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Sea monsters and scoters

Posted by on January 25, 2010 5:22 PM | 


While Mrs D was admiring Jays and Greater 'Peckers in the garden at Dempsey Towers this morning, I was contemplating this - the biggest Conger Eel I've seen, albeit deader than Elvis, on the beach at Formby Point today.
The GBBs and Carrion Crows had been at it before we arrived, but it was still pretty impressive - measuring 78 inches from tip to tail.
The spade doesn't belong to the eel by the way - I just put it in the pic to get some scale (if you'll pardon the pun).
Now I don't know a lot about Congers, apart from my Dad once warning me against swimming in a river in Eire one night in case they dragged me down to the weedy depths...
Around the same time, he also told me he flew a Spitfire at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and only failed to save General Custer 'cos he had to refuel (man, was I disappointed when I finally got round to reading "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee").
So in retrospect, I suspect the Conger gen might just have been a ruse to keep a small boy entertained on a wet Tipperary evening.
But is a six foot Conger usual along our coast? How much would it weigh?
Any salty sea dog sea fishermen out there with relevant, non-native American persecution related info, please let me know.
Apart from sea monsters, the beach was pretty quiet today - a bins-only scan of a flat calm Liverpool Bay at 3pm however revealed 7-800 Common Scoter offshore, 11 Great Crested Grebes and a fine adult winter white Med Gull coming in to join a small roost in the shallows.
Hmm...those scoter are mighty tempting - may have to bring a 'scope next time I'm working down there, and of course, some charcoal to barbecue the Conger.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...


That's got to be 50lbs plus. Have any of the Ainsdale sea angling lot had a look at it?
Congers are apparently prone to croaking it in cold weather if they are in shallow seas e.g. like here.
A thing that size must have inhabited a wreck or similar, plenty of wrecks offshore.
I don't know whether the area around the gas rig is clear of debris and the like, expect it to be so because of need for divers to inspect etc etc., but these and the bases of wind turbines are quite likely to develop a population of sedentary fish.


There are plenty of Conger in the Mersey, especially in the winter when they feed on the whiting shoals in the river. They often gather up around Perch Rock in the autumn waiting for the Whiting to turn up. I use to do a lot of Conger Eel fishing from the shore in Anglesey and also some in Southern Ireland. When you land one of that size, in the pitch black and on slippery rocks it can be quite eventful as they are a handful when alive!

On the other hand the poor b----r might have been swimming too near to Blackpool,

There are huge eels in the fish dock all year round at Fleetwood, in fact a 6 footer fell out of the keel box of our boat when it was lifted out of the water recently.

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