Experience warned me that this might be the initial attention of a “barn door”, an experience that has left me worse for wear over my last four trips! This is no reflection on angling skills, but a sad fact that these once fantastic marks were devastated by a local commercial trawler three years ago, and have failed to recover to even a shadow of their former glory. I have yet to try circle hooks for Conger, this may be an option to prevent deep hooking; I have found they certainly work well with Spur dogs and Smooth hound. It is one of the finest natural and well-sheltered harbours in the world. The National Biodiversity Data Centre mapping system (Biodiversity Maps) integrates the mapping of terrestrial as well as marine data and is intended to serve as a portal for the geographic presentation of observational data on Ireland's biological data. Although certain species can be targeted with a reasonable degree of accuracy, you can never be totally sure what surprises are in store with each nudge or thump on the rod tip! Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 20-30lb Boat Rod - Black, 2.36 m, Penn Squall 30 Level Wind LEFT HAND Star Drag. When you think of it the chances of a conger eel catching a mackerel are slim. They even came across tuna a few times throughout the day and a there was a lot of whale and dolphin activity too. Specimen weight 40 lbs or18.144 kilos . Their diet is more of the smaller fish that inhabit reefs and wrecks – the wrasse, pouting, poor cod, squid and even whiting. A call to Phil told us that the inshore banks had fished poorly. The blood, juices and scent trail are irresistible to large predators. Conger eels are powerful fish, with equally powerful jaws and strong teeth. NBN Atlas Northern Ireland. Our. With this Skate having taken a bait on the correct tackle; I was intent on bringing it to the surface, hopefully without any tackle breakages this time! Spring tides are almost un-fishable, and four pounds of lead to “hold bottom” is certainly not my idea of fun! Slack tides and easterlies make for slow fishing at Ballyquin. The range of conger eels extends into Scandinavian waters and southwards into African waters as far the coast of Senegal. They are also found throug… The dog was either brave, or extremely hungry. It was time for a move inshore, and as we began the tidy up, with my rod as always, the last to be reeled in, the rod tip thumped indicating something had taken an interest in my Pennell rigged Mackerel bait. He explained how the conger eel emerged from the depths and tried to drag him down to the ocean bed. In preparation, I slipped on the shoulder harness and butt pad, carefully watching for further signs that the giant “flattie”, if that was what it was, had taken the Conger bait. However, I am afraid that towing my Fast Fisher to Cork was simply not an option on this occasion! Don’t forget to carry a T-bar and pliers to ease un-hooking, and side cutters to chop a hook or wire trace if required. Lifting into a decent fish, it was obviously not a Dogfish, and I was extremely relieved to feel it was not a Skate either. He told Today with Pat Kenny on Radio One: “I try to be calm all the time, it’s fight or flight, your reaction is trying to get rid of the thing so I put my hands up to wrestle this thing and my mouthpiece came out. Jimmy Griffin, 48, was scuba diving off the coast of Connemara, Co Galway, last week when the creature attacked him 25 metres under water. It was only a juvenile by Conger standards, tipping the scales at eight pounds, but a Conger none the less for a photograph. We all know these can be a nuisance when other fish are sought after, but take it from me, when larger predators appear on the scene, the dogs back off and give them room. Whiting in particular are under-estimated as a top predator bait, but can be un-beatable at times for Spur dog, Tope, Bull Huss, and of course, our target species, Conger. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any particular wreck or reefs that are positively guaranteed to produce a decent Conger, apart from those fabulous marks outside of Cork Harbour that Jim and Sean Clohessy do so well on. “I felt this sharp horrible pain and saw this eel swim off. When the eel takes the bait, it will head for the safety of the seabed, giving a very positive bite. Multiple re-captures of tagged fish provide valuable information regarding this system of catch and release. 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 … The fish would not appear until the tide eased dramatically. Species of fish caught include blue shark, ling, cod, pollack, conger eel and ray. I remember Pat O’Callaghan, a favourite Killybegs skipper of mine telling me about an eel taken on a hand line in Killybegs Harbour, measuring eight feet long and weighing in at 90lbs. Recommended rod.....Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 20-30lb Boat Rod - Black, 2.36 m, Recommended reel.....Penn Squall 30 Level Wind LEFT HAND Star Drag. Home Tags Conger eel. Conger eel has a firm, meaty texture and an almost pork-like flavour. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. A wise decision, as shortly after the radio call, the rods began knocking, and Lesser-Spotted Dogfish queued to be caught. They will target, and indeed prefer fodder fish that inhabit the same rough ground areas. To explain, over the last four trips, I have lost five Common Skate, and broken two rods in the process, when these huge creatures have, on each occasion, picked up small hook-baits destined for smaller species. Dave and Mike were becoming edgy, wondering whether or not the fish would appear over this tide, but although it had been some time since I had fished this mark, it was following a familiar pattern. The conger eel is a species which is similar to a moray eel with skin, without scales and covered in grey mucus. He explained: “I’ve been diving for 20 years. We were working our way through the species quite well, when Dave added a decent Bull Huss to the ever-growing list. Juggling tides and wind direction is never easy when planning an angling trip, but eventually a window of opportunity appeared, and Dave Craig, Michael Mcgimpsey and I were at the harbour, raring to go. Discover Conger Bread in Galway, Ireland: After a traumatic encounter with a six-foot eel, one Galway baker started making a daily loaf of sourdough in its shape. My eighty-pound class Mitchell rod is definitely over-kill for most Irish angling, but handles the big fellas quite well. Baker Jimmy said it felt like a punch to his face as the eel pounced, knocking his breath regulator from his mouth. Subscribe to the Irish Angling Update. With the deck cleared of clutter, and gaffs at the ready, the Skate was expertly lifted over the gunnels and onto three tackle boxes pushed together. Just keep dropping the baits down, working through the dogfish until a different species turns up. We were looking at large lobsters and I was floating in the water. His wound required 20 stitches that will require painful plastic surgery over the coming months. To identify between small Conger and freshwater eels, the dorsal fin of the conger begins just behind the pectorals, the freshwater eel’s dorsal fin begins further back. With hands still shaking from the adrenaline rush, my re-baited rig was dropped over the side, praying in earnest, that no more Commons would appear. At that depth Jimmy was also at risk of being overcome by decompression illness, known as the bends, if he emerged too quickly from the water. There are nearly 200 types of conger eel and all are fierce, long and snake-like with smooth, iron-grey skin. Yet the greatest bait for conger eel remains a fillet of the freshest mackerel, I have never seen another bait out fish mackerel on any session. They can be caught over sand on rare occasions, and will appear a great deal lighter, almost pale, sandy brown. It is normal in the shallow marks up to sixty feet deep or so that Conger will only feed during the hours of darkness. The diver reported the creature was more than 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in) in length and "about the width of a human thigh". A beautiful fish it has to be said, and some excitement for half an hour, but I still hadn’t caught my target species! Conger can be found throughout the whole of the UK and Ireland, but also range as far north as southeast Iceland, southern Norway, also southward taking in … The base of piers and jetties are excellent and offer the possibility to produce specimens, but in general, most of the larger fish are taken from off-shore reefs and wrecks. Trouver des images haute résolution de qualité dans la banque d'images Getty Images. Figure 1: Annual Numbers of S pecimen Conger Eel (1961-1999) ... volumes in the series, is availabe from BirdWatch Ireland, Ruttledge House, 8. Small, whole fish, dead or alive are excellent, and when using Mackerel, a “flapper” can be deadly. A nice Spur but not our target species on this occasion. This is a whole Mackerel, cut from tail to gills on either side, removing the backbone, but leaving head, flank and guts. This is the attraction with deep-water angling. Although our record has stood at 72 lbs since 1914, eels have been taken commercially in excess of 250lbs! Eels are the only marine fish that can swim backwards as powerfully as they can forwards. With this in mind, I opted this time, for the heavy gear. “But what made it different was because it gripped onto my face and started biting, pulling and twisting.”. Dave lifted into a powerful fish, resulting in the biggest Conger of the day. In fact, I believe that the added commotion a pack of dogs create on the seabed actually attracts other predators to the area. With my line now travelling up-tide, it was time to take up any slack line and lift and hope. A diver has told of his horror ordeal after a two metre Conger Eel took a chunk out of his face. 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July 13 2013 04:06 AM A DIVER has said he is "extremely lucky to be alive" after a freak attack in which a giant conger eel bit away a huge chunk of his face. Like many piers and areas where mackerel can be easily caught these places can be full of mackerel ‘anglers’ in the summer months. The lads were ready to go, as they had taken the opportunity to set up during the journey seawards, and were soon dropping fresh fillets down through the depths. 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As Conger normally prefer static bait, keep hook lengths short. Cork Harbour, after Sydney is the second largest harbour in the world and offers sheltered fishing in all but the strongest winds, so when it is too rough to fish the open sea the harbour is a welcome alternative. Conger Eels are primarily fish eaters. Good cod and coalies and conger to 190cm outside Cork Harbour. This late in the season, Mackerel shoals are thinning out, and were difficult enough to find. All fish species are available for sale locally and more and more local chefs are cooking with Lough Neagh fish, see our recipe ideas for more information or contact us for more details on where to buy. Big Phil and Andy Jones were already out and over the inshore banks searching for Mackerel, and we were soon alongside, following the same drift. Both had fought over the bait, each becoming hooked on the Pennell! Mustad O’Shaughnessy’s are a superb hook for predators including Conger, and sizes 6/0-10/0 are ideal depending on bait size. Introduction : The Conger Eel is a monster fish of nightmares with commercial boats having brought up fish weighing 250 lbs! August 18, 2020. Jimmy added: “The plastic surgeons are confident they’ll be able to fix the injury without much hassle.”, Jimmy Griffin suffered severe facial injuries, When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Most of the eels that I catch are from deep water over “patchy” ground, that is to say, the seabed is generally sand and shell with broken areas of reef and mussel beds. I knew I had been bitten but didn’t know how badly, it was very numb.”. It is the largest eel in the world and native to the northeast Atlantic, including the Mediterranean Sea. The likelihood of deep hooking means a bronze hook can be safely left inside the eel if necessary, and will eventually rust. This also copes with other large species that may come along. It would be another hour before conditions were suitable to present our baits correctly.
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