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Roach, Rudd and Dace page 2


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In the autumn they retire into deeper water and may be taken with the same rod and bottom-tackle as Roach; the same baits also may be used. In summer they prefer the gentle; in the autumn and winter, paste and worms. The best months are from July to December. Large Dace are often caught while fishing for Barbel late in the summer, with the tail of a lobworm; when this occurs, it shows that there are beginning to feed lower down and to discontinue rising at the fly. In shallows of two or three feet in depth, such as lie in the angle of two streams or where a brook enters a river, or between the runs at a mill tail, where there is a kind of eddy or backwater, Dace are usually found waiting for any unlucky insects or worms that may be brought down the stream; in such places work the bait from four to six inches from the bottom; a small redworm will be found very killing. The same ground-baits mentioned for Roach are equally good for Dace, but it must be remembered that, w hen ground-baiting for Dace, you are at the same time performing the same kind office for nearly every other description of fish, and you are just as likely to take Barbel, Roach or Trout. As an instance I might mention that I was Dace-fishing, early one morning, a small stream in Kent, using the gentle and fishing very fine with running tackle; in a very short space of time I landed two brace of Trout, each fish over a pound (a large size for the stream in question), several good-sized Dace, a Perch and some Gudgeons; the only ground-bait I used was carrion-gentles, sprinkling a few in occasionally a yard or two above the swim, which was about five feet in depth; the bottom line was the very finest gut. and the float a small taper quill carrying half-a-dozen small shots: this was in the month of June, the weather was extremely hot, and it was only for an hour or two early in the morning that there was a chance of doing anything.

And here I must remind the young practitioner, that although with Roach, Dace and other fish which require ground bait, this is necessary to draw the surrounding fish into the swim, yet it must be used with judgement; not throwing in at once a sufficient quantity to satiate all the fish for half a mile down the water, but just sufficient to bring them into the swim; and as long as they continue on the feed, a very small quantity thrown in at intervals will suffice to keep the shoal together.

The best plan is to ground-bait the place overnight if possible, with a similar description of bait to that you purpose using the following day; if you intend fishing with gentles, use the bread, bran and carrions mixed with a little clay; if with worms, then a couple of hundred or more worms should be chopped small and thrown in a few yards above where you intend to fish. It will also be found a good plan when fishing with worms to throw in a clay ball or two containing worms, the same as used for Barbel.

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