There are plenty of signs that Im getting older , my beard is grey , my eyesight is diminishing , a couple of rouge hairs have even sprouted in my ears . Perhaps more worrying is the fact that I am becoming somewhat set in my ways . The crazy eel might be another example of this. Its been around for a couple of years now ,my ever kind sponsors Fiiish UK sent me a batch to play around with and if I am honest I didn’t really take to the lure which did leave me feeling slightly awkward .
Everything I read or saw on the internet suggested that I needed impart massive movements into the rod and fish the lure way faster than my normal super slow approach . The result being that when I did use the lure I only ever landed small Bass. I don’t think this big ones like to burn more fuel than is absolutely necessary. Well this year after a chance encounter on the water I have finally got to grips with the crazy eel and actually I think that it is now sitting level with Fiiish Minnows when it comes to my catches.
The main reason we were able to make progress and actually accomplish this is that I got myself some help! I was referred to Clearwater River fishing guides, and after a quick chat over the phone they seemed very friendly, so I thought I would give it a go. The session was very enjoyable and we sure learned a lot! I was hoping to find a way to expand my horizons and my fishing knowledge and it turns out this was it. I’m really happy I ended up trying it. I mean look at how successful it was! We may have to make it a yearly thing.
So whats changed ?
We have some really cool new colours out there .I personally love the gold bodies , it just looks like the real thing . I am also becoming increasingly confident with the pure white bodies . Bass love white lures and wrasse don’t , I love a big wrasse but they do chew through so many of my soft lures over the course of a fishing season . If people want to catch them thats fine with me but personally I would not set my alarm for 3 am to pursue them . I want Bass and big ones preferably ! At this stage I have been almost exclusively fishing the 150 mm version . Thats big enough to tempt momma but small enough to entertain and 2 lb bass .
Its the way I fish the eel that I think has made all the difference , rather than sweep the rod or impatiently crank the lure I have taken to slow Fiiish minnow style retrieves with the occasional mellow sweep , or at times even dead sticking the lure and letting it flutter about on the tide , a light wind against tide is perfect for this as it allows you to fish the lure downstream of the boat” on the hang ” .You can retrieve the lure 50 feet then open the bail arm and let it drift away from the boat on the tide . One cast per drift suits me fine . I would rather ”hold ”my lure ( or Fly ) in the zone than crank it through the zone then go back through the process of casting and trying to find the spot again . I will fish a 20 – 30 g jig head in as much as 60 foot of water . Im not losing many eels on the bottom either .
Pollock devour the crazy eel and these days if I see good sized Pollock on the screen I switch straight over to the eel , they definitely prefer it to the herring shaped lures , Likewise Cod do seem to love an eel too. Pollock love to follow a lure upwards so I either fish them vertical or make a shorter cast and wind the lure up then open the bail arm and keep repeating the process until the lure is next to the boat .
Its rare that I fish vertical for Bass . The longer the cast the longer the bass ‘in my opinion’. I cant really emphasis that point enough and its something I drill into my clients most days .I have regulars like Mac who can now fish these weighted lures with almost the same skill as me !! I have done so much fishing in my life and I really feel that long line fishing weighted lures requires more finesse than just about every other discipline . The only approach I have that is more technical is deep dredging with flies . Thats a minefield ! Surface lures are easy , fly fishing for trout is way easier provided you can cast a fly obviously .
One sticking point
The eel will slide down the hook shank after a few fish so I strongly reccomend you superglue the jig head to the body . They repair well with med it glue . The Fiish Glue is excellent stuff and dries super fast so I don’t lose fishing time .
Also I have no quarms with turning the body upside down and re hooking it after it becomes loose or ripped . I dont think fish notice that its rigged wrongly , Perhaps they even prefer it as the darker back has a stronger profile when fished upside down . Come to think of it an all black version of the eel would be awseome.
So there it thats my crazy eel blog !