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I live in Manhattan (fish out of Stone Harbor during the summer).

The fishing isn't too bad here (wouldn't eat what I catch but...)

I fish off of Battery Park right by the statue of liberty. It's beautiful.

The only problem is bait. It's hard to find it here (in the city, there are shops in harlem and queens, but thats useless to me).

I've been going to Chinatown and buying eels. Then putting a circle hook once through their mouth and casting that out without weight and letting them swim.

I had a big runoff once using this method, right when I put the eel in. But usually after ten or fifteen minutes, the eels are still alive but not swimming (they just look like sticks).

Any ideas on how to keep them alive and kicking while they are driftin on a hook?
 

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I can't offer any tips on keeping them alive, however, I like eels best after 10 or 15 minutes...not as feisty but still alive. Dead eels work too...they just need to be worked, either by drifting or plugging. If using them dead, you may need to use weight to get them down.
 

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Try hooking them through the eye's not the mouth
 

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perhaps these eels you're buying from chinatown are freshwater eels. Freshwater eels are the kind that you usually eat or would buy from chinatown. hope this helps!

[ 11-11-2005, 01:26 PM: Message edited by: Capt'n Keeler ]
 

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Try hooking through both lips,hooking one lip can cause eel to drown ,use a 1/4 oz trolling weight 4ft in front of hook
worked the eel slowly back in after a cast
when you feel a tug DON"T SET THE HOOK ,count to 5 and start reeling in

good luck
 

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As Capt Keeler said these may be fresh water eels you're purchasing. I buy a lot of my bait at a Chinese supermarket but won't buy their eels as they are freshwater. One guy locally here in Philly even got busted for selling mercury contaminated eels from the Great Lakes as edible.
 

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Eels are eels,this time of the year the mature ones are leaving fresh and brackish water to head into the ocean and the Sargasso Sea to spawn
I've used eels I trapped in freshwater numerous times and they live just fine in my eel box in saltwater
 

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but does he know where they are from? if they are from somewhere such as fishing luhrs suggested, the great lakes where they are never exposed to saltwater then the concentration and the viscosity of the salt in the water could clog gills and suffocate them.
 

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all thru HS and college I worked in a very busy fishmarket, at Christmas time we always had a large supply of eels, kept them alive in a large sink (maybe 250 gals),filled with fresh water, we had water running constantly to keep them aerated but we NEVER had a problem keeping them in fresh water...
 

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Originally posted by mhp:
usually after ten or fifteen minutes, the eels are still alive but not swimming (they just look like sticks).

Any ideas on how to keep them alive and kicking while they are driftin on a hook?
Funny you should mention that. I prefer my eels that way "alive & looking like sticks" ;) . The bass shall sence the life in them & you wont have the lively ones ringging up your line (be happy)IMHO ;) . Ever hear of tin rigged eels? They deal with JUST the skin of the eel & CATCH.
All eels need this time of year is to be cool & damp & access to some air. NO water over their heads!!! Be it a cooler or whatever. Suggest a tied mesh bag to hault the hide & seak game they can &/will play though :D
 
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