There are very few waters which do not contain eels. The eel is a migratory fish which spawns in the Atlantic Ocean. The tiny eels or elvers drift with the ocean currents to reach Europe in their millions. The elvers find their way up the rivers and streams where they grow to maturity. Eels will travel along the smallest ditch to find their way into lakes and ponds. Eels are even found in lakes with no inlet or outlet streams, so they must be able to travel overland although very few people have ever witnessed this. When they reach maturity the spawning urge overcomes them and the eels make the return journey down the rivers and across the Atlantic Ocean to spawn and die. Those eels which find their way into completely landlocked lakes sometimes find it difficult to migrate back to the sea and it is these waters where the largest eels are likely to be caught.
The average size of eel caught by anglers is about one pound (0.45 kg) but eels can grow much bigger than this. The largest eel caught by an angler in Britain weighed just over 11 lb (4-95 kg) but even larger eels have been lifted from the river bed in dredger buckets.