Above is the picture of a massive 8lb 10oz eel that tops an incredible week for the species in which another two huge fish of 8lb 9oz and 7lb 11oz were landed from different waters across the country.
Andy Nellist was the proud captor of the biggest fish of the prolific spell, the new personal best, caught from a Bucks stillwater, providing the highlight of a five-year quest for big eels.
Despite having to constantly re-bait his size 4 hook with lobworms after being pestered by crayfish throughout his overnight session, Andy’s persistence finally paid off when he struck into the specimen – that measured 49ins long with a 10ins girth and beats his pb for the species by 8oz.
And the Hertfordshire-based angler is of the opinion that if you’re looking for a reason why this trio of huge fish has been landed within the space of a week you need to look no further than the weather.
“It was the hottest April for 100 years and this saw the eels go on the feed early. The colder wind at the end of the month really stirred the water up, making for perfect conditions,” Andy told Angling Times.
Also landing a monster eel this week was Dave O’Sullivan, the National Anguila Club member’s 30-year eel obsession culminating in a session at a Northamptonshire stillwater that saw him take the 8lb 9oz fish of a lifetime.
Doubling the 45-year-old’s personal best, the fish proved to be the peak of a pursuit that’s seen him target no other species for the last 30 years. The specimen falling to the Leamington Spa-based angler’s John Sidley rig baited with a small roach deadbait.
Giving the NAC yet more reason to celebrate was the club’s general secretary Mark Salt, with a specimen eel of 7lb 11oz.
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet because it doesn’t seem real that I’ve landed a fish that’s been in my dreams since I was a boy,” Mark told AT.
“I’ve been fishing for eels from the beginning of April until the end of October every year since I can remember and never lost faith because I knew if I remained confident and used the knowledge that I’ve built up over the years, I’d get my reward.”
Mark set his sights on a southern gravel pit and, after moving swims following a tip-off from a carp angler that he’d seen a huge eel in another part of the lake, took his specimen by suspending lobworms above the weed.
The same tactics also fooled a handful of other eels weighing 4lb 6oz, 4lb and 3lb.