Introduction: Eel Trap

Picture of Eel Trap

Mmmm eels!!!

Everyone loves a good eel now and then, but it seems they have become something of a rarity in the shops! Most British streams and rivers are "teeming" with eels however, and there are several ways of getting them from out of the water, and into your pot.

Step 1: The Theory

Picture of The Theory

basically, the idea is that a cloth bag, filled with straw/hay/newspaper and bait will attract eels, which chew through the bag and will still be in the bag when you haul it up. Note that the bag MUST be cloth and NOT PLASTIC!

Step 2: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

you will need:

1. A cloth bag, or if you are poor like me, a stolen t-shirt
2. Some hay or straw or newspaper
3. Bait. Can be offal, rabbit blood, your own blood, or a 12lb steak, or a pork chop depending on how much you want to waste your money on something that will end up at the bottom of a river with eels writhing around amongst it.
4. If using a t-shirt, you'll also need some string
5. and scissors or a knife to cut it with
6. somebody who doesnt mind having their arm savaged, or a leather glove, or an ounce of carefulness and common sense. (eels get rather "bitey"

Step 3: What to Do

Picture of What to Do

if using a t-shirt, use the string to tie up the bottom and sleeves.

stuff some hay/straw in, then the bait.

tie up the neck of the bag/t-shirt with around 10yards extra

throw into the water, eels usually prefer warmer water, so look for the areas where the sun hits, also weed or other cover are places where eels lurk.

tie the trailing 10yds of the string to a tree or just push a bit of stick into the ground for an anchor

go home/fall asleep in ditch

return next day and pull up bag

if eels are inside, take them out *carefully!!* and kill them by cutting off their head or bludgeoning it on a rock.

gut, then put guts back inside bag, tie up hole where eel chewed it's way in and throw back in river.

if bag is empty, find a better spot and try again.

Step 4: Cook

many ways of doing this. just fillet like a fish and throw on BBQ, or smoke it, or fry it. Ether way it tastes rather mediocre, but at least you know where it came from ;)


Lord Zakarya (author)2016-07-24

I once caught an eel in a minnow trap by accident.

JamyK1 (author)2015-09-15

Thanks for the info coatesy900! My son and I were crabbing for blue craw crabs and ended catching some nice eels in our crabpot using chicken as bait. We fried them up and they are DELICIOUS! Video of us catching, cleaning and frying them here:

JordanB4 (author)2015-04-20

Can you use a pillow case?

Dylzer (author)2014-10-14

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaahaahaaaahahahahahahahahahahhPOORhahshhahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahHOW DO U PUT IT TO GETHER!!!!!!!!!?????

Mattakers (author)2013-10-30

If you are poor how did you upload it to instructables? With your imagination?

Josehf Murchison (author)2012-11-20

I like this unfortunately the American eel is protected where I live.
I have caught them on the hook while bottom fishing what a pain getting them off a hook they don’t stop fighting.

JACKBARRY (author)2012-10-17

this is not very effective compared to other ways

i use about a meter of 90mm pvc piping with a hole drilled in the middle where i hang the bait sack, an eel usually comes within ten minutes of me placing it in the water whereupon i clamp one hand each side and lift, once the water has drained out through where the bait sack is clamped, move your eel to the beheading board and voila, one trapped eel

wrestlingsurfbum (author)2011-06-14

AWESOMME i never thought of that me and my friend put the bait inside and tie up all ends the eels bite the cloth and because the way there teeth are they cant get off. our record eel was 4 pounds and almost 3 feet long ill try this tomorrow

_Scratch_ (author)2010-01-18

your own blood. LOL

darkmuskrat (author)2008-03-21

please post a pic of eels in a bag :P that would be awesome.

mcadwell (author)darkmuskrat2009-01-25

Eels in a Bag...that sounds like a bad horror Snakes on a Plane

Thundertydus (author)mcadwell2009-02-16

The Sequel to "Tigers on a Bicycle"

djr6789 (author)Thundertydus2009-02-18

lmao! i cant stop laffin !!!! i wish they wuld make a sequel like that

Thundertydus (author)djr67892009-09-06

Sharks on a unicycle (The prequel)

djr6789 (author)Thundertydus2009-09-07

or giraffes on a penny farthing LMAO XD (a better prequel ) ;-)

Thundertydus (author)djr67892009-09-07

Tarantulas on a skateboard

Mountain Lions in a Minivan

djr6789 (author)Gamernotnerd2009-09-07

elephants in the worlds smallest car ;)

Gamernotnerd (author)djr67892009-09-08

Owls in a Smart Car

djr6789 (author)Gamernotnerd2009-09-09

when will this horror end :O

Gamernotnerd (author)djr67892009-09-09

Spiders in a Loafer.

djr6789 (author)Gamernotnerd2009-09-09

snakes on a plane :O oh wait someone beet me to it damn! lol

Thundertydus (author)djr67892009-09-09

Scorpions on a rollerskate

Pandas on a Paraglider!

djr6789 (author)Gamernotnerd2009-09-11

humans in a car

mcadwell (author)djr67892009-09-12

"Humans in a car"...methinks you won this round.

djr6789 (author)mcadwell2009-09-14

dam straight !

Kittens on a pocketbike

bubba j (author)mcadwell2009-08-19

a scary horror movie would be if the had yo mammas face!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kinawera (author)2009-01-27

Dealing with Slime, From Eels, Their Care and Maintenance by J.R Wood.

"Eels produce slime but only when they are taken out of the water. The slime keeps their skin wet. You can avoid the slime-slip by;

A) Harvesting your eels in the water, right beside them, cheek by jowl, as it were


B) a length of pantihose placed over your hand allows you to easily grab your opponent. This is a most remarkable method and works for all fresh water fishies.

Section 1.5.8, part C: Slime and its aftermath.

Eel slime is stinky. Not really fishy, just sort of manky/muddy, like Fungus the Bogeyman's armpit. Cure:

Toothpaste. Toothpaste is the only substance that will remove the stench from your hands. Wash as with soap. Do not use the eel slime on your teeth.

Cooking of eel;

Smoked is the best I think especially with some nicely flavoured branches. Every other method makes you realise why there are so many eels thriving in nature.

Draxis (author)kinawera2009-09-12

Hey! Fungus the Bogeyman! I loved that book!

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-22

I've never eaten eels before... what do they taste like? Nice job!

kill-a-watt (author)GorillazMiko2008-03-22

Eel is my favorite type of sushi. It's not raw, so people who ain't gonna try raw fish might like it. It's hard to describe, but it's not anything like chicken.

chriskarr (author)kill-a-watt2008-12-30

You've gotta' love how it feels kinda' like it's stinging your tongue. It just sucks that eel sushi is so dang expensive!

Foxtrot70 (author)chriskarr2009-09-11

ARGH! I now what you mean it's so difficult to find good hagus in the states these days! Lamb's stomaches are difficult to find!

The tongue stinging sensation actually isn't from the eel- it's from the Sansho (japanese pepper) that is used as a spice in curing the Unagi. You can buy Sansho at asian markets and use it to make any food tongue numbing, there are a lot of Taiwanese dishes that use a lot of Sansho with real spicy sauces to be hot and tongue numbing at the same time- a real strange sensation to eat!

turps (author)2008-03-21

Wouldn't it be better to kill it by chopping off its tail? I thought there brain was in their tail?

kinawera (author)turps2009-01-27

Eels have nerves all along their body, and so you can chop them into many pieces, each of which will writhe separately for quite some time. In fact, you can cut off their heads and their mouths still react to stimulus. This means a detached head will clamp shut on anything you place in it. Small enough to fit in your pocket too! It should be noted this is cruel to the animal, which is why supermodels often parade down catwalks wearing replica hollowed-out eels instead of luxurious (but bleeding) arctic foxes. (Yes. I had trouble making friends at school).

watermelon (author)2008-03-04

...what, no pics of squirmy eels being pulled out of the water, cut into pieces and thrown on the fire...? This is the very reason you do not want to be buried at sea.. ...yuck!

I'd rather be eaten by eels, than hermetically sealed in aluminum to liquefy.

I'd rather be sealed in a coffin of gold with a purge of nitrogen (gas) and a meter that displays when the P/B (parts-per-billion) of oxygen rises too high. Said meter would trigger a tank of gas that would be replaced by my relatives for the rest of eternity. The gas would be constantly too low in oxygen content for me to decompose and, therefore, I would never 'liquefy'. Plus, if you believe in Christianity, then you know that it says in Revelations that at the end of time the dead will walk the Earth. I'd rather look like an old man than a pile of bones. Oh, and, also, I'd prefer a release button on the inside of the coffin, just in case I woke up, somehow, inside. Or, in other words, the coffin would be supplied with dehydrated air for 48 hours, just in case I was still alive or given a second chance. If that didn't happen, then I would suffocate from lac of oxygen. Yes, I want to live forever, too, but that's not realistic.

Sorry, anaerobic decomposition is MUCH worse than aerobic decomposition.

Crap. That ruins my plans. Thank you for letting me know that my plan wasn't without flaw, though!

bujo0 (author)Tool Using Animal2008-03-21

i'm more for the burning atop of mound of sticks myself, wrapped up all cozy in a asbestos blanket

Brian Henderson (author)bujo02008-03-22

I prefer going out in a fiery explosion that can be seen for miles. Preferably by my own doing. Mmm, eels.

_soapy_ (author)Brian Henderson2008-08-31

You'd have to send out posters, or everyone would miss it. TUA, you forgot to mention being eaten by eels *after you were dead*. I'd rather not die from CO2 poisioning in a sealed casket, but it sounds better than being eaten alive by eels combined with drowning! bujo, burning hurts. Probably more than you can imagine. Your lungs searing, your flesh sending screaming messages to your brain that it's too damned hot, hotter, HOT! Worst choice here. I intend to live forever. So far, so good.

reeding (author)2008-03-21

im pretty cool with being a target for javelin throwers at the olympics

chriskarr (author)reeding2008-12-30

I thought about saying something, but I decided not to. So, I guess, I changed my mind twice and, if you count the first time, three times. It's amazing how random and confusing one message can be, isn't it?

Kilsmer (author)2008-11-26

if you get a large bucket and wade into a (shallow) stream and scoop up a load of silt of the bottom of the stream you sometimes get eels that way, i accidentaly caught a few one time when i was catching tadpoles for a biology project in school.

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