Eel Fishing in Cyprus

Eel Fishing in Cyprus

Eel fishing in Cyprus is a traditional practice among locals and tourists alike that has been carried out for centuries. Local fishermen use a variety of methods to catch eels, including using nets, traps, and spears. The best time to go eel fishing is during the warmer months of the year, typically from April to October. The eels are typically found in the island’s freshwater rivers and streams, where they migrate from the sea to spawn.

Three Types are Home in Cyprus

There are three main types of eels that can be found in Cyprus. The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is the most common species and is found in rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. The Mediterranean moray eel (Muraena helena) is another species that can be found in the waters around Cyprus, known for its distinctive appearance with a long, slender body and sharp teeth. The conger eel (Conger conger) is the third type of eel found in Cyprus, typically found in deeper waters and known for its large size and aggressive behaviour. These eel species play an important role in the marine ecosystem of Cyprus.

Eel Fishing With Traps

One of the most common techniques used by fishermen is the use of cylindrical traps made from woven reeds or other natural materials. These traps are strategically placed in the water, often near the riverbanks or in areas where eels are known to congregate. Once the eels enter the traps, the fishermen carefully retrieve them, being mindful of the eels’ slippery and elusive nature. Sometimes fishermen are using a fishing rod with bait such as worms or small fish. Eels are known for their strong sense of smell, so using smelly bait can attract them to your hook.

Eel Fishing Using Nets

Another popular technique is using a net to catch eels. Fishermen carefully position the nets in areas where eels are known to travel, such as narrow passages or areas with strong currents. When the eels swim into the nets, the fishermen quickly pull them out of the water, ensuring a successful catch.

Once caught, the eels can be removed from the trap and taken home for cooking.

An Eell in the Deep

Eel Fishing With Spears

In addition to traps and nets, some fishermen use spears to catch eels. This method requires a great deal of skill and precision, as the fishermen must accurately aim and strike the eels as they swim by. It is a challenging technique that requires years of experience to master.

Eels Are Delicious in Cypriot Dishes

Eels are a delicious and nutritious food source, and are often grilled or fried in Cyprus cuisine. They are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a healthy choice for a meal. Once the eels are caught, they are typically used in traditional Cypriot dishes such as “kalogirous” (fried eels) or “avgotaracho” (a type of eel roe). Eel fishing not only provides a valuable food source for the local community but also contributes to the preservation of cultural traditions and heritage in Cyprus.


Overall, eel fishing in Cyprus is a time-honoured practice that continues to play an important role in the island’s culinary and cultural landscape. The methods used by fishermen showcase their deep understanding of the local environment and the behaviour of eels, ensuring the sustainability of this traditional practice for generations to come.

By Charlie

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