« ПредишнаНапред »
fishing, but it is far fitter for experience and discourse Only, thus much is necessary
for know, and to be mindful and careful of, that if the Pike or Pearch do breed in that river, they will be sure to bite first, and must first be taken. And for the most part they are very large; and will repair to your ground-bait, not that they will eat of it, but will feed and sport themselves among the young fry that gather about and hover over the bait.
The way to discern the Pike and to take him, if you mistrust your Bream hook; for I have taken a Pike a yard long several times at my Bream hooks, and sometimes he hath had the luck to share my line; may be thus :
Take a small Bleak, or Roach, or Gudgeon, and bait [with] it; and set it, alive, among your rods, two feet deep from the cork, with a little red worm on the point of the hook : then take a few crumbs of white bread, or some of the ground-bait, and sprinkle it gentle amongst your rods. If Mr. Pike be there, then the little fish will skip out of the water at his appearance, but the live-set bait is sure to be taken.
Thus continue your sport from four in the morning till eight, and if it be a gloomy windy day, they will bite all day long: but this is too long to stand to your rods, at one place; and it will spoil your evening sport that day, which is this.
About four of the clock in the afternoon repair to your baited place; and as soon as you come to the water-side, cast in one-half of the rest of your ground-bait, and stand off; then whilst the fish are gathering together, (for there they will most certainly come for their supper, you may take a pipe of tobacco: and then, in with your three rods, as in the morning. You will find excellent sport that evening, till eight of the clock: then cast in the residue of your ground-bait, and next morning, by four of the clock, visit them again for four hours, which is the best sport of all; and after that, let them rest till you and your
friends have a mind to more sport. From St. James's-tide until Bartholomew-tide is the best; when they have had all the summer's food, they are the fattest.
Observe, lastly, that after three or four days fishing together, your game will be very shy and wary, and you shall hardly get above a bite or two at a baiting: then your only way is to desist from your sport, about two or three days: and in the mean time, (on the place you late baited, and again intend to bait,) you shall take a turf of green but short grass, as big or bigger than a round trencher; to the top of this turf, on the green side, you shall, with a needle and green thread, fasten, one by one, as many little red worms as will near cover all the turf: then take a round board or trencher, make a hole in the middle thereof, and through the turf placed on the board or trencher, with a string or cord as long as is fitting, tied to a pole, let it down to the bottom of the water, for the fish to feed upon without disturbance about two or three days; and after that you have drawn it away, you may fall to, and enjoy your former recreation.
(1) The haunts of the Bream, a fish which the angler seldom meets with, are the deepest and broadest parts of gentle soft streams, with sandy clayey bottoms; and the broadest and most quiet places of ponds, and where there are weeds.
They spawn about the beginning of July; a little before which time they are best in season, though some think them best in September.
The baits for the Bream are, red-worms, small Job or marsh-worms, gentles, and grasshoppers.
In general, they are to be fished for as Carp.
C H AP. XI.
Observations on the TENCH, and Advice how to angle for him.
Piscator. The Tench, the physician of fishes, is observed to love ponds better than rivers, and to love pits better than either: yet Camden observes, there is a river in Dorsetshire that abounds with Tenches, but doubtless they retire to the most deep and quiet places in it.
This fish hath very large fins, very small and smooth scales, a red circle about his eyes, which are big and of a gold colour, and from either angle of his mouth there hangs down a little barb. In every Tench's head there are two little stones which foreign physicians make great use of, but he is not commended for wholesome meat, though there be very much use made of them for outward applications. Rondeletius says, that at his being at Rome, he saw a great cure done by applying a Tench to the feet of a very sick man. This, he says, was done after an unusual manner, by certain Jews. And it is observed that many of those people have many secrets yet unknown to Christians; secrets that have never yet been written, but have been (since the days of their Solomon, who knew the nature of all things, even from the cedar to the shrub) delivered by tradition, from the father to the son, and so from generation to generation, without writing; or, (unless it were casually,) without the least communicating them to any other nation or tribe; for to do that they account a profanation. And, yet, it is thought that they, or some spirit worse than they, first told us that lice swallowed alive, were a certain cure for the yellow-jaundice. This, and many other medicines, were discovered by them, or by revelation; for, doubtless, we attained them not by study.
Well, this fish, besides his eating, is very useful, both dead and alive, for the good of mankind, But I will meddle no more with that, my honest humble art teaches no such boldness: there are too many foolish meddlers in physic and divinity that think themselves fit to meddle with hidden secrets, and so bring destruction to their followers. But I'll not meddle with them, any farther than to wish them wiser; and shall tell you next, (for I hope I may be so bold,) that the Tench is the physician of fishes, for the Pike especially, and that the Pike, being either sick or hurt, is cured by the touch of the Tench. And it is observed that the Tyrant Pike will not be a wolf to his physician, but forbears to devour him though he be never so hungry.
This fish, that carries a natural balsam in him to cure both himself and others, loves yet to feed in very
foul water, and amongst weeds. And yet, I am sure, he eats pleasantly, and, doubtless, you will think so too, if you taste him. And I shall therefore proceed to give you some few, and but a few, directions how to catch this fish, of which I have given you these observations.
He will bite at a paste, made of brown bread and honey, or at a marsh-worm, or a lob-worm; he inclines very much to any paste with which tar is mixt, and he will bite also at a smaller worm, with his head nipped off, and a cod-worm put on the hook before that worm. And I doubt not but that he will also, in the three hot months, (for in the nine colder he stirs not much) bite at a flagworm, or at a green gentle; but can positively say no more of the Te
h,' he being a fish I have not often angled for; but I wish my honest scholar may, and be ever fortunate when he fishes.
(1) The haunts of the Tench are nearly the same with those of the Carp. They delight more in ponds than in rivers; and lie under weeds, near sluices, and at pond heads.
They spawn about the beginning of July; and are best in season from the
Observations on the PEARCH, and Directions how to fish for him.
Piscator. The Pearch is a very good and a very boldbiting fish.
He is one of the fishes of prey that, like the Pike and Trout, carries his teeth in his mouth, which is very large: and he dare venture to kill and devour several other kinds of fish. He has a hooked or hog back, which is armed with sharp and stiff bristles, and all his skin armed, or covered over with thick dry hard scales, and hath, which few other fish have, two fins on his back. He is so bold that he will invade one of his own kind, which the Pike will not do willingly; and you may therefore easily believe him to be a bold biter.
The Pearch is of great esteem in Italy, saith Aldrovandus: and especially the least are there esteemed a dainty dish. And Gesner prefers the Pearch and Pike above the Trout, or any fresh-water fish: he says the Germans have this proverb, “ More wholesome than a Pearch of Rhine:" and he says the River-Pearch is so wholesome, that physicians allow him to be eaten by wounded men, or by men in fevers, or by women in child-bed.
He spawns but once a year; and is, by physicians, held very nutritive; yet, by many, to be hard of digestion. They abound more in the river Po, and in England,
beginning of September to the end of May. They will bite all the hot months; but are taken best in April and May.
There are no better baits for this fish than a middle-sized lob-worm, or red. worm, well scoured; a gentle; a young wasp grub, boiled; or a green worm shook from the boughs of trees.
Use a strong grass, or gut; and a goose-quill float without a cork, except in rivers where the cork is always to be preferred.
Fish very near the ground. And if you bait with gentles, throw in a few at the taking every fish, which will draw them to your hook, and keep them together.