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Conger
Conger
Conger

Conger Eels

Fishing for Bristol channel conger can be an enjoyable day afloat, and even save a slow days fishing. The eels aren’t the giants of the south coast but with most landed weighing into double figures, fish between 10-25lb are commonly caught ,25-35lb are caught on most trips over the wrecks with fish growing up to around the 50lb mark being caught more rarely but are landed a few times a season .Although the majority are only in the 10-25lb bracket they can still put up a terrific fight on the right tackle.
The Congers ability to put up a good fight is helped by the fact that they are just as good at swimming backwards as they are forwards and have tails that are almost solid muscle. They can be caught in good numbers for most of the year, although they do tend to migrate into deeper water where the conditions are more stable when the water temperature drops in the winter.
Congers live over mixed/broken ground , reefs and most structure’s with the bigger specimens inhabiting the numerous second world war wrecks we have in the area. Fishing a neap tide is an advantage as you can anchor for longer over the wrecks and generally have an easier time of it in the decreased tide flow they create, but they can be targeted on the reef and broken ground marks on any tide.
Congers will both hunt and scavenge for food and eat just about anything mackerel filet ,squid, crab are all good baits but the best are probably the head and guts of a fresh caught pouting or whiting or whole small cuttlefish.
A 30lb class outfit is THE most you’ll need in the area , with a 20lb outfit being a more suitable choice or even 6-10oz uptiders will do the job well, a 7000 or 7500 size reel loaded with 30lb braid and 12-16oz weights. A running ledger is the only rig you’ll need with a 36” hook length made from 150lb mono ending in a single 6/0 or 8/0 Viking or other similarly strong hook pattern one end and a good quality swivel the other . Crimping or knotting is a personal choice, I find the use of a 3 turn turl knot the best method which is easy to tie even in heavy mono and has been used to land eels over 100lb in weight.
Once the fish is on board you then have the fun of holding up a wriggling slimy eel who isn’t to happy for a photo, which is usually more of a challenge than landing it.

Conger Eel

(Conger conger)

Minimum Size

77cm

Average Caught Weight

10lb

Specimen Weight

30lb

Best baits

Mackerel

Squid

Cuttlefish

Boat Record

27.613kg. 1996