This section is from the book "Fishing: When, Where, And How To Fish Without Live Bait", by William Tweedie. Also available from Amazon: Fishing: When, Where And How To Fish Without Live Bait.
He is found in all sorts of waters, ponds, lakes, ditches, trout-streams, canals, docks, and rivers. No water is too dirty for him and none too pure. He gets fat in mud, and where, apparently, there is nothing but stone. A fresh-water fish naturally, yet he does not care if he gets into salt water. He goes where he can get his dinner, and is not very nice as to what it is From a dead crab to the leg of a live duckling - he is by no means particular. When cooked he is a most delicious fish, though some persons can never touch eels;" they look so much like snakes." If hungry he will bite at almost anything: he appears very fond of worms. The best thing you can do is, when caught, to put your foot upon him and cut off his head, or you will have your line so tangled as to be unfit for use.