Water: The Riches of Clare

Eel Spear

There are two types of eel spear: one which impales the eel between blunt prongs and another which holds it by pinching the eel’s body and snagging its skin so that it cannot slip out.

The different approaches are significant since a skewered eel will die and need to be cleaned, salted and possibly smoked before it is sold. Conversely, snagged eels can be released, packed in baskets and sent to market live and sold fresh.

Pictured is an example of a three pronged eel spear used in County Clare.

Ref: 2000.202

Folklife Collection

Eel Spear, 2000.202