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Eel Hunting..

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
I have thought of adding Eel to my menu.. and that means I gotta go and spear some.. mut ans I have found out that those creatures can grow quite big.. is there something I should do different from hunding fish?.. Shot through the head should calm one down nicely right?
Any experiences? let me know as I think some time this week I am heading to the sea at night to go see some eels and say hello with my gun.. :)

Safe diving to you all
In here some speros hunting murray eels. My cousin shoot them also. I ate one, it was quite tasty with white flesh and no bone in the middle. However the tail part is a bit bony. They always get close to eel and shot to head, the fnish it with knife. But be carefull they have nasty teeths.
Shooting an eel through the head will definetly not calm it down.

I shot several this summer, what happens is they go crazy when they get shot, and curls up around the spear. I shot one with a perfect headshot, and it just split it's head on the spear and swam away with a split head!

Well good luck anyway, just grab it and cut their head of imidiatly after you shoot it.
Cautionary tales...

Here's a bit I posted some time ago about a moray:

There are more ways to use a knife than to get untangled from lines - what if the fish catches YOU?!!!

I knew a pro lobster fisherman (Harry Menger) in the Virgin Islands that had a painful encounter with a moray. Reaching into a hole with a snare to get a lobster, a large moray latched onto his hand, biting hard on the index and heart fingers - then it tensed itself up in the hole and there was no way Harry could get back to the surface without leaving his fingers behind.

By pure and absolute luck it was the first day he wore a knife! He had to cut off the head of the moray (can you imagine doing it all in one breath?) and once back on his boat had to open the jaws with a pair of pliers.

At that time he was considered about the fifth best freediver in the world - around 1968. That probably helped him keep his calm while patiently cutting off the head of the moray.

So make sure you don't get bitten! :duh

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Use 7mm shafts or thicker. They will tie themselves in knots (especially big conger eels 10kg plus) and screwup your shaft
My cousin regullarly shoots murray with 6mm cressi shaft. He cought up to 1-1.5 meter. He shoots it from head then murray immediately wrap itself on the shaft. When its wrapped on the shaft its the time to kill with the knife.
Not if its over 10 kilos. My hands aren't big enough to get a good hold on the neck. I use a second shot on the tail end and stretch it so it doesn't coil. Then you can kill it
Couple of things here. First, the conger eel does not have fangs. What it does have is a hard, rough plate on the top and bottom jaws. Although these probably would not cut you, I have heard them snap their jaws while night diving. If you were unfortunate enough to get your finger in it's mouth, you may go home with a broken finger or two. Second is a little trick someone taught me about morays. Intead of hitting it on the head repeatedly, try smashing the tip of it's tail. It really slows those buggers down, kinda like getting hit in the balls. In either case, are you sure you want to hunt the moray? I have seen some heads the size of a gallon jug coming out of holes. I have also seen free swimming eels close to six feet long. Just one of those creatures that get a not so gentle prod from me but don't exactly get shot. Be safe.

Thanks for replies fellas... I'll be careful.. I found out that Gonger ells go breed during summer months.. so the big onesshould not even be around here at te moment, and morray eels according to my fish book dont live around SW england...
I have seen some freaking big morray eels and I certainly won't shoot a big one.. and about screwing up my shaft... that part sounds really not cool..
What about trident head on my spear would that be a good idea?
I think there only is the European silver eel around... and the Gonger eel..
I'll let you know how it goes as soon as I get my lamp and a ride to the beach at night..
Thanks again

Safe diving Pekka
Its seens not a good idea to use trdient. Even if you shoot it from head it will take off quite easily. I don't mind what can a wounded eel do to you.
Alright I'll leave trident to the shore...

I'll let you know how my hunting is progressing as I get into the water again..

Safe diving!


Your right about the Congers going offshore to breed, but that occurs during may/june so the big eels have already returned inshore.

My advice (for what its worth) is to avoid shooting one at all costs, I say this for a number reasons....

1) They are extremely powerful and it would not take much for them to do some serious damage when shot with a spear.

2) Like all eels they are difficult to kill cleanly due to the muscular content of their body, i.e. even if they are brain dead then the blood still runs through muscles, this spasm effect will make them appear to be alive for much longer, the result being that they can still cause alot of damage.

3) They generally live in very small holes/caves etc with only their head sticking out, the rest of the 5-9ft of the eel (depending how big it is) will be out of reach, therefore even if you do shoot one, I doubt any man would have the stength to haul it out of its hole. (its very rare to see one free swimming, unlike the moray eel)

I'm sorry to put a downer on your thread, but I would hate to see a fellow spearo get hurt in his quest for a big fish.....


Good luck, and stay safe, even though you are in UK waters there are still some fish that can cause some damage if upset.......
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If you are going specifically for the Conger eel, try using a heavy fiberglass pole spear with a three prong head. The most effective weapon that I have used on these suckers is the trusty old three prong. I have taken a few with it at night, the biggest being 19 pounds and 5 feet long. Maybe it's different in the UK but since most night diving in Hawaii is looking for lobster either in or near holes, I have to disagree that most Conger are holed up at night. They are nocturnal predators feeding on crustaceans and small fish. Look at their anatomy. They are built more like an elongated tubular bodied fish than the flat bodied moray. Actually, I thought they burrowed in the sand to look for cover. All of the Conger I have seen have been in areas with white sand nearby. I have seen a couple in holes but most of them are free swimming along the bottom. Pekka, if you want to shoot em go for it. Some people here really like to eat them.

When the moon
Hits your eye
Like a big
Pizza pie,
That's a moray.;)

Sorry, it's bad, I know. I finally got a chance use that line.:eek:

Anyway, I don't hunt eels, but often see morays. I sometimes mess around with the smaller ones, but a couple weeks ago I saw one whose head was poking out of a rock. That head was about the size of a 2 lb. coffee can. We politely said hello to each other and both agreed it would be a real good day if we just left each other alone.

One thing I have wondered about is if a noose made of heavy flourocarbon fishing leader on the end of a pole would work. The idea would be that the flourocarbon line would be almost invisible underwater and could be slipped over the eels head, tighten and pull.
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Congers in the uk tend to be holed up(durring the day)
prob good sport spearing them but from the only one i've caught and eaten not worth the effort.......mutch more fun feeding them small crabs etc.:D

Used a five prong head ,seemed quite effective.
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Hey Ivan,

The murray eels are extremely tasty here. Delicous thick white flesh:p

BTW today i shoot one murray eel from its head but i couldn't take it.:( It was sitting in front of the rock, i shoot it the spear went through the head and hit the rock. The flopper did not open. It tear off the spear easily and lost in the cave.


You would like to add small wing to the front of your spear if you don't want to have same problem.;)

Wonder if our eels we get on the reef here called Moray eels are related to your Murray eels.

I would never shoot one their teeth are too big :D

Well I was diving about a month ago and I shot a large peacock grouper(Roi) under a ledge and the spear got stuck in the coral. I tried pulling it out from the back twice on seperate dives but it didnt work so I decided I was going to grab near the tip under the little ledge and pull it free well right when I went to grab the shaft a Morray eel about 4 or 5 feet long bit me in my middle finger doing some good damage as you can tell from the photo. But the worst part was that my spear was still stuck and I had to leave my Rob Allen 110 out there and my float ( I didnt think to just unclip my line from the spear) well needless to say some one needed the gear more than I did. All I can say is be careful with those buggas they can do alot more damage than they did to me I was lucky. Bootspearo

Editted picture for size - be kind to our low bandwith users ;)


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