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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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As a kid we'd go out into the Long Island Sound and spear long black eels from the boat using really long shafted monsterous eel spears. Coleman lanterns hung from the gunnels would provide light. They were 2 - 4 ft long and fearsome creatures but cooked up well.
 
This is what a 13lb eel did to my speartip :blackeye

Conservation and the prospect of worse damage helped me decide to leave this one alone...

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uImy8kJKsKc]YouTube - Conger[/ame]
 

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If anything, it's better to shoot them with a 5 pronger. Me I'd never shoot and eel with a single tip tahitian shaft: only trident of 5 pronger.
If you shoot with a tahitian, the best that you can get is a bent shaft, unless you succeed to shoot them straight way down into the mouth to get a paralyzing effect. But it's a very difficult shot even on a fixed target like a holed up eel, because after all, fixed target or mobile target, that thing is alive!
 
If you must shoot them try and get them from the side, whilst they are still stunned pull them into a position where you can cut through the flesh at the back of the neck and cut through the spinal cord.


Kev
 
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Side shot and pull is the perfect routine, and cutting the spine is the perfect follow up. Sometimes, especially with moray eels, it's a good thing to poke deep the articulation of the jaws and disarticulate the jaw bones, so to inhabilitate their bite.
But let's keep in mind that doing it all (shoot, pull, secure, cut and kill) all in one breath hold is not always possible if ever. In the frenzy of the moment, you may even forget that you're holding your breath underwater and fall at risk of SWB.
Best routine (IMHO): shoot, pull, surface, take a breath and then kill.
A trident shot in the head from a side is the best way to keep the eel secured during the process.
 
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i thought moray eels were protected?

Could be that somewhere they're protected. But not in my country, for example.

This is a worldwide forum with worldwide members, and since regulations are different from region to region, all we can do is to recommend everyone to check their local rules before shooting anything.

Deeperblue is all against hunting protected species.
 
Most definitely--here in Texas I've heard of gear, guns and even boat confiscated--plus a healthy fine (and the potential to lose the right to hunt or fish) for not following regs.
 
Most definitely--here in Texas I've heard of gear, guns and even boat confiscated--plus a healthy fine (and the potential to lose the right to hunt or fish) for not following regs.

And I guess no Texan would risk his boat and hunting rights for a slice of fried eel...:blackeye

Did I mention that the ancient Romans (my grand grandfathers) used to keep live morays in tanks and feed them with the human flesh of war prisoners? Now you see where I'm coming from...:mad:
 
And I guess no Texan would risk his boat and hunting rights for a slice of fried eel...:blackeye

Did I mention that the ancient Romans (my grand grandfathers) used to keep live morays in tanks and feed them with the human flesh of war prisoners? Now you see where I'm coming from...:mad:
i dont think it would just be a texan, anyone who has any dignity as well i guess, morays are worse then angel fish they will just sit there and let you put your gun to there head...:naughty well i guess if you have troubles killing running fish and its legal where your from by all means.... i know in all of america and mexico it is a protected species.:chatup anyway even if it were legal i still ont think i would shoot one,roflno challenge.:martial
 
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i dont think it would just be a texan, anyone who has any dignity as well i guess, morays are worse then angel fish they will just sit there and let you put your gun to there head...:naughty well i guess if you have troubles killing running fish and its legal where your from by all means.... i know in all of america and mexico it is a protected species.:chatup anyway even if it were legal i still ont think i would shoot one,roflno challenge.:martial

Same here. Hunting eels does not require particular skill as you point out correctly.
It's quite an easy fish to spot and the easiest target to shoot. Retrieving them is the only hard part, but retrieving itself is more an annoyment than a really difficult task, most of the times.

We shoot them to eat (mediterranean countries have a tradition for cooking eels in many fashions) or in competitions, when and if comp rules enlist them as valid catch for tournament score. But competitive spearos themselves tend to leave eels there where they are, as it takes much time to kill and retrieve.
I find it also fun to find them, as you have to scan the bottom very carefully and, in the continuous up and down quest, you always notice something interesting to see. It's what we locally call the "stitching machine" type of hunting.
 
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Same here. Hunting eels does not require particular skill as you point out correctly.
It's quite an easy fish to spot and the easiest target to shoot. Retrieving them is the only hard part, but retrieving itself is more an annoyment than a really difficult task, most of the times.

We shoot them to eat (mediterranean countries have a tradition for cooking eels in many fashions) or in competitions, when and if comp rules enlist them as valid catch for tournament score. But competitive spearos themselves tend to leave eels there where they are, as it takes much time to kill and retrieve.
I find it also fun to find them, as you have to scan the bottom very carefully and, in the continuous up and down quest, you always notice something interesting to see. It's what we locally call the "stitching machine" type of hunting.
hmmmm, actually interesting .... :head i have never eatin one but would like to try it is just highly prohibited here, but agree.
 
I see your points, igodeep, and your fairness is highly appreciated.
By the way, I don't even think we're talking about the same species of eels.
What we (occasionally) spearfish here in the Med are Murena Helena (type of moray eel) and Conger conger (looks like a river eel, but grows much bigger). None of the two is considered endangered species.
 
Never seen a moray (too cold here) but shot many conger eels.

Firstly finding them is not that easy as they are mainly nocturnal (like many eels) and during the day they "hole up". In colder water this means mainly in reefs covered by thick kelp, so they are not visible unless you dive under said kelp. Coming face to face with a big eel under the kelp can be a slightly scary experience.

Yes, once found eels are fairly easy targets but pulling the trigger is the start of your troubles. Eels of 30lb to 50lb are sronger than most divers. Smaller eels are very agile and all of them bite.

Having speared many I now no longer hunt them. Not withstanding the "sport" element I am not over fond of eating them myself and commercial fishing has greatly reduced their numbers where I live. Not against anyone else spearing a few though and a big conger is a challenge for any spearo.

Here's a vid of an approx 25lb-er in his/her home. [ame="http://www.youtube.com/user/theflatfishking#p/a/u/0/E9Y5yD8nUvU"]YouTube - ‪theflatfishking's Channel‬‏[/ame]

Dave.
 
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i know in all of america and mexico it is a protected species.:chatup anyway even if it were legal i still ont think i would shoot one,roflno challenge.:martial

they are not protected everywhere in america, i know for a fact they are legal in hawaii however they are extremely prone to cig and i have only ever seen them shot by fishermen who use them as bait.

while they are easy to shoot it is quite challenging to land a big one even a 15 pounder is very strong and can bend shafts and break polespears.
 
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I see your points, igodeep, and your fairness is highly appreciated.
By the way, I don't even think we're talking about the same species of eels.
What we (occasionally) spearfish here in the Med are Murena Helena (type of moray eel) and Conger conger (looks like a river eel, but grows much bigger). None of the two is considered endangered species.
only deserved, not just givin:) i think you have good info like myself but im a little uneducated on this one so you will see me on the sideline, thanks for your knowlege as it is what makes us all better..:)
 
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Firstly finding them is not that easy as they are mainly nocturnal (like many eels) and during the day they "hole up". In colder water this means mainly in reefs covered by thick kelp, so they are not visible unless you dive under said kelp. Coming face to face with a big eel under the kelp can be a slightly scary experience.

Agree with Dave. Coming face to face with them can be a bit of a surprise. I met the one in this video when I went to take a closer look at some particularly large prawns that were lurking by a hole. I do quite like conger to eat but they are slimy, can bend your spear and I've grown kind of fond of them and like taking photos of them now :)

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uImy8kJKsKc]YouTube - Conger[/ame]
 
Agree Dave congers are more difficult to spot than murena (the mediterranean moray) who tend to keep all the head well outside of the hole, often vertically in a "candle in the wind" posture.
They (murena) always look like theyr'e biteing and chewing something, and their continuous jaws tickling is quite...discouraging.
I've shot several eels of the two types, but I wouldnt' shoot a 20 kilograms conger like those big ones you have up there in Britain, for the only reason I'd be afraid of them.
 
Conger always look a bit too menacing for my liking. They don't seem to be aggressive by nature (unless speared) but their mouth is always partly open and they just look mean :martial .

I have had them bite the shiny flopper on my spear and even strike at my mask. My mate was bitten on the leg by a 26lb-er he speared. I also had one snatch a fish off my spear and then another from my belt.

Some scuba divers hand feed them which I think is fairly stupid and asking for trouble. It's a bit like they hand feed stingrays in some foreign dive centers. How good an idea is that? Ask Steve Irwin.

Dave.
 
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