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Steve,
I use 6/0 or 7/0 Gamakatsu circle hooks & I tie hook directly to 40# test mono leader, no snaps, no swivels, no nothing else...I hook under the chin & up and out through an eye.
I lob cast the eel & retrieve slooooowly, similar to the way I'd work a swimming plug but slower, much slower. One thing...as soon as you hook the eel get its tail in the water while you get ready to cast...otherwise it will tie itself into a knot so tight you'll never be able to untangle...if that happens, don't waste your time...just cut the mess off and start over...but if you hang the eel out so it's tail is in the surf it doesn't knot itself up but stays stretched out...hope this helps.

Roccus, aka,
Jerry Vovcsko
East Bridgewater, Ma

This message was edited by Jerryvov on 10-31-01 @ 8:18 AM
 

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Rigging the eel - as Jerry says - through the lower jaw & out an eye. Also using a 6.0 bait or circle hook on an 18" leader clipped into a snap swivel - no sinker. This works for the Nissequogue River. No sinker allows the eel to drift/swim in the river current. I leave the bail up until I feel the drift has been far enough - then drop it & do a veryyyy slow retrieve. Couple of cranks - lift the rod tip - couple of more cranks - lift the rod tip - repeat.

I've found the best way to prevent the eel from balling right after rigging him is to drop him onto the sand until your ready to head into the water. Patience is needed to untangle him if he balls. You can get him untangled eventually - although I've had my share of "balls" where the eel was so hopelessly tangled I had to cut him away. Get much less "balls" by not using the sinker - eel ends up swiming more so then trying to get off of the hook.

Again - this works well in the river & on the North Shore. May need different rigging depending on where your tossing from.
 

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One way to stop the eel from balling up is before you hook it up is to give it a good wack across the tail. I use the rail of the boat but anything hard will do. Injured bait swimming becomes a prime target. Tight Lines, Lou

fishon
 

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Don't like to knock the eel unconscience - presents a more attractive & natural bait to the bass if alive & kicking. I've done it both ways & the "unknocked" eel always out produces the "knocked" one.

Like I say - no sinker - less balling. Also - if you've got a swift current like the type you get in the Nissequogue - this keeps the eel swiming & he doesn't ball. Seems like the eel will ball more often when he is sitting still (no current or held in place by a sinker.

There is another method I've used that helps prevent balling. I tie a 2" float just above the snap swivel & float the eel. This keeps him off of the bottom & forces him to swim.
 

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Don't like to knock the eel unconscience - presents a more attractive & natural bait to the bass if alive & kicking. I've done it both ways & the "unknocked" eel always out produces the "knocked" one.

Like I say - no sinker - less balling. Also - if you've got a swift current like the type you get in the Nissequogue - this keeps the eel swiming & he doesn't ball. Seems like the eel will ball more often when he is sitting still (no current or held in place by a sinker.

There is another method I've used that helps prevent balling. I tie a 2" float just above the snap swivel & float the eel. This keeps him off of the bottom & forces him to swim.
 

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I`m with bite me. Get them ice cold 10 mins to 30 mins or more before using them. They are much easer to work with. After they get in the water they go right back to the way they were if you never put them on ice.

Good fishing Wackey
 

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Should of tried leaving the tail alone - see if the results were any better..
 

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Should of tried leaving the tail alone - see if the results were any better..
 

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<<Hit the tail, and no sinker didnt ball up, tried the ice but the eel died.>>

Steve,
If you just dropped some ice in with the eels, when that ice melted they drowned. The rig I use is one 5 gallon plastic bucket inside another 5 gallon bucket...I have drilled drain holes in the bottom of the inside one and there's a space about three or four inches between the bottoms of the two buckets...I put ice in the bottom bucket, then slip the bucket holding the eels (this is the one with the drain holes) inside the first bucket...I drop a handul of ice cubes in with the eels & as the cubes melt the water drains off into the bottom bucket. This works for me & keeps the eels alive & well for a good while.

Roccus, aka,
Jerry Vovcsko
East Bridgewater, Ma
 

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Forgive me if I'm making a stupid statement - but......

Eels live in the water - how would they drown? I leave them inb a baitbucket filled with water for hours (on occasion - for days) & they always survive as long as you refresh the water every hour or so.
 

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Forgive me if I'm making a stupid statement - but......

Eels live in the water - how would they drown? I leave them inb a baitbucket filled with water for hours (on occasion - for days) & they always survive as long as you refresh the water every hour or so.
 

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Wader,

The eels will "drown" in that they will use up the O2 in the water (suffocate really).

I agree with Jerry in the bucket system. However, I use a 3-bucket system and it works great! Top bucket holds the ice, middle bucket holds the eels wiht a wet rag over them and the bottom buckets catches the drippings. I've keep eels alive for a week using this method.

BTW, cold eels come back to life very fast when they are hooked! ;)

Jaiem
ArtsNFlies.com
 

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I keep my eels alive for well over a week with a bucket 8" of fresh water an a air pump with stone posted on the next to pages. If you want dark eels get a black bucket or tub i also have a 30 gallon black tub with cover i use to use when i fished every day on my boat.

always gottafly
 

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and again here is the pump 8 dollars at the sports authority with stone. cant go wrong i have eels all week and dont need to run to the bait shop after work can run right down to the beach.

always gottafly
 

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Jaiem - awful lot of buckets to cart around. I just leave them in the bait bucket (more of a killie bucket - 2 piece with holes in the inner bucket) filled with water. Once every hour or so - I remove the inner bucket - dump the water & replace with fresh water.

When fishing off of a dock or some place that I can tie the inner bucket to - I just leave the inner bucket hanging in the water. Did this recently off of a bulkhead on Fire Island that was next to the house I was staying at & left it in the water all week.

Understand they can suffocate unless the water is replenished occasionally. Guess the initial statement that they drown from being left in water threw me.
 

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Gottafly - nice simple set-up. Does the pump work off of batteries or does it plug in?
 
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