How to Keep Eels Alive for Fishing

How to Keep Eels Alive for Fishing

You are preparing your travel trailer for a couple of days for camping and fishing. While assembling the fishing accessories, you checked on the bait. The eels look dead. Now, what are you going to do?

If you want to keep eels fresh for your fishing journey, you might have to prepare for their storage as well. Buying one or two eels might not be a problem. However, you have to know how to keep eels alive for fishing when you buy them in bulk.

Tips to Keep Eels Alive for Fishing

You might have to make a well for eels’ residence. These creatures live comfortably in fresh or saltwater. In addition, their innate nature of taking a gulp of air forces them to come up to the water surface and swim back. 

Therefore, you have to make sure that the eels are living in a well-like tub that is only an inch or two filled with water. Now, that’s the basic need to keep eels alive for fishing. Let’s see how to keep eels fresh for fishing in a well:

Plan Your Schedule

First of all, plan your bait for how long you want to keep the eels alive. If you are planning to hit the road tomorrow for fishing, the eels have to pass the night. Therefore, plan for their stay overnight in a comfortable place.

Take a plastic container having holes underneath it. The holes will work as a drain to flush away the slime. If you don’t prepare for the drain, the eels might die in their own slime.

After creating the drain, prepare a cooler filled with ice. Then place the container on top of the cooler. That will make sure that the ice cooler will replace the drained water from the container. Thus, the eels will stay fresh for days.

Prepare a Well 

If you have bought a bulk of eels, say 5 pounds, you have to prepare a well for them. Take a large bucket made of plastic and fill it with 1-1.5 inches of water. Not more than that because eels are supposed to frequently enjoy the air by coming out of the water.

Also, keep replacing some of the water to keep the environment clean. When you fill the well for more than 1 inch, the eels will come to take a gulp of air. 

However, they’ll use more energy to come to the top. Since it’s against their habitual nature, you might find your eels dead in a couple of days. Additionally, you can put aerators in the well to provide oxygen for them. But that’s an add-on for the eels.

Use a Paper Towel

Now you are at the spot with your fishing license in your bag. While grasping an eel, make sure you use a paper towel instead of a rag. No doubt, rags work fine to grasp an eel, but it can become too slimy to grab an eel after two or three turns.

Another thing to keep in mind is the eels become super-active in spring or warm water. When you try to catch them from the livewell, they might give you a tough time. 

Therefore, keep the eels in a chilled environment so that they remain cool.

Insert the Hook Properly

While casting or trolling eels, make sure to insert the hook directly between the eyes through the skull. By doing that, your bait will remain intact, and the hook will not tear the eel apart while casting.

Do Sight-fishing

Do some sight-fishing and aim at your target. Once you have seen the particular cobia or striper waiting for some brunch, cast the bait 5-8 feet away in front of the target. If you sling the bait on top of the fish, they will quickly swim away.

Fight the Fish

Once a bass striper is trapped in the hook, you have to fight the fish in a controlled manner. Don’t exert too much pressure on the reel so that you won’t end up sitting with a mark of hook on your face.

Keep the force gentle while pulling the striper back to you. More than necessary pressure will make the hook lose the fish. Not only that, the hook can come right at your face once the fish gets its freedom.

Final Words

Go for the small eels while preparing for your fishing journey as they are a preferred meal for bass and cobia. Moreover, the eels are active in fresh and saltwater when you keep the temperature moderate.

A day before leaving, put the bait in a cold environment so you can easily control them while placing them on the hook. Hopefully, our rest of the tips will also help you out on your next adventure!