Bits and Bobs - 12/07/2011
Hopefully going eel fishing with my friend Dai in the not too distant future. Thought it would be a good idea to bone up a bit on the subject, so reached for my copy of "Coarse Fishing for Beginners" by Kenneth Mansfield.
Ignoring the picture on the cover of a surly youth (wearing a velvet jacket??) with two dead 1lb + roach at his feet, I turned to the chapter on eels. Two passages immediately jumped out at me.
"When you deliberately set out to catch eels you must forget most of the rules that govern ordinary fishing. Tackle must be strong, and there is no question of playing an eel gently: it must be brought to land as quickly as possible. Nor are there any ethics about putting them back. The more eels you kill the more everyone with any interest in the water will be pleased".
"As soon as you feel a fish reel in as quickly as possible without pause. Drag the eel up the bank on to level ground and put the sole of your shoe on it an inch or two behind the head. Keep the line taut. With your knife (which should be ready to hand) cut through the backbone just behind the head but do not sever the head completely".
How times have changed. Now where did I put that knife.....?