Conger is a genus of marine congrid eels. The Latin name Congridae Conger Conger means Eels of great strength and resistance. Conger Eels do not like cold winters and will often move offshore to seek shelter in deeper warmer waters. The life histories of most conger eels are poorly known.
Conger is a long, powerful fish with scaleless, smooth skin. They are usually grey-blue or grey-black in colour with a white or pale golden coloured belly. In deeper water they have a light brown back with grey sides and belly. The dorsal, tail and anal fins are fused making a complete fringe around the body. The dorsal fin starts just behind the tip of the pectoral fin and the anal fin terminates midway along the underside of the fish. Conger eels can grow to 2.75 m in length but are more commonly seen at around 2 m long.
Boat anglers catch most of the larger specimens. Breakwaters, harbour walls, jetties, piers and rocky estuaries will also produce good catches. Thunder and storms are said to stimulate the feeding habits of freshwater eels and sea anglers believe these kind of weather conditions also improve the chances of catching Conger. Conger eel are heavy, powerful fish. Do not underestimate the power of the Conger. Hook lengths should be a minimum of 100lb monofilament or alternatively a wire hook length of 60lb plus. Conger Eels will bite through monofilament but utilizing a high breaking strain will improve your chances of landing a fish. Hooks sizes from 4/0 to 8/0 Varivas Big Mouth Extra should be used, these fish need to be hauled over rough ground and hook of significant strength is required. Anything lighter and you stand a very good chance of losing the fish of a lifetime. Rigs should be fixed paternoster or pulley style fished with a rotten bottom if tackles losses are likely. These fish are brutal and their ability to swim backwards means you have to apply a lot of pressure to keep them from snagging you in rough ground. The ideal reel is the Diawa SHV 30 or a reel of similar size that provides the ability to cast bait coupled with a fast retrieve to clear the rough ground. Line should be 30lb attached to an 80lb shock leader. Your fishing rod should be able to cast large baits and provide you with enough power to winch the Eel over rough ground. Being part of the conger's natural diet, squid is a popular bait to use in deep water. Fishing Tips When you get a bite on the hook be patient. Give the conger time to take the bait into its mouth. Pull the rod up sharply and strike. The fish may descend into a deep dive and it is pointless to try and stop it. Let line out from the reel and wait. Start reeling in when the dive has stopped but watch out for a repeat performance.
Conger is found from Norway and Iceland to the eastern Atlantic to Senegal, and also in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.