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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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9kilo Conger.. Whooa.. that must have been a quite a fight.. I can only remember fighting a bit with a big bass.. and I don't think that was more than couple of kilos..
Did you put it on your stringer or what did you do with it once you had shot it? did it bend your spear?
and actually.. what is so unfair about hunting sleeping fish? I haven't shot any yet, but the logic doesn't really work.. why would it be any different to shoot sleeping fish than one awake? specially if you are hunting for food.. I am sure it is not too easy as it is pitch black and you with your little lamp..
so is it just unfair to kill fish while they sleep, or is there some other reason for not hunting at night for sleeping fish?

Safe diving and hunting
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Sleeping fish can't see you and doesn't run away....

In here people don't use small torch for night hunting. Its funny to hunt with small torch at night. People using here car battery and floodlights and spot lights... I don't know "how" but they are doing it..
Pekka, the conger did put up a real fight.I shot it in the head and had to keep swimming backward to avoid it wrapping around the shaft and bending it. I had to grab it by the neck and make a quick cut to the spinal cord before if stopped thrashing. My buddy had his buoy and we hanged it on his stringer.
Hi all.. just caught this thread and thought id say hi, Pekka i have an intreseting and successful story about getting a conger.. and Stevie T it came from weymouth... i wont say where, but if you know i friend of mine from there (Titus Bradly) you will know where ;) Anyway it was late evening and the dive site required some serious stealth work so humming the theme to james bond away we went...a few drops around a favorite site produced some crabs and a lobster when we succeded where others had failed.. this site has some holes into which small things.. in theory could swim to the cave behind and stay.. growing bigger... until know we couldnt get at the caves, but we found a way this evening, after a couple of short dives a head appeared.. a large head.. with large eyes.. a spear was put through it.. followed swiflty by a second. Now the fight was on, it took countless dives and too much time but we emerged triumphant with a 50lb!!! conger! Great fun.. hard work, great eating but i wouldnt do it again and i wouldnt do it alone! It trashed our gear and wiped us out.. and as for coming home on the bus! well this came home with its head out the window of a fiesta!
Let me give a small tip:

If you ever shoot a moray eel or any other one, just cut the lower jaw longitudally into two! They cant bite you after cutting. (They will intent to bite you for sure!! :D but cant hurt you)
Isn't cutting just head or spine easier/safer?

That way you keep your finger away from its jaw...
well you can cut the jaw without grabbing the eel. grab from the spearshaft without touching the eel, cut the jaw by pushing the knife from downside :) its not too easy but easier than killing a big eel.
Hi ickledevil,

Sounds like a real beast.. I don't know if I would have shot such a big one.. can you see from the head peaking out from a hole how big the eel is? I am just thinking of me and a head of an eel peeking out from a hole... I would fire.. but is there anything that tells you the difference say from 20pound eel from 50 pound eel?

I just came from local swiming hall and am acheing to dive with my spear and in the sea.......:head

Memo is right, thats the best way to kill a moray! After that the fear of a bite is finished.


I usualy don't spear morrays, to mutch trobble to clean. Normally we eat them pan fried, but they have to be salted and dry first, to loose some of the fat.

Conger eel is another thing... The best thing is a five point multiprong. Rigth in middle of the head/skull. I like to use a small pneumatic. If you can't see his head... just put a piece of fresh fish or octupuss tentacle at the "door" of the hole/cave. Octupuss work very well...conger eels love it.

BOOTSPEARO...ugly bite...ouch.

It was a monster.. we shot it with pnematic gauss guns (dont ask where titus managed to find them!) but we had no idea of the size of it until it was too late, although i guess if your used to seeing them the head would provide you with enough so you could guess its size.. unfortunately we just dont see them often enough!
i stopped shooting conger and murray eels, a long time ago (i dont really like how they taste). But during old times ,i speared quite a few. My bests were,a 12kilo murray and a 17kilo conger eel...Murray eels have a weak spot and they die almost instanly ,if you manage to aim it with your spear. They have 2 black holes (one on each side of the body). These holes are located at the back of the head and a little lower, and actually they work as pumps and exhausts.
Unlike fish ,a murray has to suck water from its mouth and force it to the gills, in order to breath (thus the always ``defensive``mouth open position). These two holes serve as pumps (when they`re close they pump water from the mouth) and as an exit for the filtered water and food wastes
(when they`re open) . In order for those holes to work properly, the area around the holes is very sensitive with a lot of nerve endings. If you cause damage at that area, instantly the breathing system fails and after some seconds brain death occurs...I usually waited for 1 or 2 minutes, before the eel was 100% dead...:)
As for conger eels, shoot them between the eyes, with a diagonial shot (from above), in order to penetrate the head. This will cause damage to the brain, and give you better grip...
3 ft moray eel taken in la jolla...these things put up a fight!:duh


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Just about to post a message about this but Pekka has beaten me to it again !

Anyway, was out yesterday for an hour when I saw a purple blue tail sticking out of the vraic, I poked it with the tip of my gun and saw that the head was about 6 feet away. Large Conger eel.

I decided not to shoot it (100cm Beauchat Mundial with 4m of line and a 6mm shaft - thin line for bass (old salmon woven braided line - not sure on breaking strain)).

What happenss when you shoot them ?

Would a reel be better ? ie pay out some line (like a mile !) and then have a pop at it ?

Any good recipes for cooking conger ?

I like my conger stuffed and baked or simply chopped into cutlets like salmon, dipped in flour on both sides and thrown onto a hot pan :p

I've only ever taken one and I won't be taking another anytime soon after losing a spear to the bugger - complete u-turn he made out of it and only at just over 2.5K in weight -- lesson learnt, don't bother with them anymore and I prefer my bass/bream anyway rofl

My grandad was an avid freediver/fisherman and he regularly took large conger if he came across them. Shoot through the head and at an angle then give him a chelsea smile with your knife so they can't bite, he won't be biting you after that and it's time to do battle with the beast, pity I didn't know that before I shot my first...
Nice tip Paddy.
About the cooking too - Shane - how did you cook yours ?

Starting to get itchy - all these storms over here have meant rough seas and poor visiblity....

Anyway - not sure I would go for a conger unless they taste really really good.

Anyone like to describe the taste ?!

I guess from reading this thread again a short 7mm shaft (pref. an old one) attached to a large float might work the best. And one in the tail too.

Not about to waste a 140cm devoto 6.5mm shaft on one.....

Pretty popular to gaff them at low water here in Guernsey. Various tales of gaffing them and then battling with them and also the rising tides (9m tidal range....oh yeah it rips through in some places)

I have a moroccan friend who cooks them for me in a Tagine with moroccan spices, onions, raisins, cinammon :p

Man it is awesome

Ask Memo about it HAHAHAHA

The flesh is very fine and has a few spines in it. Discard anything about 5-10cm below anus as the amount of spines radically increases here.

Frying this fish is also AWESOME. The skin is easier to remove once fried IMHO, dont waste your time ;)
As an hobby cook, what is a Tagine? Here in Qatar my wife and I have been learning all the arabic and gulf-arab (there IS a BIG difference) cooking styles/ideas but miss out on N African stuff...

Also, howz abut posting the recipe over on the cooking area ? hmmm?
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