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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 04-04-2007, 10:28 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Real and Artificial Eels

Feel free to delete this thread if it's something that's been gone over a million times, but I've had eels on the brain for a while now, and I'm thinking about the different ways of fishing eels and eel imitations.

Given the choice, what would you prefer to fish:

A) Live Eel
B) Rigged Eel (or just a dead eel)
C) Eel Artificial (plug, sluggo, etc.)

I've gotten the artificial eel bug this winter, and am eager to fish my eel plugs and sluggos this spring. And there's a new artificial on the market (Delong Kilr Eels) that I've heard some good things about. But I'm interested to hear others' opinions on how to fish real or fake eels.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:36 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

In order of preference:
Rigged
Live
Rubber
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:12 PM
bass-o-matic bass-o-matic is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

Frank, can you elaborate a little on why you prefer rigged over live? Is it because they are easier to handle?
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:58 PM
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ragman ragman is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

Chris,
I have tried the DeLong eels, and didn't get anything with them. Then again, I never fished eels either. They say they are scented, and they are... They smell like licorice... I think the smaller DeLongs, about 3 or 4 inches might work as teasers.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:03 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

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Chris,
I have tried the DeLong eels, and didn't get anything with them. Then again, I never fished eels either. They say they are scented, and they are... They smell like licorice... I think the smaller DeLongs, about 3 or 4 inches might work as teasers.
I haven't actually seen them in person yet, Rags, but so far they don't seem to me to be much of an improvement over a rigged Sluggo. And the scent thing is irrelevent to me -- if you're fishing it like a plug, I don't see what difference a scent is going to make. One thing about them that I do find curious is that they make a whole lot of different colors, including some technicolor styles, but it doesn't look like there's one that actually looks like an eel. You'd think they might have wanted to consider that. But I will probably give the black one a try.

I'm going to be experimenting with artificial eels a lot this spring (I have high hopes for my rigged Sluggos). I want to see if they can approximate the results of live eels. I hope they do, because with how I fish (walking and casting, sometimes covering many miles in a night) carrying around a dozen eels can be kind of a pain.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:17 AM
joeaugeri joeaugeri is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

for many years now i have used alou eels,i just picked up another 2 at a flea last weekend for 4 bucks apiece.these things work,i have caught bass on them from gansett to cape may.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:55 AM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

Real rigged than plugs and a distant 3rd live eels. I say a distant 3rd because they are a pain in the butt to use. But a bigger problem in catch and release. Many swallow the hook and you have to let them got with steel in their belly. In the old days it didn't matter they were killed and sold. Plus I have some great plugs that give a live eel a run for the money. Plugs are certainly more fun to use,
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:56 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

Bassomatic, live eels you have to be going to the beach when the shops are open. Or, you keep them in a car somewhere in a creek and the raccoons eat them or someody sees you and lets them go. Live eels, you are always at risk.

Rigged eels you can keep in your freezer next to the fillets and venison where they are safe. You wake up some night screaming that they are doing it somewheres without you, your stash is in the freezer and you haul. No shops, no permission, no hassle. Frozen, they become frequent flyers that you don't have to keep alive and can put right back in the freezer.

Rubber is clean, cheap, dead and non-decaying.
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Garrity View Post
I haven't actually seen them in person yet, Rags, but so far they don't seem to me to be much of an improvement over a rigged Sluggo. And the scent thing is irrelevent to me -- if you're fishing it like a plug, I don't see what difference a scent is going to make. One thing about them that I do find curious is that they make a whole lot of different colors, including some technicolor styles, but it doesn't look like there's one that actually looks like an eel. You'd think they might have wanted to consider that. But I will probably give the black one a try.
Chris,
The ones I have, were won in the NJ Angler tourny last year. The larger one is sort of eel colored, dark green on top, fading to a lighter color on the belly. But I have never seen a real eel with sparkles in the skin... And I have never smelled one that smelled like licorice either. I guess it's just something to catch the fisheman instead of the fish....
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:30 PM
Cap'n Bigass Cap'n Bigass is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

Al and I used to run into Al Reinfelder when he was experimenting with the Alou Eel prior to marketing it. As I recall, he caught fish with it, but we always did better with rigged eels.

About keeping eels: I had a galvanized garbage can in my basement, full of fresh water, that always had a couple of dozen live eels in it, kept alive by an aerator. I found that the eels would improve in quality as they went without food, because they would lose their flabbiness. These were big, 18 inch eels. The interior of the can was painted a dark color, and that caused the eels to adjust their own color to a darker shade, which I preferred. Every time I went fishing, time permitting, I would rig one or two before leaving. About 5 minutes in the freezer would immobilize them enough to rig, although they would often revive before I finished rigging them. Many times, my first few casts of the night were with a live rigged eel. They would die after 5 or 6 casts, and they were absolutely beautiful.....I can't imagine anything being better than that.

I would also carry about a half-dozen leftover rigged eels with me that had been kept in a wet towel, either in the freezer or on crushed ice.

CL
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:48 PM
bass-o-matic bass-o-matic is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

I put eels in my freezer once.... My wife opened the freezer before I got a chance to warn her and well you can guess what happened next.
Needless to say I am not allowed to keep eels in the freezer anymore. However, I am fortunate enough to live across the street from the bay where I can keep them in a pot. So I almost always have a live supply.
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:12 PM
Merlin Merlin is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

Bass-a man should have some priorities. Do we have to draw a line down the center of the freezer to compromise, his stuff, our stuff?
What are the chances of you getting into her nail polish collection for a little touch up paint for the bucktail jigs?
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:14 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

The trouble with a Reinfelder type of rubber eel with a jig plate up front is that it represents too much junk at the head. Bass seem touchy about stuff -- swivals, wires, plates -- at the head. I think the more direct, junkless, attachment of a rigged eel is cleaner and less likely to tip a lineside off.
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:18 PM
Cap'n Bigass Cap'n Bigass is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

[quote=Frank Daignault; Bass seem touchy about stuff -- swivals, wires, plates -- at the head. I think the more direct, junkless, attachment of a rigged eel is cleaner and less likely to tip a lineside off.[/quote]

Absolument raison, Francois!

CL
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Old 04-07-2007, 09:17 AM
joeaugeri joeaugeri is offline
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Default Re: Real and Artificial Eels

i dont know frank,its realy not that much junk, compared to a solid plug or metal lure. bass luv them, i ya look at the video of the slugo ,then an alou,there is no doubt in my mind what looks like an eel.i just bought some 10 inch black hoages, i am gonna rig them with a tin eel head, and use them in some of my favorite spots, they are nice and soft ,should wiggly real nice.try useing a pt.jude wobble head with a 8 inch black mister twister,gansett bass love them.
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