Posts Tagged ‘Conger eel’

Conger Capers on the Beara

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Conger eels have both reputation and attitude most of it I believe misplaced, in my experience having caught conger up to thirty pound they are not fearsome or difficult to catch but are just awkward when hooked. Yes, one has to be careful of their powerful jaws, and they corkscrew and thrash on the surface if one is indecisive during the landing phase, but once aboard or on land a wet sack thrown over the head so covering their eyes calms them down. Shore fishing piers or rock marks tends to produce straps up to 10.lbs with an odd bigger fish, nothing to be sniffed at and well worth the effort. An excellent area to target conger is the Beara Peninsula, West Cork, and David “conger king” Murphy didn’t let the opportunity go astray last weekend.

Pier caught conger from the Beara Peninsula, West Cork, Ireland.

Fishing a rising evening tide from a small pier David used a twenty pound class boat rod matched with an ABU 7000. Ledgering a pennell rigged whole mackerel scored along the belly a few times to release juices his first run produced a very greedy bull huss. Re baiting, shortly afterwards a more purposeful bite developed, gently at first as they do, just a light knocking on the rod top, then the staccato zzzzz, zzzzz, zzzzz to which David engaged his reel leaning and lifting all in one go, cue brute force and ignorance.

Fighting a pier hooked Beara Peninsula conger.

Immediately on hooking it is essential to get the upper hand and lift the eel away from the bottom and any possible obstruction or crevice that the fish can get its tail around or body into, should either of those situations occur the fight invariably is over. On this occasion luck prevailed and David after a short fight lifted an angry conger onto the quay.

Rock mark conger, Beara Peninsula, West Cork, Ireland.

Conger fishing in daylight works well on the Beara also due mainly to the depth of water close in, most rock marks giving access to 40 – 60 foot of water, some going 80 foot plus so its dusk all day. Again you could hit a monster it really is the luck of the draw. An annoying feature of this fishing though is the amount of developing bites which on striking go solid resulting eventually in a lost trace and no fish. In these instances the bait has landed beside an eel which is still in its lair, subsequently it just reaches out and grabs the bait while saying “thanks very much you won’t catch me“. Persevere though utilising rotten bottom rigs and spark plugs for weights, one doesn’t need to cast far, and a free swimming conger could be yours……….

See also: Conger off the Pier.


Sea Fishing in Ireland, Conger off the Pier

Monday, September 10th, 2012

David Murphy has a theory pertaining to a fishing mark located on the inner wall of a large pier that he occasionally casts a line off, that the resident conger eels become very active during early September. Arriving at this conclusion over numerous visits to the hot spot where he has scored spectacularly or blanked in equal measure, David hit the jackpot yet again in a September week of Indian summer weather so typical of early Autumn in this jurisdiction.

A fine conger eel caught and released by David Murphy from a local pier.

Baiting up a short wire trace with whole mackerel David placed his bait about 10 – 15 feet out from the inner wall. Fishing over low water there was no more than 1.5 meters over the congers head when it swam from its lair and delicately picked up the offering. Giving some line David chose his moment and struck into the fish, well hooked a tug of war now commenced with the angry conger corkscrewing and thrashing about close to the steps which David had earmarked for landing. Careful not to slip on the slimy granite and with the help of a friend David managed to manhandle the eel topsides. Using a forceps the conger was quickly unhooked and photographed, in the process managing to scare the bejaysus out of a female passerby, before being returned to Davy Jones locker. A good nights work, one happy angler and a theory very much endorsed.

Further reading, click on: Congers by the Double.

Congers by the Double.

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

David Murphy likes fishing for conger eels and every year in late August/September he devotes an evening or two in search of these slithery predators with attitude. Heading towards a favoured mark in Dunlaoghaire harbour, Dave commenced fishing around 10.00pm. A calm cold evening, high tide was scheduled for 01.00am. By midnight, bite less and feeling the cold Dave went for a short walk. Returning a couple of minutes later Dave noticed his line going slowly taught. Picking up his rig and feeling the fish there was no need to strike as the Conger immediately swam backwards, the tug of war had started.

A cracking pier caught conger eel for David Murphy.

After a few minutes the eel appeared on the surface and Dave maneuvered his catch towards some steps. Grabbing hold of the trace he manhandled the angry fish out of the water. Lip hooked, a quick use of the pliers, photo and back in the water. Casting out another mackerel bait close to the wall, within five minutes a few knocks resulted in another conger hooked. The same length but thinner this eel came in handy. After that burst of activity things went quite, so approaching high tide Dave decided to call it a night. The mark had delivered again, two eels in ten minutes, good sport by any standards.

A second smaller conger eel for Dave Murphy.

Conger Capers

Monday, July 26th, 2010

David Murphy likes fishing for congers from a local pier. At night the beasts leave their lair and snoop around looking for tasty morsels. A recent night time foray proved eventful with a fine fish landed and a mystery visitor providing some speedy fireworks.

Strapping young lad with a very large conger

Using mackerel for bait it was not long before a short run and hook up resulted in a tug of war with a conger in the 15lb plus bracket. On landing Dave noticed not one but three hooks in the fishes mouth, legacies of previous encounters. Shortly afterwards another run developed which on striking kicked into turbo boost. The fish tore off into the harbour at a rate of knots, unstoppable Dave leaned into what he presumed was a seal. Something had to give which proved to be the wire trace, bitten through above the hook. With no more runs developing that was it for the night, fun and games for sure.