Tonight I am going to do something that I've never done before (ever!) - I'm going eel fishing. Actually making a deliberate attempt to catch an eel by design, not accident. Why?
The freshwater eel, Anguilla anguilla, is now a "critically endangered" species according to the authorities. This means that it is just one step away from being extinct in the wild - so that's extinct then? Quite how this situation has arisen is a mystery - eels remain a bloody nuisance in the waterways of East Kent. However, knowing that there might not be another chance to deliberately seek a decent specimen, they grow very slowly - a pound every ten years, I have made the decision to give it a shot.
My PB stands at 7lbs 1oz - a ridiculous piece of good fortune, no skill involved what so ever! I don't expect to get anywhere close to this, given the brevity of my efforts, but knowing that I have already taken a fish of 3lbs 6oz from the same drain system, I am confident of getting a decent (?) fish or two. One month, October 2015, is all I'm prepared to spend - I bloody detest eels - after which I can revert back to normal and fish for whatever I fancy. Benno and Sye are off to a Sussex reservoir to start their pike campaign - tight lines.
There are a few ground rules, which I must adhere to in order, to get the maximum enjoyment from this silly project. Duncan Kay 1lbs 10oz t/c rods and Mitchell 300's are the basic requirement - 12lbs b.s. mono, running leger set-up with a 16-18" hook link (Kryston Silk Worm) with barbless size 10 & 8's hooks. Worms on one rod, some fish - type bait on the other. Crab sticks, prawns, sprats - I've not made a decision yet. This first session will be very much a "trial and error" effort. Bite indication will be light weight monkeys, on needles, with open bale arms - as little resistance as I can offer these, supposedly, finicky feeders!
I have not made any effort to pre-bait an area, so I'll get what I deserve - very little at a guess? I have a couple of ideas which might assist my cause - 3mm halibut pellets will play a part in my baiting strategy but, as this is a venture into uncharted territory (for me), I will be very open to change as the circumstances dictate. Any eel will be a result, yet I'm looking for a fish in excess of 4lbs. Is this simply wishful thinking, or a realistic target? I have two drains along which I am going to concentrate my efforts; The Ash Levels being my first choice (where I had the Night Heron!) - it is a desolate and neglected spot. I would like to think that my angling apprenticeship will stand me in good stead - watch this space!