Eel (Anguilla anguilla)

One of the easiest fish to recognize is surley the common eel - also known as the freshwater eel. It has a long, slimy, sinuous body and a large mouth with a protruding lower jaw containing numerous small teeth. Its fins have become adapted, the dorsal and anal fins forming a continuous line around the tail. Only the small pectoral fins bear any similarity to those of ‘normal’ fish.Although its colouring changes with maturity, the eel is generally black or brown on the upper surface, with yellow or silver sides and a white underbelly.To many anglers, eels are nothing but a nuisance- but to the faithful eel follower they provide an exciting challenge


Eels can live in a vast veriety of different places and are able to even overland to get there. The main poulation of eels however is found in large rivers such as the Severn,Avon and river Nene.

Feeding habits

A nocturnal predator and scavenger, the eel uses its strong sense of smell and good eyesight to hunt prey. It is not a fussy eater, feeding mainly on fish, freshwater shrimps and snails.

Fish facts

Weight: Up to 3.17kgs(7lbs)
Average Length: Up to 100cm
Life-span: Up to 40 years
Favourite waters: Mainly Large rivers and drains
Favourite baits: Large lobworms, maggots, small deadbaits (for larger eels)
UK Record: 11lbs 2oz (S Terry 1978)