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What to fish for, and where - The haunts of the Minnow, Loach, Ruffe, Gudgeon, Bleak, Dice, Roach, Chub, and Bream.
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In suitable waters nearly every description of fish may be caught by the bottom-fisher if he provides himself with suitable tackle, uses it in the best manner, and in the suitable season. To be successful he should know somewhat of the haunts of the fish, their method and time of feeding, and, above all, when they are in season. During the present year I Lave been repeatedly annoyed by anglers taking fish when they were not only unwholesome, but spawning, and thereby destroying the poisonous fish and their future sport. I have already touched upon the general habits of fish - their sense of hearing, sight, and smell, and to the remarks there made I would again direct the young angler's attention, ere I touch upon the various kinds of fish which will afford him sport with his rod, line, float-bait, and sinkers. Following out the plan I proposed at the commencement, I begin with the smaller fry, which are easily caught, and though not of much value in themselves, are useful as baits for the larger and more valuable fish.

The Minnow is well known to every schoolboy who has seen a rivulet. Delicate in shape, rapid m motion, and moving in shoals, they are at once bold, gregarious, and voracious feeders. For the purposes of the troller and spinner they are usually caught with a hand-net. A bent pin and a small red worm enables a boy to catch any number. They will take a crumb of bread or a gentle voraciously. If a worm is used, tied to a horse-hair, they may be pulled out by the dozen. Walton and other old writers speak of minnow as forming a nice dish when caught in sufficient numbers, but they are more trouble than they are worth.

The Loach is not a pleasant fish to look at. His bullet head and heavy shoulders give him a clumsy look. They bite freely at a worm, and do not despise gentles.

The Ruffe is a fierce-looking, bold biter, somewhat like a small perch. They may be caught during the whole of the summer months, and afford excellent sport to the young angler. Wherever one is caught there will be plenty of others. They lie in rather deep water,- in a hole close by the eddying of a stream. You may ground bait with clay balls, in which bits of worms have been rolled. Though small, they form a respectable fry.

The Gudgeon is a better known fish, and one that is esteemed a choice morsel, even by gourmands. They bite freely, and there are but few streams in England where he does not abound. I have caught them by the dozen in canals and in the rivulets running into larger streams. There is no difficulty in getting a respectable dish of this line-shaped and excellent fish, which are largely in demand for live bait for jack, and occasionally for trout. They are very prolific, and are supposed to spawn about May. The tackle adapted to catch them is a small light rod, a fine gut or single hair bottom line, a very small hook, a small brandling worm, a bit of paste, or a gentle. A light quill float is generally used. A paste in which a little hemp seed has been mixed has teen used and recommended as a ground-bait. In all running streams and clear water the grand secret of catching gudgeons is to rake the bottom of the stream so as to stir up the mud and discolour the water. The gudgeons fly to where they suppose their food to be, and with a small well-scoured red worm, lightly threaded on to a small hook close to the bottom of the stream, they may be caught by scores. If the worm is too big, use only the head. When one spot has been fished, repeat the process in another place. Gudgeons are too fond of "nibbling," but otherwise they bite freely. There is another mode of angling fur gudgeons, but it is only excusable when in a hurry for " live bait." The flat plummet is fixed just to an ordinary perch hook, and attached to a horse-hair line. Two or three hooks are suspended above the bullet, in the manner of a "paternoster," and firmly looped in the manner of "droppers," as described in " fly-fishing." These hooks are baited with worms as before mentioned. The plummet is let down to the bottom in a promising part of the stream, and the hocks are suffered to lie on the bottom or float about in the running water. If the line be held tight, every bite will be perceptible, and the fish caught, if the youth is not in too great a hurry to strike. Epicures in all ages of the world have admired the gudgeon when fried crisp on butter and bread crumbs, and served hot with melted butter for sauce.

The Bleak is found in the majority of clear streams, where there is a good current. They spawn in May or June, and arc soon as active as ever. Small as they are, they are active, and shine like silver. In fine weather they play on the surface of the water, and will bite freely at a small brown fly, and, indeed, there are worse sports than whipping for bleak on a summer's evening with a light rod, fine tackle, and half a-dozen flies attached to eight or nine feet of gut as droppers, on very fine hooks. When the weather is colder, the bleak may be taken by a paternoster line, made somewhat similar to that described in fishing for gudgeon, but without a bullet. The hooks should be baited with gentles, and the angler should choose a spot near a rapid run of water, where the current flows quick from a sluice, and near the whirling eddies of a mill-tail. They bite freely, and when gentles are scarce a little bit of white leather from a kid glove may be placed on a hook on which a small artificial fly has been whipped. The float, if one is used, should be light and small. They are cooked similar to sprats, which they much resemble.

The Dace, like the minnow, belongs to the carp tribe, and is equally reckless. He is somewhat elegant in shape, and he is one of the best fish for the young angler. He is net particular as to the bait you offer Lim; he will spring at the natural or artificial fly at the surface of the water, and take the fine red brandling, your paste, or gentle, at the bottom. The tackle must, however, be as fine as that recommended for roach-fishing. He varies somewhat in size, and when large will tax all the skill of the youthful fisherman. lie is gregarious, loves the society of his fellows, and delights in the scours and rapid currents of most livers. He loves the free moving waters of a mill-tail, or the smart stream of a narrow arched bridge. The junction of two streams affords him a suitable home. The dace spawn early in the spring, and in May they are in condition. They seem almost to fly through the water, so rapid are their movements. They will bite freely at the artificial red and black palmers or spiders, particularly if the point of the hook is tipped with a live gentle. They afford good sport with the natural fly, as described in u dipping." The efish-fly, house-fly, or ant-fly may be used. In hot weather they are to be sought for in deeper water. When bottom- fishing for dace, use ground-bait of a hard tough nature, Oatmeal, browned over the fire, mixed with treacle, and then made up into small hard balls, I have found the best. In hot weather they bite freest in the morning and evening; in colder weather in the middle of the day. For practising the young angler in the details of the gentle art, I think dace fishing holds the very highest place, though he does not rank high in the kitchen.

The Roach has long been the shy object of the bottom- fisher's art, and roach-fishing demands special skill and special appliances. The line must be of the finest gut, stained to the colour of the water; the hook must be of the smallest, with a short shank, and whipped with fine silk of a light pink or white colour, and attached to a link of a single hair or very fine gut. The sinkers should be fixed far above the bait, which should be but an inch or two above the level of the ground. The float should be of the lightest quill, and so weighted that only the tip appears above the surface of the water. The rod should be long and light, and those made of Spanish cane are the best I have seen, as they permit the fish to be delicately and promptly struck. When roach-fishing, the water should be plumbed and ground-baited the evening before. If about to fish with paste, the meal ground-bait before de scribed will be the best. The oatmeal and treacle ground- bait, described in dace-fishing, may also be used with effect when angling, if made into balls of a small size, and thrown near the float. Roach do not generally lie in rapid streams, but in the autumn months - -and they should not be fished for at any other time, as they are out of condition until the middle of July - love the gravelly bed of a softly-flowing deep stream, along which the insects, grain, of other food is gently carried along, close at bottom, but not touching it. Long as the line may be, and it is sometimes necessary to fish eight or nine feet deep, there should not be more than eighteen inches or two feet between the tip of the float and the end of the rod. Care must be taken, from time to time, to see that the bait is on the hook, and that no part of the hook is exposed. Early in the spring I have caught roach with a fine rid worm, but, as a rule, I prefer waiting until August before I try for this subtle and shy fish. I find, in August, they will bite early in the morning and late in the evening, at gentles, or at salmon roe, though I seldom use this seductive bait. Caddis and gentles, when easily obtained, are taken freely if the ground- bait has boon attended to. In the heat of the day, and during the evening, the roach may be attracted by the yellow fly, so common in cow dung, if carefully " dipped" on the surface. I have taken them with a blue-bottle, tipped with a gentle, frequently; but the angler must be out of sight, and make no noise. As the autumn progresses, the best bottom bait will be found to be boiled malt, wheat, or pearl barley. If the former is used, it must be so placed on the hook that the point and shank of the hook is hid, and the tempting luscious inside may be seen. If the hook, however, has a long shank, it is fatal to success with large fish. A handful of malt may be thrown in as ground- bait, and large-grained unboiled sago, and even rice, is often found attractive. It requires, however, some skill in playing a roach of some size, and I have seen them frequently one pound and one and a half pound weight caught and landed w hen the bottom line was a single horse-hair. The roach, like the carp, is fond of sucking at the bait, and he should be struck firmly and delicately at the slightest nibble. Tastes are largely used to attract roach, and good sport is sometimes obtained by this means. Roach seem to like sweet paste, and that made with a little honey, gin, and new bread, is often successful when plain paste fails to attract. When the fish are on the feed, a plain paste, provided it is made with clean hands, will be found all that is necessary. I have sometimes found that the addition of a little essence of anchovies to the paste have a killing effect when all other means failed. The principle of success in roach fishing, and with the majority of other numbers of the carp tribe, is to have fine tackle, a delicate hook, a sharp eye for a nibble, and plenty of patience. The home of the roach is on the deep side of streams, and under bridges.

The Chub is to be found in nearly all our English rivers, lie is a long, powerful fish, not very attractive in a gustative sense, but tolerably handsome-looking, - a bold feeder when he thinks nobody is looking, and not very fastidious as to what he eats. lie haunts deep hole3, lies at the bottom of old walls, and likes overhanging banks. lie spawns early, and is in season again about May. He has what the phrenologists call large inhabitativeness, and may generally be found in the same spot year after year. In summer weather, where no trout stream is near, the chub affords some tolerable sport. He will rise freely at an artificial fly. Red spiders and palmers of various colours seem to be his favourites. Imitate a humble-bee or a blow-fly and they will rise freely. In the evening their fondness is for moths. In dipping for them, the grasshopper, beetle, and cockchaffer may be used, and even a butterfly will not be rejected. The rod must be like a fly-fisher's, and fitted with a winch and running tackle, for, when first hooked, Mr Chub makes a desperate effort to escape. He, however, soon tires, and cries " enough." The best plan of baiting with live injects will be found in the chapter en "fishing with the natural fly." To the bottom-fisher the chub is also an object of attraction in consequence of the sport he affords. He is, however, shyer, if possible, than the roach, and requires line tackle to delude him. In the earlier months of the year the chub prefers a red worm. They are also fond of gentles and cheese paste, or little pellets of tallow and cheese, flavoured slightly with musk. I may here mention, that gentles from a dead rat are held to be more killing than any others in consequence of their musky odour. The chub likes a fair-sized bait better than a small one. The spinal-cord of a bullock, if in convenient bits, will entice him, particularly if bullock's or sheep's brains have been used as a ground-bait. Greaves (see Table of Baits) are used as ground-bait, and the whiter pieces kept for the hook. The hook itself may be tipped with a live gentle, and care must be taken that the greaves will not prevent the fish being hooked when struck, in consequence of their toughness and firmness. In the very early spring he sometimes will bite at a minnow or small frog; but as the fish, when caught, is one of the won t fish possible for the table, he is not much sought after.

The Bream is a common fish in all the rivers that fall into the fenny counties, or flow through marshy ground. They spawn late in June or early in July, and rapidly multiply and grow to a large size. They are broad, ugly, and coarse, and have been likened to a pair of bellows. They bite freely, but they have no little cunning, and it requires the angler to be equally wary if he wishes to secure these unwieldy denizens of our broad, sluggish, still rivers. Running tackle will be required, and the hook may be a No. 8 or 9, securely whipped to a gut foot-line. A quill float is necessary, as the hook should touch or trail along the bottom. Clay and clotted bullock's blood makes an excellent ground-bait. Red worms are the best bait in the spring, early in the morning and late in the evening. In summer, gentles and a salmon roe, with greaves for ground-bait, prove attractive. "When the weather is warm and gloomy, or a slight breeze ripples the surface of the water, the bream will bite, particularly after a- warm drizzling rain. The bream have a sort of fancy for a dew worm, but he sucks it and does nut bite. They must be struck delicately and at once. When he is hooked he exerts his strength, and makes for a weedy, sedgy bottom. The angler must keep Lim in the open waters, or else the tackle will assuredly break. It requires no little patience and skill to laud a large bream, and when landed, his skin is slimy, and not peculiarly pleasant. In the summer time he will rise at the natural fly. The stone fly, house-fir, and blue-bottle are his particular fancy. In the evening a moth will seduce him. His home is in the broad bends of a river, and he is sometimes found with his family beneath the shade of an overhanging willow, particularly where there is a good depth of water.

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