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
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