Friday, June 10, 2011

Catadromous is the word of the day with fish number 19 American Eel!

We headed to the Exeter River to fish for American Eel behind Phillips Exeter Academy. We felt a little out of place at this boarding school, but we wanted to fish this spot because the authors of "Fishing for Buffalo" mentioned this as the only spot they've ever caught American eel.

American Eel are the only catadromous fish we can name, that means they are born in the ocean and migrate to freshwater for most of their lives and then return to the ocean to spawn. The really cool thing about eels is the female eels will migrate for hundreds of miles inland crossing roads and dry land to get to their hang outs.

Eel fishing is super easy, use a pretty heavy slip sinker, a small hook and a big fat worm. Throw that in the river at dusk and wait.
Dave attached a bell to his fishing pole to let him know when the fish was on.

While we were waiting for the eel we caught a bluegill, a brown bullhead and a pumpkinseed.

We fished for under an hour and the eel came easily. This fish was probably the slimiest thing we've dealt with so far. When the slime dried on our skin it could be peeled off like Elmer's glue. Check back for our Eel cooking experience!


  1. Not sure if you guys eat sushi, but any sushi restaurant will do a pretty tasty eel... Its pretty commonly fried up crispy, and although a bit greasy, its pretty good!

  2. After seeing the Salmon Tapeworm earlier in this quest we have decided not to eat any sushimi...But we have heard good things about it. We will be posting our Eel recipe and experience soon, stay tuned!