Friday 22 April 2022

Canal Zander - The Hallowed II Chronicles Pt.3 (Eels)

Now the Hallowed stretch home to my PB Canal Zander of 11lb 8 ounces and my PB Pike of 17lb and 8 ounces may also hold some specimen sized Eels to be caught and could this area offer another personal best to add to ones mediocre list ?. To be fair fishing here anything is possible and there isn't many canals 'near' me that hold not only huge predators but tench, big rudd, roach and silver bream. 

There was a rather large dead eel in one of the locks and since seeing that fish I know of a few people that have caught eels here when targeting the other species. Some of the eels I catch take luncheon meat meant for chub or barbel so maybe I'll try and small piece of meat next time I try for them, but its mainly when fishing maggots I tend to catch them.

There are those that denigrate the eel. Indeed, is any fish so badly treated ? For many an angler in that slimy, twisting knot, one look is enough; with his scissors he snips the leader and bends to his tackle-bag to repair the damage leaving the eel to writhe among the rushes, wrapped in nylon with a hook in its gullet. 

Thankfully through various media avenues, NAC  etc especially for those for anglers that want to specifically target big eels there has been some significant changes to how to approach eel fishing, and rigs developed to lip hook the intended quarry to try and prevent those deep hooking that can often occur if they are a bycatch when fishing for other species. 

It's such a huge body of water here and fish maggot all along the stretch bites generally are forthcoming and it just shows how many fish swim in this canal utopia. Now considering the amount of times I've been Zander fishing using deadbaits on canals I think I have only had one proper bite off an Eel. 

That was quite recent actually where after a weird bobbing bite I tightened in to the circle hook and upon feeling some resistance whatever it was bolted off in a ridiculous fashion and when shared one my blog a readers suggested it might have been an Eel. 

I know Eels take deadbaits and to be honest here they probably have rich pickings but for me anyway using them just doesn't inspire much confidence. I may well have had other bites of eels using deadbait but the bait could well have been far too big for them to take effectively and those fast missed runs where the float moves half a metre in a second could well have been one of them. 

For this session with Sam in tow I'd fish a recently made up specific eel rod where I'd use a single lobworm on a size 8 hook with the worm cut in to multiple pieces and then impaled on the hook. 

A PVA big of dead maggots would hopefully draw these vivacious feeding fish in to the area and as we would fish in to dusk and a nadger beyond (so Sam could use the new fancy head torch) hopefully fishing at the right time ie the witching hour would increase the chances of a bite. 

The main reason why we were here to be honest was to try out a new 7m telescopic whip and the chosen swim which is quite big and open means that it was ideal to get grips with it. (And grips with it we didn't because a bite received less than 2 foot out with this small silver bream we didn't even unpack it)

Maggots and small balls of groundbait would be used to try and induce some bite, and here is by far the best place to try and get some bites of the smaller stuff. I know from the likeminded that the bites are not as forthcoming as I know they can be, but with the weather warmer hopefully that will improve no end. 

To target the bigger Eels here there could be one issue and that is the Otters that live here too which I've seen a few times since I've been fishing this stretch and it's not a secret that Otters have eels in their diet. 

Now one saving grace here is that there is plenty of escape room because this body of water is very large indeed. You can see why anglers get obsessed with the Anguila Anguila when the 'modern' angler is chasing carp. It's something different than the humdrum, which always interests me. 

And they can get big, VERY big, just looks at this video from Drennan and Steve Pitts, a cracking watch if you've not seen it. 130 nights 5 bites and ended up with a monster where his 40 year quest was concluded with a halo fish over the magic 10lb . 👀

Anyway back to the session, as we walked up to the intended swim John Glover the Canal Zander author was in the swim I had intended to fish and after a natter with biteless John we settled in just down from him and got fishing.

The eel rod went out in to the middle of this large swim and was set-up as a sleeper. To cut a long story short the odd pull from smaller stuff throughout the 2.5 hour session nothing materialised in to a bite. One of the otters was spotted as soon as the sun started to set and Sam was well happy, as oddly its the first one he has seen.

Thankfully the other fish were biting though and from the first initial Silver bream over the session, where myself and Sam swapped the whip between ourselves and also moved down the swim 10 yards after the bites dried up.

We managed to catch a few Rudd to 1lb 4 ounces, a few bream to 2lb and roach and small silver bream. A really enjoyable session especially when all those bites came a small whip distance out.

Despite a decent coat when the sunset the temperature dropped notably Sam was getting cold and when Sam is cold he ain't happy. So not long in to dusk with the eel rod still quiet we'd ended the session half an hour early, and void to come back when it's a tad warmer.

One of those memorable sessions because you never know what you will hook in to here and believe it or not a Rudd worthy of noting down on the PB list and Sam also registered silver bream to his fish species tally. 


  1. Cracking video on the Eel, and the photography was stunning.

    1. One of their best I'd say !! cracking watch


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