To Ragman I never fished New Jersey. It's just too far and too much traffic for a trip from Long Island.
To Nifty Bruin at times I do add weight to the head of a rigged eel when I need to get it down deep. I do this with a 9 inch piece of solder one eight of an inch thick. I wrap it around the head hook behind the eye of the hook. You can also wrap one around the belly of the hook where the shank is.
Im giving this advice asumming you rig an eel the way I do.
I have switched to plug,s over the eel if there is too much weed or if it.s breaking daylight. I'll use a surface swimmer. A Jointed one that looks like an eel or a surface swimming Danny. They usually don't pick up much weed and they are great daybreak plug,s. Of course there are times you need a plug for a long cast or when you have a big wind in your face... With the new line I don't have to switch to a heavy plug often.