‘Eel Man’ back with 7lb 4oz monster

“Use three rods on one spot for big eels" says Steve Pitts

'Eel Man' back with 7lb 4oz monster

by Angling Times |

Steve Pitts, best known as 'The Eel Man', finished second place in last year's Drennan Cup with two astonishing big eel captures. He is already back in on the action this year too, with the recent capture of this incredible 7lb 4oz specimen.

In a recent issue of Angling Times, he explained how he is so successful when it comes to targeting big eels...

“For me, targeting big eels is the ultimate challenge. They don’t roll on the surface and give themselves away, and when they reach specimen size they don’t have to feed very often either. So when one moves into your swim you want to give yourself the best chance of a bite.

“This is the way I’ve looked at fishing during an eel campaign on a large stillwater over the last few seasons. I’ve fished 90 nights and had four bites, all of which resulted in eels being landed, including my most recent success when I caught an immense fish of 7lb 4oz. It’s the same water where I had the 10lb 2oz fish last season.

“The problem with this venue is that presentation is a nightmare. The bottom is all over the place, and it’s very weedy, so finding an area where I can present a bait reliably is tricky.

“I’ve found it’s best to avoid silkweed, because it’ll mask your hookbait, so as soon as I found a promising area I decided to make the most of it and put three rods tight on the one spot. The hope was that if an eel entered the swim, I’d have three chances of it taking my bait. Four bites in 90 nights may not be prolific, but given the size of the eels I’m catching, I’m confident that my approach is working.

“There are other things I do to swing the odds in my favour. I introduce lots of molehill soil, packed with fish oils, dry fishmeal and crushed hemp. This mix has very little food content, so any eel that comes into the swim is starved of options, other than my hookbait. It’s a very active mix, with the crushed hemp and fishmeal bursting off once it’s in the water, creating a column of feed that’ll attract little fish into the area. The ensuing commotion attracts the eels.

I introduce lots of molehill soil, packed with fish oils, dry fishmeal and crushed hemp
I introduce lots of molehill soil, packed with fish oils, dry fishmeal and crushed hemp

“For my hookbait, I use a small Arma Mesh bag containing bits of fish. I present these very small baits on a running rig, with a short hooklink and a very heavy lead. I’m fishing for bites, not runs, and I’m only expecting the bobbins to twitch when an eel picks up the bait.

“If the eel is moving a light lead and running, you’ll miss lots of bites or end up with a deeply hooked fish. With this set-up, I’ll hit into them straight away, and all the fish I’ve had on this campaign have been neatly hooked in the lip.

“Don’t mess about with sub-standard gear. I use pike rods and 20lb mono, and I don’t give the fish an inch during the fight. My recent seven-pounder put up an incredible scrap, and you have to be up to scratch when playing these big eels.”

Steve Pitts – 7lb 4oz eel
Steve Pitts – 7lb 4oz eel
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