Eels on the Avon
Nearly every river has eels in them and in some big eels. For this example we are going to fish on the Bristol Avon which has plenty of eels of all sizes. As for the approach towards catching them it all depends on the time of year and how high the river is. As you can see when we visited the Avon it was in late summer and the water levels were still low and clear. Fishing in the margins in the deepest water we could find was the chosen tactic. After finding a nice deep swim with a little bit of slack water on either side we got on with setting up our gear.

The rigs are simple to set up and easy to use. Basically slide a small leger weight or a line of swan shot onto the line with a stop hot for the leger. Then tie on a small wire trace and put a size 2-8 single hook on the end. This rig works best in the margins hence the lightness of the rig.

The bait we chose to use was half a sprat just hooked onto the hook in one end of the fish. Eels will eat allot but haven't got huge mouths so sometimes a whole sprat will be to much for a eels to take and you will get a run but no eel on the end. Slitting the bait with a knife also adds to the attraction.

The slack water was the idea place to place our baits so we slowly lowered them in and set up a few swingers on the bank sticks to register an eel having a go. It wasn't long before one of the rods started tapping to one side. The best thing to do is to let it tap around for a couple of seconds before you strike. This allows the eel to get the bait into it's mouth and the hook sets better when you strike. Getting them in the net is always fun. When you have them in the net it's important that you keep the rest of your rig out of the net to avoid a tangle with the eel.

Not huge eels but big enough to put a bend in the rod. And big enough to be a hand full when you are trying to take a picture.

A hand full of eels this size will keep you busy and there is always a chance of a really big one. T.Bawn & A.Gillespie

Coarse Fishing