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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 03-13-2007, 11:00 AM
Rockport24 Rockport24 is offline
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Default Eel Skin Plug question

Hi Frank, I was re-reading you discussion on eel skin plugs in Striper Surf last night and the issue of storing the eelskin plug was a little unclear to me.
You mention you could store the skin in a kosher salt solution or in a pork rind bottle, does that mean the WHOLE plug skin and all? Or just the skin? If so, does that mean you have to put the skin on the plug and take it off after each use and store it alone? Pardon my googandry here, this is new to me!
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Old 03-15-2007, 11:32 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Plug question

Googandry? What would we googanologists do if we did not have patients. The only bad googans are googan girls who can't get in to the backseat without opening the doors on a rainy night. Now, for your most cogent question gleened from that literary marvel of techno-babel -- Striper Surf.

Leave the eel skin on but if you leave it out in the air it will dry up and become a hard plastic skin. So you have to store it in a wet rag to keep it moist. Short term a cooler or frig is fine but keep the cloth/rag wet. Long term you can freeze it wet, (I think) because I don't remember long term storage of skin plugs. If you are going to do skin plugs in a big way the pickling solution in pork rind jars is good for the spare skins you have ready for future use. I used to do that. Once a skin has been installed, you are committed to care for it so as to not have to rig another subsequent one too soon. There is biology -- read rot -- in a skin plug, much like a rigged eel.

My old uncle, Brad Pramscuttle, kicked out of more Maine lumber camps than Mae West in her youth .... my takin too long with this? -- used to keep everythging in the frigerator, which is why his first wife left after two weeks of marraige, and the combination of precious rigged eels and decaying eel skins had the maggots doing the macerana next to the provalone. So they do need care.
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:31 PM
Rockport24 Rockport24 is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Plug question

great response Frank! thanks! I'll give it a shot.
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:37 PM
BruceP BruceP is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Plug question

Where can one find some info on the best way to go about skinnin the eel?
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:53 PM
ScrodBalls ScrodBalls is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Plug question

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceP View Post
Where can one find some info on the best way to go about skinnin the eel?
Unlike a cat, there's pretty much only one way.

With a sharp knife, angled towards the tail, slice through the skin behind the neck all the way around. Keep the head on. You should end up with a flap that you can roll back. With dry rags, grab the head TIGHT and with the other, wrap it around the flap.

Now pull HARD and dont stop. It will peel right off inside out.

To turn it back right side out, hold it to your lips and blow like a balloon.
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:58 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Plug question

For skins you use a march larger eel in order to get one that will fit snugly on a big plug. I would guess a 24 inch or more eel. A lot of guys leave them inside out so taht they appear blue. You can of course reverse it to natural side out and get a black skin. When skinning the eel, nail its head to a board and as he says, cut around the circle and peel it back off like a glove. You can also prepare a jar loaded with Kosher salt and store them in that until installing onto a plug. We did our skin plug fishing when living on the beach and thus had to resort to "salting". Once on the plug, I kept ours in the cooler on ice wrapped in an old cloth. Also, remove the rear hook on the plug as bass are head hunters anyway and without the rear hook your "skin plug" will foul less without a rear hook. (and you thought I was just another pretty face)
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Old 03-16-2007, 03:55 PM
Rockport24 Rockport24 is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Plug question

also, all that info and more is in Striper Surf!

just tryin' to help Frank!
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Old 03-17-2007, 12:43 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Plug question

A lot of the things we do, along with the things that can be done, might be more work than is necessary to catch stripers. When I wrote Striper Surf, I saw my mission as being as complete as possible in cataloging all the options, that in that case, relating to eels -- live, rigged and eel skins.
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