hold an eel by the tail

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hold an eel by the tail

To try to engage or somehow detain an elusive person or thing. Trying to get in touch with my insurance company is like trying to holding an eel by the tail—I can never get through to a live person! Every time we try to pin charges on the mob boss, it's as hard as holding an eel by the tail because he somehow weasels his way out of them!
See also: eel, hold, tail