(Conger Conger)

Conger eels are found in most areas around the UK but are especially common around the coast of Ireland. Congers favour habitats in which they are easily concealed in order to hunt effectively and in spite of their size are actually quite shy creatures and will retreat at any sign of danger. Conger are voracious predators and will hunt a variety of small fish including Cod, Rocking, Ling, Pollack and crab and are happy to take prey that are much larger than themselves. A powerful fighting fish, once hooked has the ability to latch on to an obstacle on the bottom if they get the chance. Conger are found in a variety of colours that are dependent upon the environment from light grey through to nearly black. The dorsal fin of the conger living in deeper water is tipped with black and their teeth are set deep in powerful jaws. The conger will immobilise it’s prey in the clasp of its jaws before taking it into the mouth. The conger only spawns once in its lifetime, in deep waters around Madeira and will lay up to 15 million eggs.

Where To Find Them

Conger inhabit areas all around the British coast, but can be found particularly in and around wrecks off the Southern and South Western coasts. When on the move conger tend to travel at mid-water depths and when hunting stay close to the bottom, feeding on smaller fish. Most larger Conger are caught by boat anglers fishing over deep-water wrecks and reefs and consequently commercial fishing has little effect on the stocks. Conger eels caught from the shore tend to be smaller and are mainly caught at night over rough ground and rock-gully marks as they move inshore into the shallower water to feed on the abundance of food that these areas attract.

When To Find Them

Can be caught all through the year but June to October is the most likely to produce success.

Natural Food and Best Baits

Small species of fish, such as pouting, bream, lobsters, squid and small octopus. They respond well to mackerel and herring as bait.

Tips and Tactics

A freshly caught mackerel head and guts bait is probably the most reliably successful.

UK Records

Shore: 68lb 8oz

Boat: 133lb 4oz