1902 Encyclopedia > Angling > Eel Fishing. The Eel.

Angling
(Part 16)




The Eel

The eel (Anguilla acutirostris). The eel is scarcely an angler's fish, but it is often taken in angling, and it is a most excellent and luscious table fish. It takes various baits, as worms, small dead fish, which are the best for it, and takes them better when they are still than when moving. Thus, night-lines are the best way of capturing the eel. Occasionally float tackle is used for the purpose, when the roughest tackle, with a float-hook and worm, suffices. Sniggling for eels is an amusing way of taking them. A stout needle, lashed to a long string, is concealed in a worm; the point of the needle is stuck lightly in the end of a long stick. This is then introduced into the mouth of a hole in which an eel is supposed to shelter. As soon as the eel sees it he secures it, pulls it from the stick, and devours it. The string is lashed to the middle of the needle, so that when the angler pulls at it the needle turns crosswise in his gullet. The angler pulls with a steady strain at the line, until at last the eel, unable to resist longer, comes out and is caught. Clotting for eels, by means of a big bunch of worms strung upon worsted and gathered up into festoons, is another way. The eels entangle their teeth in the worsted, and are lifted out and dropped into a pail. A hundred weight in a night has been caught in this way. They are chiefly caught, however, by baskets, nets, or traps set in mill-weirs, when they are migrating, and in some places, at such times, tons of eels are caught in a night. Fresh-water eels run up to a large size. They have been known to exceed 20 lb, but 4 or 5 lb are more common, and the average is from 1 to 2 lb. Hooks any size that is suitable -- from 4 to 8.


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