The Sandeel is an extremely popular sea fishing bait that is found in abundance throughout British and European waters. The name signifies that they are an eel, but they are classified as a fish and due to their small size, are a species of fish that has been fed upon by larger species of fish.

The sandeel species of fish can be split into two distinct types of fish, the ‘smaller lesser sandeel’, and the ‘larger greater sandeel’. The lesser sandeel is the type that is most commonly used by anglers as a bait.

The smaller lesser sandeel typically has a length of anywhere up to around 15cm, with the larger ‘greater sandeel’ length between 20cm and 30cm. The sandeel generally prefers shallower inshore waters, which are in range of an angler’s cast, leaving them ideally suited for use as a fishing bait.

Float fishing with sandeels

Float fishing with sandeel is a popular method of summer fishing to target bass, but other species can be caught including mackerel, Pollack, and others. Live sandeels work best with this method of fishing; the movement providing a stimulated action that encourages predatory fish to strike and take hold of the bait. It is best to hook sandeels through their tail which allows the body and head of the bait to move freely.

Frozen sandeels can also be used in this method, although with a lesser impact and as such; a reduced chance of a bite. If using frozen sandeels, it is best to hook these through the mouth and up into the body, with the point of the hook re-appearing at the mid-point of the body and presented neatly ready for a bite.

With both methods of float fishing, regularly through loose feed into the water close to the flow, encourage fish into the immediate location and increasing the change of a bite.