• Fishing for Schools

The Common Eel - Warren White explains this mysterious creature

Eels can grow to 1.5m long. It is a narrow snake lake fish, the adult dark brown on the back and yellow beneath. They are found in lakes, rivers, pools and ditches.


Freshwater Eels are nocturnal, a scavenger; their prey includes snails, freshwater shrimps, frogs and fish. Eels can survive out of water for long periods of time, travelling over land from one water to another.


The favorite bait for an angler fishing for eels is a bunch of worms or Fish (dead bait). When fishing for eel, you should always use a wire trace, as there has been many stories of Anglers losing a giant eel at the net, where the eel has bitten through the line.


The adult eels travel to the sea to breed, swimming across the Atlantic Ocean to the Sargasso Sea, where they will spawn and, in most cases, die.


The transparent larvae then make the amazing journey back to Europe; they develop into Elvers, then the adult form of eel in freshwater. On their journey back they become silver in colour (Silver eel ) and can live up to 50 Years.


Eels are something you love or hate, similar to marmite. Years ago, when I was a lad, I was lucky enough to go to work with my Dad, who worked in the London Docks as a Tug Skipper for the Port of London. This was a skillful job, sometimes towing 15 barges at a time, normally alongside a ship that was in dock. It was fantastic to be out on the water.


But to be honest, my main reason for being there was to go fishing. the docks, which were running alive with eels. I have caught hundreds over the years in the dock. My Dad would encourage me to fish because he was partial to Jellied Eels. The dockers also liked their eels.

Plashy Tug


Eels were not the only fish to be caught either in the Docks; carp , perch and sea trout have been caught, and at one time when it was still a working dock, the Police had to stop people trying to get into the dock, not to work but to fish.


How things of changed; the eel is now an endangered species. It has become endangered due to the fact they are over fished and there are man-made barriers to their migration.

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