Paul Smith.

The art of angling : for beginners online

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iH-^xcE' a''"V7'o i=»E3Yith honey and water.

'• The watcr-ciicket, water-louse, or creeper, which
is found in stony rivers, will often take trout in
March, April, and May.

" White snails are good bait for chub, early in the
morning-, and for trout and eels on night liooks.

" House-crickets are also good, to dib with, for

'"' Paste-baits are not to be angled with in rapid
streams ; but in pits, ponds, and slow running rivers,
on small hooks. In this sort of angling, your eye
must be quick, and your hand nimble to strike, or the
bait and fish will give you the slip. A quill float is
better than cork, as it sooner shows the nibble
or bite.

"For a chub, take some old cheese, the suet of
mutton kidney, and a little strong rennet : mix them
finely together, with as much turmeric as will give
them a line yellow colour.

" For roach and dac^, grate fine bread into a little
clear water, wherein some gum-ivy has been soaked,
add a little butter, and colour it Avith saffron.

" For barbel, in August, make a paste of new
cheese, and mutton suet.

" For cai-p or tench, mix crumbs of bread with
honey • or, for carp, take equal portions of bean or
wheat-flour, the inside of a leg of a young rabbit,
white bees' wax, and sheep's suet ; beat them in a
mortar; then moisten the mass with clarified hone\-,
and work it into balls before a gentle fire.

" Sheep's blood and saflTron make a good paste for
roach, dace, bleak, chub, trout, and perch ; for the
chub only, put a little rusty bacon in it.



" The most simple ground-Lalt for roach, dace, and
Ijleak, is made "by moulding or working some clay and
bran togetlier, into balls or pieces, about the size of a
pigeon's e^^g, with a little bread crumbled among it.

"Another ground-bait for chub, carp, roacli, and
dace, is made as follows : — Take the crumb of Iialf a
quartern loaf and cut it in slices about two inches
thick, and put it into a pan covered with water;
when soaked, squeeze it nearl}^ Arj ; add equal quan-
tities of bran and pollard, by handfuls, and knead
them together, until the whole is nearly as stiff as
clay. For barbel, first break about a quarter of a
pound of greaves to dust, soak it well in water, and
tlicn work it up Avitli the bread, bran, and pollard.
];arley-meal may be substituted for tlie bran and pol-
hird, in still waters only ; as, from its hghtness, it
would be carried away in a rapid stream.

" A ground-bait ma}' be mad^ with clay, bran, and
gentles, for cliub, roach, and carp, thus :— Mix the
bran and clay together, in lumps about the size of an
apple ; put a dozen or more gentles in the middle, and
close the clay over them. This is well calculated for
a pond, a still hole, or gentle eddy."


We now proceed to make known to our i-e:iders the
haunts and habits of fish usually taken in Great
Ib.-itain by anglers; tlie season for taking them;
wliere found ; the proper time to angle ; and the

TOR UE'..I^':^EEo. 19

cleptli I'lom groiiiuL Also, tlic houl.s and b;iif- niobt
commonly used for each fish, in alphabetical order as
space will allow.

The Barbel.

The barbel, so called from its four barb-, two of
which are at the corners of its month, ar.d the others
at the end of its snont, is a heavy, dull fish, and
gives very inferior sport to the angler, in proportion
to its size and strength. The barbel begin to shed
theu' spawn about the middle of Apiil, and come in
season about a month or six weeks after. In their
usual haunts, among weeds, &c., they are fond of
rooting with their nose like the pig. In summer
they frequent the most powerful and rapid currents,
and settle among logs of wood, piles, and weeds,
where they remain for a long time apparently immo-
vable — during the winter time, they return to deep
bottoms. The most killing baits lor the barbel are
the spawn of trout, s.-lmon, or, indeed, of any other
fish, espcciall}^ if it be fresh, respecting vrhich, the
barbel is very cunning ; the pastes that imitate it
must, therefore, be v.ell made, and of fresh flavour.
It is also an advisable plan to bait the water over
night, by spawn or a quantity of cut worms. The
barbel will also bite vrell at the cob-worm, gentles,
and cheese, soaked in honey. The rod and line xAth.
which you fish for barbel, must both be extremely
long, with a running plummet attached to the latter,
as they swim very c](;sj to the bottom. By a gentle
inclination of the rod, you may ensily ascertain when
there is a bite, immediately i;p :,;; which the fish
should be struck, and seldom c-:capes, unless he
break the line.


They are generally found in rapid and shallow
streams, gravelly banks, under bridges, in currents,
from the months of April to August, from sunrise till
ten o'clock in the morning, and four in the afternoon
to sunset. Many are caught in the Elver Thames, in
boats, with a stout rod, running tackle, gut line,
cork float, and No. 7 or 8 hook.

The Bleak

Is a common river fish, so called from its bleak or
wliite appearance. Angle for them with a light rod,
single hair line, small quill float, three or four No. 12
or 13 hooks, bait with a few gentles, caddis- worms,
found under stones, or a bit of red paste ; in deep
rivers, sandy bottoms, in eddies, and at ships' sterns.
Numbers are taken from the river Thames, Lea, and
New River, six inches ; alwa3's below high water, all
day long, from May to October.

The Bream.

This bony fish sheds its spawn about Midsummer,
and although occasionally met in slow running rivers,
they are reckoned pond fish, where they will thrive in
the greatest perfection, and have been known to
weigh from eight to ten pounds. In fishing for them,
the angler should be very silent, and take all possible
care to keep concealed from the fish, which are angled
for near the bottom. His tackle must also be strong.
This fish, according to Dr. Shaw, is a native of many
parts of Europe, inhabiting the still lakes and rivers,
and is sometimes found even in the Caspian Sea.



The bream ma}^ be taken from slow nvers or mill
ponds, near weeds, and in clay or muddy bottoms.
Some say rouo^h streams, about sunrise to nine
o'clock, and three to sunset, in April to December.
Use a small hook, a lii^ht rod, and quill float. Plumb
the bottom, and let your bait rest about an inch
above it.

The Chub, or Chevin.

The Chub, or Chevin, is, like the perch, a very
bold biter, and will rise eagerly at a natural or arti-
ficial fly. They spawn in June, or at the latter end
of May, at which time they are easily caught by a
fly, a beetle w^th his legs and wings cut off, or still
more successfully by a large snail. When they are
fished for at mid-water, or at bottom, a float should
be made use of; when at top, it is customary to dib
for them, or to use a fly, as if a trout were the
angler's object. Strong tackle is also requisite, as
they are heavy fish, and usually require a landing-net
to pull them out. Their average length is from ten
to fourteen inches. This fish is the squalus of Van-o,
and very common throughout England and the
Eastern diited States.

They are taken very early in tlie morning and very
late in the evening, in May to December. Use hook
No. 8 or 9.

The Dace.

Dace are a very active and cautious fish, and rise
to a fly, either real or artificial. It is necessary in
angling for them to remain in concealment as much
as possible. They spawn in Februar}- and March, and


they are but inferior in point of flavour. They fre-
quent gravelly, clayey, and sandy bottoms, leaves of
the water-lily, and deep holes, if Avell shaded. In
sultry weather the}' are I'requently canght in the shal-
lows ; and during that period are best taken with
grasshoppers or gentles. In fishing at the bottom for
roach or dace, which are similar in their haunts and
disposition, bread, soalced in water and kneaded to a
good consistency, and then made up together with
bran into round balls, and throv/n into the place
where it is proposed to angle, will be found very ser-
viceable, but must always be thrown up the stream.
There is a mode of intoxicating dace, and by this
means rendering them an easy prey ; but this is no
part of the real angler's sport. The Thames is well
known to abound in dace ; and the graining of the
Mersey is thought to be a variety of tlie same species.
Use hook one size larger than for a roacli. May


Online LibraryPaul SmithThe art of angling : for beginners → online text (page 1 of 2)