- 24/02/2010 at 6:40 pm #6881Eel FilmParticipant
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.
Dan25/02/2010 at 12:00 am #14998MiliwolfParticipant
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.25/02/2010 at 3:44 am #15000
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 christchurch25/02/2010 at 6:43 am #15003
lake wanaka and wakitipu have some pretty massive eels in don’t know about filming should be fine and they might be short fins26/02/2010 at 1:03 pm #15018Eel FilmParticipant
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!
D27/02/2010 at 5:58 am #15020limitbagParticipant
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.05/03/2010 at 5:52 am #15056
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 big05/03/2010 at 10:12 am #15067fishforpotParticipant
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 lol05/03/2010 at 11:16 am #15069rdeejayParticipant
graham you dirty old sod he don’t wanna know about that big eel that ya saw on grandads photos..sorry but lol..no disrespect25/11/2010 at 10:46 pm #16403
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 available28/11/2010 at 5:04 am #16417
have caught many big eels in the buller, my biggest being 18 lbs29/08/2011 at 9:48 am #18542MiliwolfParticipant
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.
http://animal.discovery.com/videos/rive … -eels.html30/08/2011 at 4:39 am #18548
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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