Monster eels have been feeding hard across the country this week, topped by the season’s best weighing 7lb 4oz and three others over 5lb.
The biggest of the season fell to maintenance engineer John Mott, who was targeting a Lincolnshire gravel pit for carp when the big eel picked up his boilie hookbait.
The 46-year-old said: “I kept getting funny dropped runs the first night and after talking to the bailiff he suggested doubling up my baits. It turned out to be the right choice but the wrong species. I’m shocked to catch such a special fish on carp gear.”
The large serpent picked up two 18mm Essential Cell boilies presented on a size 6 Fox Arma point curve hook.
Those who have gone out specifically targeting eels have also enjoyed success this week – as proven by former Drennan Cup champion Len Arbery who caught a 6lb specimen.
Choosing to fish short sessions Len and son Tony took multiple 4lb-plus eels with the 6lb fish being the pick of the bunch.
Len said: “The six-pounder thought so hard I suspected at first that it was one of the waters rare big carp. It continued to be a handful on the bank too but swum off strong following a few pictures – it was certainly much livelier after the event than its captor!”
Len’s tackle for the eels consisted of a pair of rods frequently used at Redmire Pool in the 1970’s by his late lifelong-friend, Bill Quinlan. These were 11ft fibreglass, original Jack Hilton Carp Rods. He coupled these rods with Drennan bait-runner reels loaded with new 10lb ESP Syncro XT, and Kryston original Quicksilver braid hooklinks.
The 6lb eel took a dead bait mounted on a size 4 Cryogen Gripper hook.
Another former Drennan Cup winner who got in on the eel action this week was weekly Angling Times contributor Dai Gribble, who caught four eels to 5lb 6oz from a Southern gravel pit.
All four eels came from a swim Dai had raked the previous afternoon.
The Korum backed ace said: “I’ve found that at dusk eels move into tench swims and feeding maggots and worm really draws them in, so I put rods out for them just before dark.”
Dai caught all his fish on a bunch of red maggots on a size 8 Korum Power hook with a short hook link of Gardner Vigilante and a 2oz in-line lead.