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
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
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
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 ;)