The restistance movement by The Burglar 2002

A season's catch in a day?!

This story started when I picked up Coarse Angling Today in a local newsagents and I spotted some up coming books. There was one on Eels. I text Steve Dawe about it and he said he already knew about it and that I was written by a NAC member. My John Sidley book has always been a favourite so this one had to be purchased!

My Parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas a few days later and there was only one answer! I got Eels, The Final Frontier a few days before Christmas as I was spending the time away but that book was taken over anything else! A 4hr train journey always sees me reading rather than anything else!

I couldn't help flicking through the book and looking at all the massive eels caught by the young and old. The one of John Sidley with the broad headed eel in the broad head/narrow head chapter was a cracking shot as that same eel has always been a favourite picture of mine in the Beekey book.

I noticed the where to fish section and took a look through and while looking in through, there was a water near me.  I dropped the owner an email with the usual can I use wire, fish baits and the reply I got was great! Fish baits and wire no problem, just barbless hooks, two rods only, take it easy if a carp gets hooked on the wire and fishery nets only. One of few fisheries that had few rules but sensible ones and that understand an eel angler's point of view! I told him that I wouldn't be down till after the pike season ended around mid march and he even wished me luck!

I managed to get down there on the 1 st of April after a couple of blank day sessions on my usual water. I wasn't confident on my other water with the weather being fairly mild but the day before, Scotland had 8” of snow and we had high winds and even some sleet. It was proper bitter! I resigned myself to a blank but it would be good to have an exploratory trip.

Got on one pit that was empty, there were others on the other lake but I didn't want to cause upset using fish baits.  I chucked out some nice lobbies (a 1st after when using worms on my 1st ever session, I got perched out so stuck to deads ever since!) and had a whip for some little baits.  I just couldn't get a bait for love nor money but had the odd goodish bleep on the worm rod but nothing to tip that rollover just a little too far...!

The owners wife came round and said to try the other lake so I moved across (all of 5 yds !) and got the worm rod out an tried for baits again.  I got a bite 1st cast on the whip, but missed it!  Oh well, it was a start.  I finally got a nice roach but it wasn't what I was after bait wise!



I carried on for abit and then it happened...the rollover went over and a quick strike and I'm actually connected with something! I've had runs using the rollovers before but never actually christened them so to speak.  Being a mixed fishery, I thought it was anything other than an eel and it was an odd fight and didn't feel too big but up on the surface, it's an eel!  I couldn't believe it!  I actually caught an eel using rollovers and worms!  I tried to calm it down but it was having none of it so I slipped it back without a picture or weighing but I put it around 1.8.

Cast the rod back to pretty much the same spot and poured out that celebratory cup of coffee.  I've started taking a notebook with me so I can jot down the actual happenings before I forget and don't long it in my log book.  Pen poised and BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP, BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ, RATTLE RATTLE RATTLE (I use an ATTX system to keep alarm noise down and the rattle should be the rollovers but they don't sound as bad as that!) and I'm on the rod in a shot!  Another quick strike and I'm in again. Another odd fight and I knew then that it was another eel. This one stayed a little deeper so I thought it was a better fish. The fish broke the surface and it was another eel! A little better than the 1 st . I start to bring the net up around it and its tails still out the edge and it's on its way out! I manover it up a little further up the handle and its tail drops over the net cord and it swims backwards into the net text book style. Lesson learnt! I manage to weight this one and it goes exactly 1lb 8oz. I try and calm this fish down but it's having none of it either so I let it go back to its watery home.

The coffee is cold now and I can hardly write as I have just taken 2 eels within half an hour of moving lakes. You're probably thinking this guy's odd, get excited over pound and a half eels. Well, I am new to the sport and with last season being my 1 st after specimen eels, taking a grand total of 3 between mid June and the end of September, 2 in a day is some going and as I see it, it's a confidence booster and experienced gained for me!

Sit down and get the pen to paper and just writing about how the eels take as I'm about to write, I have another run, on the same rod and the same spot again! I'm liking these rollovers now! It is a damn good noise. Again, I know instantly it's an eel. I can't believe it, worm bait on a mixed fishery and all I can catch is my target eels! I had also just equalled my best season quantity wise in one session!

Five minutes later and a big storm hits. My umbrellas inside out, all my stuff is getting drenched. It soon clears up and I reel in and go to the car for some waterproof trousers and a keepnet. I had 3 eels and not sacked any! Will they go off and warn the others as is the theory!

Well, bar a few bleeps here and there and a few missed fish on the whip, the eels have spoken and are not interested anymore!

As I pack up, I meet the owner and he shows me a picture of an eel around the 4lb mark. He feels there's a lot in there bigger than that with a lot of matchmen getting bitten off. There is defiantly plenty of potential! Watch this space…..!

The Quest for big canal eels by The Burglar 2002
The resistance movement 2 by The Burglar 2003
Conservation for eels by The Burglar 2004
In Search of my “Redmire Legends” by The Burglar 2004
Anti deep hooking techniques by The Burglar 2006
Eel Baits by Eel
Report on Eels in Sweden Permission given by Swedish Board of Fisheries
Eel Management Plans
West Sutherland
Elver Survey Permission given by West Sutherland Fisheries Trust
Eels - A season's catch in a day? by Jon Staple
A season's catch in a day! Part 2 by Jon Staple
The Diary of a Day-Only Eeler - Part 3 by Jon Staple
Why Eels by Jon Staple
Diary of a day only Eel angler, Part 4 by Jon Staples
Diary of a day only Eel angler, Part 5 by Jon Staples
Diary of a day only Eel angler, Part 6 by Jon Staples
Diary of a day only Eel angler, Part 7 by Jon Staples
Eel-Fishing? You're Mad by Simon Garrard
Eel Pass, River Ouse
by Environment Agency
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