddy:big_smile:

  3. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Lynchburg, VA
    Eels make great catfish bait here on the James. If the eels are big, more than a foot long and thick, I would cut them up into 3 inch chunks and fish them that way. If they are pencil eels you can fish them live. Hook it right around the midway mark of the eel or just slightly behind the middle. Hook it right through the top of the back. They have tough skin, so you don't need to hook them deep. By hooking in this area, you can keep them alive longer since you'll be away from major organs and it will make it harder for the eel to wrap itself. I've kept them alive for hours like this. I have to say though, cut eel seems to work better for me.

    To grip them, I just use a towel and they aren't going anywhere.

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    When ya catch em get em in the boat asap. If ya got a bait cooler put em rite on the ice and close the lid on its head with a good amount of pressure keepin its mouth exposed. Now take your pliers and get the hook out and don't be bashfull. I use on of them green scotch pads to handle them. Another trick if fishin from shore is to get some dirt or sand on em. Now hook em through the lips. Clip the tail. This will inhibit its ability to swim a bit and cut down on that tanglein problem ya may get. As far as usein em for cut bait. "OH YEA" Chunk em up into a size that is suitable for the hook ya are usein. All ya gotta do is run the hook through a part of the dark skin and it will stay on like its part of the hook. If ya are gonna cut em up use the head. It works like a champ and will catch you several fish on the same bait. Got me a couple of fat ones in my bait freezer rite now that will get me through the rest of the season. Hope all this info helps ya.
  5. bengals97

    bengals97 New Member

    Thanks for the information guys. I am going to try using eel for the first time catfishing and this helped me a ton on how to use them.