In June, when the brood of quiet feeding fish is very easy prey, eels become extremely voracious. During this period, tiny fish are the most effective bait. The author is a supporter of fishing in the river near the washed-out banks.
With good weather in June, the water quickly warms up to a temperature of approx 20 degrees. Awareness, that the eels have already started to intensively hunt for the brood of quiet feeding fish, makes, that I can't sit still at home. This month I catch thick eels every year, even in broad daylight. The trick is to choose the right fishery in the river. So I always pay close attention, where fishermen put their nets. In early spring it is easy to spot. that fishermen put a lot of fish on eels, mostly in deep places. Of course, fishing is not allowed in the immediate vicinity of the net, however, it is a very valuable tip, where the best eel fisheries are located. If I were to describe such a fishery in just a few words, I would say that. that it is a deep dark pit at the base of steep slopes or near washed out banks. In the season I find such places thanks to fishermen, and with the help of a sonar. Most often, the water current washes the shores so much, that natural "overhangs" form at their base, under which eels like to hide.
The bottom of the clams
In such places, the bottom is usually very hard and rather devoid of aquatic vegetation. However, there are often large shoals of freshwater mussels. Dark holes about five meters deep are ideal fishing grounds for thick eels (also during the day). After finding a suitable spot, I bait them at least a day in advance before the actual fishing. The basic groundbait is "mush" made of pieces of fresh, quiet fish caught with a fishing rod. After adding clay and binding agent, The groundbait acquires the appropriate consistency and can be formed into balls of any size. I am convinced, that baiting significantly improves the results in catching eels.
Marking the fishery
Finding the baited place on the next day is possible only after prior marking. A simple plastic bottle is best for this purpose. I tie it to a string. and a large weight is attached to the other end of the string. I put the signal buoy like this, to be submerged a few centimeters below the water's surface. When I start fishing, I always know exactly, where is the baited place. Before that, however, I replace the bottle with a clearly visible little orange buoy. As a result, I have an excellent reference point later when anchoring the boat. Precise anchoring is very important, because I usually only fish all day from one place. If I'm bent on catching big eels, I use a quite durable stick with a very sensitive tip. This rod must at least have it 2,10 m in length. The weight should not be too big. because when fishing from a boat, you do not need to make long casts. Otherwise, using a light weight I can attach it much closer to the hook (at a distance of approx 25 cm), so that the lure slightly waving in the water will still stay above the bottom. After a few experiments, the most practical turned out to be small, self-cast weight without a carabiner (see photo at bottom left). The hook must also be chosen very carefully. For example, I like the gamakatsu no 2 with long shank. This super-sharp hook immediately sticks into the fish's mouth or gullet. The hook is also made of fine wire, which makes it very easy to set up the bait, that is, two or three tiny dead fish. Let's not forget, that at the beginning of summer eels hunted fiercely mainly for brooding fish of quiet feeding.
The tip is a bite indicator
If we fish alone and in addition with two more rods, the most important thing is constant concentration. Bites are indicated by vibrations of the rod tip. The reel head is closed, brake tightened tightly. When taking a bite, grab the fishing rod and loosen the line as quickly as possible by immersing the tip in the water. Thanks to this, the eel has approx 40 cm of room for maneuver and does not feel any suspicious resistance. Immediately after releasing the line, we make a jam. Sometimes, instead of the expected eel, it can take a zander, for example.
Due to the quick hook, almost all fish are hooked at the very end of the mouth, and this in turn makes it very easy to release the hook.
During my eel expeditions, I have tested the effectiveness of various flavors many times. Unfortunately, no clear effects. So I believe, that the natural smell of the cut into pieces of quiet feeding fish is the best attractor on eels. And one more thing – I know from my own experience, that you can only count on the best bites in flowing water. In stagnant water, deep-sea currents created by the wind are very advantageous. Eel biting in the river is to be expected at any moment.