A specimen eel is a truly impressive sight but very few anglers head out targeting them. One man who does, is 2019/20 Drennan Cup Champion , Rich Wilby. Here he explains how he tracks these rare beasts down and what bait catches them…
One of the best ways to find waters that hold these elusive creatures is to keep your ear to the ground for anglers who have caught them by mistake, such as carp fishermen.
That’s how I found out about a certain water near me last year, and on my first night at the venue I was lucky enough to catch 15 eels to a best of 5lb 2oz.
A 6lb 9oz specimen eel
If you haven’t got any tip-offs like this to follow up, then my advice would be firstly to find a water that has previous form for the species, then seek out the deep areas. As the year progresses, big eels seek refuge in such spots.
Once you’re on a water that you think holds them, try using high-attract baits, such as half a roach or big bunches of lobworms, and to fish at night, which is when eels are at their most active.
Just part of an incredible haul of big eels