How to Bait Eel for Fishing


There are a lot of baits that can be used, but eel is one of the favorites for catching big fish. Aside from the fact that eel is available anytime of the year, they are pretty easy to handle and live bait is really good for luring in the big ones.

You will know more about using eel when you read about it in this post and actually apply what you have learned when you go fishing again. There is nothing better than catching the big fish because that’s what you came for.

Eel as bait

  • The best way to store them is by putting them in a bucket, but just not any bucket – the color has to be dark. If you put eel in a white bucket, the eel gets bleached and they turn white.
  • This happens during trips and you will not believe it at first, but if you do it several times, you will know what I mean. When you already have a bucket for storing eel, buy an air pump.
  • The frequency of how you change the water will depend on how many eels you have inside the bucket. You have to check after every few days so it doesn’t end up getting stinky.

When you see the water getting cloudy already, change it and you can use tap water. In order to transport them in a much convenient way, you can put them in a laundry bag made of mesh. Use the string to hang the bag on the wall so that the bag is a little bit lifted from the ground.

This way, the mouth of the bag is not close to the ground and the eel will not even think of climbing out to escape because they will just die outside and become useless.

How to handle and store them properly

When you are already loading the eels on the boat, the proper way to store them is to put ice. This maintains the freshness of the eels and they become slower so you can hook them easier.


It is better to use an ice block so they will not drown. When you are going to fishing already, put the ice block in a bucket that has the same diameter as a 5-gallon bucket, but the height should be 2/3. Use a bucket that has a lid which can be screwed so that it does not move around while being transported.

The next thing to do is to put a bucket inside the 5-gallon bucket with the ice block inside. Make sure that the smaller bucket has holes drilled at the bottom so that the bigger bucket will catch the water as the ice melts. Put another bucket with drilled holes at the bottom and put the bag with eels on top. This way, the eels are not directly on top of the ice. If the eels are in the bag, they will be easier to catch and handle.

Hooking them up

  • Grab the eel using a rag with both hands and keep on trying to control the eel until you are able to hold it with only one hand and only the head is sticking out.
  • Hold the eel, make sure that it is over the bucket when you hook through the head. If you make a mistake, at least the feel falls into the bucket and you can try again.

The kind of tackle you should use

  • Use a rod that does not have a very soft tip, but should not be too hard as well. Use a conventional reel that is spooled with a braid line weighing 50 pounds.
  • Braid lines are better when fishing with eel because it allows you to cut through the water easily.

Weights and swivels

  • Using a regular swivel is better and tie the main line and sinker to the end, and then the leader is to be tied to the hook at the remaining end.
  • This way, you will be able to control the swivel better.

The hooks

  • It is ideal to use a circle hook because they are all around and they catch more fish compared to other hooks.
  • When you are using a circle hook, it only takes reeling in to get a bite and catch fish. There is no need to set the hook which is why even beginners can use this one.

Using the drift

  • Even anglers are not successful when they use eels because they don’t know the perfect spot to use them even if they are in a productive place.
  • ​Eels are more ideal for places that are rocky, and have a bottom that’s irregular. This is because large-sized bass like to hide behind rocks to protect them from the current which is why they are best caught in rocky places that are composed of small boulders.
  • ​Reef that have a lot of boulders also offer a lot of food for the fish. Go to areas that have boulder fields because that’s where the fish is.
  • Study the spot before setting up to start fishing because the eel has to be within a considerable distance from the bottom and since the bottom is irregular, you would have to make adjustments when necessary.
  • Use a depth finder so you know whether to make and adjustment or not. If you feel that the bottom is becoming shallow, you need to make an adjustment to prevent you from getting stuck and losing your rig. A sinker that gets stuck at the bottom can scare the fish away.


Using eel as bait involves a different method compared to using fish, but they are worth it and they are ideal for catching the best. You only have to follow the tips mentioned here so that you will be able to utilize them well. The proper way of storing and transporting them is also a bit different to take note of that and enjoy using eel as bait.

About the author


Hey there, I'm Lisa, founder and editor in chief here at Recreation Space. We found fitness through recreational activities. And we want to share it with you. We believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives.

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