Monday, September 19, 2005
Electric Eel Fishing
The Electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) is capable of generating powerful electrical shocks, of up to 600 volts and 1 ampere of for the total of .6Kw for approximately 10 microseconds.
Juveniles produce smaller voltages -- about 110V (220V in Europe).
An electric eel can grow up to 2.5 m in length and 20 kg in weight.
When agitated, it is capable of producing these intermittent electrical shocks over a period of at least an hour without signs of tiring.
Incidentally, 600 volts is exactly the voltage required to cause the initial ionization of a fluorescent lamp, so you can use an instant-start ballast transformer to practice handling eels.
How to fish an electric eel:
- Bait: a battery. Depending on the eel size, AAA, AA, C or D dry cell. A full-grown eel can even go for a led-acid car battery. As always with fishing, it is best to use the same bait as fish hunts in its native habitat.
- Electric eels bite best during a lightning, when electromagnetic field lures their food source out of their burrows to recharge.
- After an eel is extracted from the water, bring it's tail in contact with the head to cause short circuit.
- For short-term storage, insulate the eel with electric tape.
- For long-term storage, provide grounding compliant with a local Electrical Code. Note that since eel handling is happening in wet environment, US National Electrical Code (NEC) requires, since 1965, that you use Class A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
- If an electric eel appears to be broken, the first step is to check, and if necessary, replace, the fuse. WARNING: DO NOT EXCEED the fuse rating!
- CAUTION: DO NOT DISASSEMBLE the eel. Take it to a qualified technician when service or repair work is required.
Electric eel recipes:
- Eel Spetzes-Style (Greek)
- Eels In Piquant Sauce
- Bulitsikov's Eels (Russian)
- Fried Eels with Creamed Potatoes (Danish)
- Curried Eel
- Eel Livornese (Italian)