The sand eel is a very effective bait fish for almost all popular salt water sports fish in Europe from Spain to Scotland, and in the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Sand eel is the first choice pray for popular species such as trout, salmon, bass, mackerel, garfish and pollack. In other word: Sand eel is a bait fish that will give you many exiting fishing experiences.
The sand eel is a small eel-like fish which swim in large shoals. They are an abundant and important component of food webs in the North Atlantic.
The sand eel is a bait fish that every one bait fishing in Europe should know. Why? the answer is very simple, because the sand eel often catches more fish than any other bait. Exactly why the sand eel is such a popular pray among the predators in the sea is hard to say. But it is a fact that you can catch almost all species when you have a live sand eel at the end of your line.
The sand eel can be fished in several different ways. A very effective way for catching pelagic fish is under a cork. The sand eel can be hooked in the lib or gently through the skin on the neck. Some prefer to a hook through the tail. I is not to important how the sand eel is hooked as long as the presentation is natural and the sand eel stays alive. Different fish will take the bait in different ways so how the sand eel is hooked depends on the target fish.
The hooks used is often circle hooks for bottom fishing and normal single or triple hooks when fished under a cork..
Acquiring live sand eels
The trouble with sand eels is that they can be hard to find. But the effort it takes to find and catch the sand ell is repaid with the effectiveness of this great bait.
Buying live sand eels is a rare experience. But if you ask someone on a industry fishing boat you might be able make some arrangement.
The most common way for acquiring live sand eels is to catch them your self. They are caught on sabiki rigs with very small hooks. The sand eel has a very small mouth and the number of hooked sand eels increases if special sabiki rigs with very small hooks are used.
The sabiki rig is a rig with several small hooks or "flies". A weight or heavy lure is attached to the end.
The sabiki rig should be fished over a sandy bottom or not far from one since the sand eel prefer sand bottom where it hides by digging a shelter. Fishing close to the bottom is often the key to success, but often the sand eel will feed higher in the water.
How to keep the sand eels
The sand eels can be kept in a keep net like most other bait fish. For transportation and more convenient storage the tackle shops will be happy to provide a bait tank. A bait tank can be anything from a battery driven air pump in a bucket to a closed tank with a water pump to renew the water.