Teritex your reply brought a smile to my face because what you suggest is very simmilar to the "Sniggling" discussed by Isaak Walton in his book "The complete angler" - first published in 1653.....
"I shall therefore conclude this direction for taking the Eel, by telling
you, that in a warm day in summer, I have taken many a good Eel by
Snigling, and have been much pleased with that sport.
And because you, that are but a young angler, know not what Snigling
is I will now teach it to you. You remember I told you that Eels do not
usually stir in the daytime; for then they hide themselves under some
covert; or under boards or planks about flood-gates, or weirs, or mills:
or in holes on the river banks: so that you, observing your time in a
warm day, when the water is lowest, may take a strong small hook, tied
to a strong line, or to a string about a yard long; and then into one of
these holes, or between any boards about a mill, or under any great
stone or plank, or any place where you think an Eel may hide or shelter
herself, you may, with the help of a short stick, put in y our bait, but
leisurely, and as far as you may conveniently; and it is scarce to be
doubted, but if there be an Eel within the sight of it, the Eel will bite
instantly, and as certainly gorge it; and you need not doubt to have him
if you pull him not out of the hole too quickly, but pull him out by
degrees; for he, lying folded double in his hole, will, with the help of
his tail, break all, unless you give him time to be wearied with pulling,
and so get him out by degrees, not pulling too hard."