I am by no means an expert but did pretty well eeling last year. I set one to the bottom with alot of weight on it and hooked it right under the jaw out through the top. If you throw a little ice in with the eels it will calm them down so you can handle them. I also would free line one on the top just to see if they were on top. I would put the third about halfway down. I would hook them on a three way with one drop about a foot down for the weight and the other drop about 4 feet with about an 8/O or 9/O hook. I waited and got the first fish in and then switched all rigs to the same and killed them after that. I found that they were consistantly down deep on the bottom. I also learned a really valuable lesson about dealing with the eels while they are in the boat. keep them in a bucket with a wet towel and some ice, don't put them in your livewell. I had one crawl into the drain for my livewell and it got stuck and died. It really sucked getting him out of there also.
Archie - Traditional: hook up through the lower jaw & out through the top, on a 6/0 - 8/0 octopus-style hook rigged to a 4' long 40-lb mono or flouro leader, then a swivel, then a cigar weight of the appropriate size. Latest twist: suspended under a bobber.
RE twisting: put your eels in a tupperwear tub (don't 100% seal it or you'll suffocate them), and place the tub into your cooler. Once chilled, they will slow down and be easy to handle. When moving spots, drop each and every one into a small bucket or leave them hanging; never let 2 eels on 2 hooks and 2 lines get close to one another.
When you feel a take give it a solid 4-count before coming tight.
i use my old holey socks to handle my cool eels, slip hand in you got um. when done trash um gets rid of old socks, my shorty summer socks work best. thinkin about tryin shorty nylons that my wife has a jillion pairs of that she can't part with, just a thought. tinmantoo bel air, parker guy
I use a popper float with the eel on a 4 foot leader. You can pop the float for nightime action, and the eel will fight the float as well. Ditto on the water collum. I fish em till I find em. Th float keeps them from snagging on the bottom when I'm in river water, lots of debris etc.
Being from New England we fished a lot of "snakes" for stripers. Casting from shore we would fish them like plastics for Largemouth. I hook them from under the jaw and have the point come out of an eye socket. This way you can cast them without them coming off. Carry them in a mesh dive bag and have a terry cloth towel for ease of handling. I will often bonk them over the head to mellow them out before hooking them. NOTE, get them into the water right away or you will have a major mess with the leader.
fished with eels the first time 2 weeks ago,,, but by the time I got to the CBBT the current was moving too fast.... after I got home catching 0, I started thinking if I would have had my down riggers on the boat, I could have been able to get my eels down to the bottom and fish them that way,,,, would that have worked or not. We could see the fish on the bottom,,, tons of them,,, just couldn't get any baits down there due to the fast current.....