Catching conger eels on spinning: lures, methods and places for catching fish

Sea eels are a large family of fish of the eel-like order that make up the conger family. The family includes about 32 genera and at least 160 species. All eels are characterized by an elongated, serpentine body; the dorsal and anal fins are fused with the caudal fin, forming a continuous plane together with the flattened body. The head, as a rule, is also compressed in the vertical plane. The mouth is large, the jaws have conical teeth. Skin without scales, the color of fish can be very diverse. When they first encounter conger eels, most people perceive them as snakes. Fish lead a benthic lifestyle, are ambush predators that feed on various mollusks, crustaceans and small fish. With the help of powerful jaws, shells of any mollusks are crushed. For most residents of Europe and Central Russia, the Atlantic conger is the most famous species. This fish inhabits colder regions compared to other species. Can enter the Black and Norwegian Seas. The Atlantic conger is much larger than its river counterpart, but its meat is less fatty and much less valued. Congers can grow up to 3m long and weigh over 100kg. In soft soil, eels dig holes for themselves; on rocky terrain, they hide in crevices of rocks. Many species live at considerable depths. Traces of their existence are known at a depth of 2000-3000 m. Often they form clusters in the form of colonies at the bottom. Most of the species are poorly understood due to their secrecy and lifestyle. With all this, many fish are commercial. The share of their production in the world fishing industry is very significant.

Fishing methods

Due to living conditions and behavioral characteristics, catching eels has some peculiarities. Most commercial and hobby rigs are hook rigs. Fishermen extract them for various gear such as longlines and so on. In amateur fishing from the shore, bottom and spinning gear predominate. In the case of fishing from boats – marine spinning rods for plumb fishing.

Catching eels on bottom gear

Congers are often caught from the shore with “long-range” bottom rods. At night, they “patrol” the coastal zone in search of food. For bottom gear, various rods with a “running rig” are used, these can be both specialized “surf” rods and various spinning rods. The length and test of the rods must correspond to the chosen tasks and terrain. As with other sea fishing methods, there is no need to use delicate rigs. This is due both to the fishing conditions and the ability to catch a fairly large, lively fish, the hauling of which must be forced, because the conger has a habit of hiding in rocky terrain in case of danger. In many cases, fishing can take place at great depths and distances, which means that it becomes necessary to exhaust the line for a long time, which requires certain physical exertion on the part of the fisherman and increased requirements for the strength of tackle and reels. According to the principle of operation, the coils can be both multiplier and inertial-free. Accordingly, the rods are selected depending on the reel system. To choose a fishing spot, you need to consult experienced local anglers or guides. As already mentioned, fishing is best done at night. In this case, it is necessary to use various signaling devices. The bite can be very cautious, hardly noticeable, so you should not leave gear unattended. Otherwise, there is a danger that the fish will “leave” in the rocks and so on. In general, when playing a conger, you must be very careful, even medium-sized individuals resist “to the end”, while they can cause injury to experienced anglers.

Catching fish on a spinning rod

Fishing takes place from boats of various classes at great depths of the northern seas. For fishing with bottom gear, anglers use spinning rods of a marine class. The main requirement is reliability. Reels should be with an impressive supply of fishing line or cord. In addition to a trouble-free braking system, the coil must be protected from salt water. Vertical fishing from a vessel may differ in the principles of baiting. In many types of sea fishing, fast reeling of gear may be required, which means a high gear ratio of the winding mechanism. When bottom fishing for marine fish, fishing technique is very important. To select the correct wiring, you should consult experienced local anglers or guides. With all types of fishing for congers, it should be borne in mind that it is necessary to take into account the possibility of a long haul, in which leashes experience heavy loads. For leashes, thick monofilaments are used, sometimes thicker than 1 mm.


For spinning fishing, various classic lures are used, including a large number of silicone imitations. When fishing with rigs using natural baits, various mollusks and cuts of fish meat are suitable. Experienced anglers believe that the bait should be as fresh as possible, although some “experimental lovers” use pre-prepared baits using subsequent freezing.

Places of fishing and habitat

Most sea eels live in tropical and subtropical seas. Significant populations of the Atlantic conger live in the waters adjacent to Great Britain, as well as the seas surrounding Iceland. In general, the distribution area is located from the Black Sea to the eastern coast of North America. The largest conger was caught near the island of Vestmannaeyjar (Iceland), its weight was 160 kg.


Scientists believe that most sea eels reproduce in the same way as river eels: once in a lifetime. Maturity is reached at the age of 5-15 years. As already mentioned, many tropical species are poorly understood and the breeding cycle is unknown. According to some reports, spawning takes place at depths of more than 2000 m. As for the Atlantic conger, its reproduction, like that of the river eel, is probably associated with the Gulf Stream. Some scientists believe that fish migrate to the part of the ocean west of Portugal. After spawning, the fish die. The development cycle of the larva is a leptocephalus, similar to the river eel.

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