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Artificial Eels for the Surf Angler

Courtesy of noreast.com
September 20, 2006 Volume 17 • Number 25
by John Skinner

artificial eels for the surf

"From top to bottom: 1)15-inch Ultimus Eel 2)14-inch Surf Asylum Real Eel 3)14-inch Hogy Lure 4) 9-inch Slug-go 5) 9-inch Surf Hog

Surfcasters have long favored live eels and rigged dead ones when targeting trophy stripers. The increasing price, decreasing availability of large casting eels, and the threat of an all out ban on the taking of American Eels have left surfcasters looking for alternatives, and lure makers from large companies to garage workshops have been responding.

15-inch Ultimus Eel

These sure look like the real thing, and when rigged with standard dead eel rigging techniques, will swim like the real thing too. They're manufactured by the OB fish Company in New Jersey, and can be difficult to find. I bought mine at Bob's Bait and Tackle in Amityville.

14-inch Surf Asylum Real Eels

This lure features an integrated tunnel for fast two-hook rigging. The only source I could find for these was Rhode Island based The Saltwater Edge (www.saltwateredge.com). In addition to the standard two-hook weightless rigging method, their website also recommended fishing these behind a specially made swim plate called a "Point Jude Wobblehead". The eel is segmented, and the joints between the segments give the lure the ability to wiggle in a natural fashion.

14-inch Hogy Lure

Manufactured by an angler in Massachusetts (www.hogylures.com), these lures have the advantage of a quick rigging system that allows them to be properly rigged in less than a minute without messing around with rigging needles. As someone who spends a lot of time sewing hooks into dead eels each season, that's a feature I can really appreciate. The only tackle shops on the dealer list on the manufacturer's website were in Massachusetts. I mail-ordered mine from The

Saltwater Edge.9-inch Slug-Go

Some New England surfcasters have had so much success with these that they have stopped using live eels all together. Slug-Go lures are manufactured by Lunker City, and can be found in many retail outfits. A google search on "sluggo rigging" will yield the details of rigging them. Lunker City also manufactures very handy weight inserts that can be used to fine tune any of the artificial eels mentioned here, as well as all sorts of other soft plastics lures.

Surf Hogs

These eel imitators feature large countersunk eyes and they're impregnated with fish oil. They're available rigged and unrigged. The dealer list on the manufacturer's website (www.surfhoglures.com) includes The Saltwater Edge and Rhode Island based Wildwood Outfitters (www.wildwoodoutfittersri.com).

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