Nanfa captive care: american eel


I’ve spent many nights fishing with eels- drifting along structure, edges, bridges và other popular striper haunts, sometimes completely striking out. I found that drifting for stripers when trying to locate fish can be challenging và downright unproductive. Then I learned how lớn fish the tube & eel.

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The tube and eel (T&E) rig can be one of the most productive rigs around as you’re essentially fishing a lure with a chunk of eel that provides scent & helps entice fish khổng lồ strike. The rig is easy lớn deploy and can be an alternative lớn other effective rigs, such as its cousin, the tube and worm.

The T&E is simply a length of thin-to-medium-width surgical tubing ranging from 12 lớn 24 inches, with a J-hook (see ASMFC 3.2 sidebar) at the end impaled with a chunk of eel; the eel chunk provides scent that helps emulate a live eel. Given the dark màu sắc of eels, I prefer khổng lồ use black surgical tubes; others use the red màu sắc used for tube and worm & find it effective.

Whether you địa chỉ cửa hàng a sandworm, bloodworm or even a chunk of eel, anglers have been given at least a 2-year respite from the requirement to lớn use an inline circle hook when adding bait lớn a tube và worm rig.

I freeze my unused eels then cut them into chunks before I fish, putting them in a sandwich bag. Tackle shops often sell their dead eels, usually for less than the cost of live ones, and frozen. Recently while fishing in Niantic, CT, Hillyer’s Tackle provided me with a number of their dead eels that lasted an entire night’s fishing.


When fishing blind (not targeting specific fish on my fishfinder or an actively feeding school), focusing on structure is most productive; piers, bridges, docks and channel edges all consistently produce, with running tides being best. I troll my Old Town Sportsman kayak at 1-1/2 miles per hour, usually in depths up to 15 feet. When depths are greater than 15 feet, adding an egg sinker helps weigh the rig down. T-Man offers a shallow & deep keel system that allows varying weights khổng lồ be easily added to lớn allow for shallower or deeper presentations.

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The tube và eel rig is productive most everywhere; the docks in Delaware’s Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, varied New Jersey sod banks & piers, Jamaica Bay’s edges và rock piles, as well as the reefs along the New England coast are all great candidates for this tactic. The flats can also be productive, I tend to find stripers on the flats during the spring & fall runs.

The tube và eel can also be used in conjunction with the tube & worm. Trolling two rods, one with the tube & worm & the other with the tube and eel, can help diversify the offering, especially if the tube & worm isn’t producing. I try khổng lồ keep a sandwich bag of cut eel (and a black tube rig) on hand so if the tube & worm action slows (especially as night nears), I change one of my rigs out to a tube & eel.

The tube and eel is most effective when fished at night, as it seems that more striped bass actively feed và come into shallows at night, especially in warmer water temperatures (above 70 degrees). When fishing New England, the bite continues through the day, and the tube & eel will produce accordingly. Daytime boat traffic and sunlight of course tend khổng lồ put striped bass down, particularly as the sun rises higher in the sky.

The tube & eel can also be quite effective when schools of striped bass are feeding on schools of baitfish where I may not be able lớn match the hatch with artificials. I recently was fishing Long Island Sound where pods of stripers were feeding on small, inch-long baitfish that I could not emulate with any artificials. I was able khổng lồ connect by trolling tube và eel rigs on the edge of the schools as one can divert linesiders’ attention with the proven striper candy, the eel imitation.


BIn March, 2021, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) officially clarified implementation of the circle hook measures for the recreational fishery as follows – “Circle hooks are required when fishing for striped bass with bait, which is defined as any marine or aquatic organism live or dead, whole or parts thereof. This shall not apply lớn any artificial lure with bait attached.”

For my rod and reel, I use a 7-foot medium-heavy inshore rod paired with an Ambassadeur 6500 conventional reel. I use two rods and work two rigs provided fishing isn’t too fast và furious. I’m not a fan hâm mộ of fighting double headers, as I can’t enjoy landing a fish if I need khổng lồ worry about keeping a second fish on the hook while fighting & landing the first one.

When the tube và worm action slows, as night falls or when you can’t match the striper hatch, trolling a tube and eel can land you more stripers, và gives new life to lớn unused eels that would otherwise be thrown out.