Long Fin Eel Film Information

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  • #6881
    Eel Film
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I’ve joined this site to ask you experts if you would be able to give me some info about Long Fin eels for a documentary we’re filming In new Zealand in Mid March? I work for a UK TV company so we are total new comers to New Zealand and large eels.

    Our series, ‘River Monsters’, check it out online, looks at large, charasmatic, culturally important fish and investigates aspects of their biology, life cycle, reputation, cultural significance etc. We practice catch and release and have utmost respect for fish and fishing, and it is often fishermen/women in the countries we go to that provide the best information. At the moment we are missing certain bits of information and so I am approaching fishing Forums to see if we can find some answers.

    Do any of you know of any stories about eels biting or attacking people? I know this is probabaly very unusual. We would need to chase the stories down to find news paper articles if possible?

    How about biting or attacking other animals, people’s pets etc?

    There was a story we were told about someone who crashed into a lake/river and woke in hospital to find their leg removed. It had apparently been eaten by eels! Has anyone heard that story or knows if it’s just urban legend or factual? If so any details about it?

    Where in your oppinion are the best places to fish for the largest possible Lonmg fin eel, with the least amount of time. We have about 3 days to fish during our shoot of 2 weeks.

    It would be great to hear from you about any of these points.

    Many thanks

    Dan

    #14998
    Miliwolf
    Participant

    If you want to get good film footage of long fin eels then I suggest the wharfs at Lake Rotoiti in the south Island. The eels there are tame and even swim in the open during the day, water clarity is normally good and the eels would hand feed. Eels are protected in National parks so it is not a good spot to try and catch them. Might need a permit from DOC if you want to film in a National park.

    I have heard a few stories of eels biting, rubbing against people ect…. Can be kind of scary in the dark. I would not beleive the story about the leg for a second. They might chew on it a bit but I would not beleive for a second they would do enough damage to require removal. I have had eels bite me once or twice while hand feeding them, they do not have real teeth and for the most part simply tear the skin.

    I have caught a handful of long fin eels over the years and seen a few while trout fishing, but can not think of a place which would guarantee a good catch rate. Short fin eels are much more common and are easy to catch in most water courses.

    #15000
    yellowfin
    Participant

    im not 100% sure if theyare long finned but a couple of the lakes in issacs salmon farm have some rather large eels in them too which can be hand fed would have to ask lady issac for permission to access her land though which could pose a problem but she seems to be all for the environment etc so yea try ringing issac construction christchurch

    #15003
    mulletman
    Participant

    lake wanaka and wakitipu have some pretty massive eels in don’t know about filming should be fine and they might be short fins

    #15018
    Eel Film
    Participant

    This is all great info thank you very much. I can imagine many people are bitten by eels but you’d have to be unconcious for a long time in water for then to do any serious damage!
    We are looking into filming/fishing in Rotoiti as we’ve heard it’s an amazing place for giants!
    thanks again
    D

    #15020
    limitbag
    Participant

    when i was salmon fishing in Rakaia i think i was 14 or 15 i was up to my knees barefoot with a nasty cut on my ankle,felt something nibbling at my cut, looked down eel 2 foot long.Dad said he had never seen me move so fast.

    #15056
    mulletman
    Participant

    i’ve recently been to jacksons bar (half way to the west coast from christchurch) and there was a massive eel about 41 pounds i was told, it was caught in brunner i’ve also seen some big eels in brunner but not that big :shock:

    #15067
    fishforpot
    Participant

    My long dead grandfather was a photographer back in the 30’s – 40’s on the coast …..

    He photographed some wicked stuff …a coffin hanging open inside the roots of a huge macro that had blown over in a storm ….got called into the hospital one night to photograph some guy with overies etc , hermie I guess …..
    He took 90% of the photo in the Stanley Graham book , and helped with the making of the film ….bad blood I think it was called ……

    He took pics of an eel some kids had beaten to death and left almost unrecognisable after they had sat on it thinking it was a log ….never saw the pics but it had to have been big
    He also mentioned some deer hunters having a stag taken from them by an eel while washing/gutting it in a lake …….

    Almost sounds like he would have been a great mate for mulletman , especially when he told me of what he thought were 4 foot long mullet caught by the old codgers along the rock wall at scarbarough …..he was a kid , it would have been 90yrs ago ……but it wouldnt suprise me if it was kahawai , or maybe even kingies ….

    I did however break into a locked draw in his shed and found some photos …….I cant divulge what those photos were of , but I can say I never told grandma lol

    #15069
    rdeejay
    Participant

    graham you dirty old sod he don’t wanna know about that big eel that ya saw on grandads photos..sorry but lol..no disrespect

    #16403
    yellowfin
    Participant

    the Buller River (which flows from Lake Rotora) is the sure bet to look for particularly large Long Finned Eels , some remote areas of the River have been measured between 25-35 mtrs in depth with deeper fissure cracks along the riverbed. Here are where these Denizens lurk , waiting for their diet to drift by.
    In the gold rush era within this district , many a Gold Miner lost their lives…(drowning with alcahol probable cause?) , never to be recovered and most likely consumed by the opportunistic Eel.
    Further reference available

    #16417
    mulletman
    Participant

    have caught many big eels in the buller, my biggest being 18 lbs

    #18542
    Miliwolf
    Participant

    Just watched the Documentary tonight, was on National Geographic channel. Was a decent enough documentary with a good coverage of the basics. Same good footage of the eels at Lake Rotoiti, especially the night dive. Shame you were unable to track down any of the large NZ eels of legend.

    The Solomon Island eels was all new info for me.

    Worth watching
    http://animal.discovery.com/videos/rive … -eels.html

    #18548
    yellowfin
    Participant

    i too watched it but it was a while ago now have the episode on my laptop . were waiting and waiting for them to come to new zealand but thought well what is there worth of being a monster here? thought the eel would be the only one, well at least that we know of!! those damn taniwha. or possibly farmers would be worse go onto their land and you could get shot!

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