Conger Eel
(Conger conger) 


Conger Eels favour very rough ground and inhabit deep water wrecks, reefs and broken ground. In shallow waters Conger are mostly nocturnal feeders, but in depths of 60ft or more they feed at any time. All fish of over 25 lbs are usually female.

Our picture shows Vic Evans of Brixham, Devon, UK with his World Record Conger Eel of 133 lbs 4 oz.

(picture courtesy of Mike Millman-Photo Journalist )
caught on a wreck six miles of the coast of Brixham.


Conger are bottom feeders more than capable of catching live food. They will hole up in a wreck or rough ground and ambush lesser species. They will take fish baits, crab, cuttlefish and squid.
The most popular bait is a mackerel 'flapper' produced by taking the whole fish and removing the backbone and tail, allowing the flanks and innards to flutter in the tide. If it is available, a whole live pout or cuttlefish are deadly.

Catching Conger Eels is the desire of most UK sea anglers. To do so for wreck fishing you need a 50 lb class rod for the larger wreck fish. You can use lighter gear but you never know when you may latch into the "big one". Our advice is think big. So you also need a reel like the PENN 6.0 High Speed reel which is a good standard workhouse for Conger fishing. With today's modern monofilament I suggest the line strength be no greater than 50 lbs. The reason for this is that if you should get stuck in the wreck the skipper can break it out without doing himself a mischief.

You then need a range of leads in the order of 12 oz up say up to 3 lbs. In some area's you may require even heavier leads if the tides are strong. So now to the business end, the trace. You can either use wire of a breaking strain of 250 lbs or monofilament. We prefer something in the order of 400 lbs. You cannot tie this stuff so you need some crimps. Hooks need to be 10/0 to 12/0. Big baits big fish!

Best baits are whole fresh mackerel, squid or cuttlefish. Some people prefer the mackerel to be cut into what is known as a "flapper" as shown in the diagram and described above.

We prefer using a whole cuttlefish, threaded onto a trace using a baiting needle with the hood protruding from the mackerel mouth.


If your reef fishing you can scale down the tackle slightly as the fish are not so large. A PENN 4.0 High Speed reel would be adequate with 30 lb line. End tackle can be slightly lighter but needs to be strong enough to avoid being bitten through.

Catch a conger and become a member of the BRITISH CONGER CLUB. More details can be found at


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