“Pöddern” is a fishing method which originated from East Friesland in Germany. Other methods bearing a striking similarity are also used in different parts of the world. It’s a fairly easy method of obtaining fish and hence, when it comes down to “do or do”, it could be rather useful.

“Pöddern” is typically used to catch eel, as it takes advantage of their many tiny teeth, but I’ll tell you more about that later.

You’ll need a thick stick with a length of 2-3 meters, and you’ll use it as a fishing pole. You’ll also need some strong thread, preferably of wool, as well as a needle and a bunch of worms. Here’s where it gets nasty: you gotta thread all these worms into a worm-bundle that should be small enough for eels to swallow. If the flow of water keeps causing the bundle to surface, you should add small stones or lead weights to help it stay under water.

Now, go ahead and choose the perfect place for eel-fishing. That could be a downstream reservoir, an underwater-canyon, a river or a pond. Place your bundle in the water and wait a while. If you’re lucky, you’ll soon feel something pulling on it – that’s your sign to slowly, but forcefully pull the line out of the water with a whip cracking-like motion. The eel will snag itself on the wool with its tiny teeth, making it easy for you to land it. This method is easiest to carry out with two people, one of them holding the fishing rod, the other capturing the landed eel in a raincoat or plastic bag, as they can be quite strong and wiggly!

The best time to try out this method is in the months of April until October, starting at dawn until late at night.

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