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if the weather is mild and temperate; and is a most excellent bait.
This is an excellent bait for a Trout, if you angle with it whilst the water is discolored by rain.
How to scour and preserve Worms. Get a quantity of moss, the best is that which is soft and white, and grows on heaths, but as this is scarce to be had in some parts, in lieu of it any kind that is fresh and sweet; rinse it well from the earth that hangs about, and then wring it very dry, put your worms, and it, into an earthen pot, cover it close that they do not crawl away, and set it in a cool place in summer, and in winter in a warm one, which will prevent the frost from killing them : change the moss every fourth day in summer, and once a week in winter, or at least let the old moss be taken from them, washed, squeezed pretty dry, and put it to them again. If you want them to be quickly scoured, a little bole-armoniac put to them will accomplish your desire: or you may put them in water for three or four hours, and they will soon be scoured, yet be very weak, but being put to good moss, they will speedily recover. When the knot near the middle of the brandling begins to swell, he is sick; and for fear they should die, feed them with crumbs of bread, and with the yolk of an egg and sweet cream coagulated over the fire; never steep your worms in moss to scour them above ten days, in which time they will be perfectly fit for use.
There is another way of cleansing and preserving worms, recommended by many anglers, and is a very good one for every kind of the except the lob-worm: take a piece of very coarse cloth, which B2
has never been shrunk in the Fulling-mill, wash it very clean, and let it dry: then soak it in the liquor where a fat piece of fresh beef has been boiled, and wring it out, but not so hard as to press out all the liquor; then lay it in a deep earthen pan, that has a large bottom, and put your worms thereon, that they may crawl in and out and so scour themselves: when they have remained there twenty-four hours, wash out your cloth as before, but do not dry it ; then wet it again with some of the same liquor, and having placed your worms thereon, keep them in a close cellar; repeat this every other day during the heat of the summer, and
'will not only preserve your worms alive for three weeks or a month, but make them very red, clear, and tough. When you take them out for angling, put them into moss that has been well washed and not wrung dry; and when you come home at night put them again into the pan, by which they will recover and gather fresh strength; take care that there is no salt in the beef liquor, for if there is your worins will purge themselves to death.
Mr. Gay, in his Rural Sports, is particularly partial to the Gilt-tail; as is apparent by the following lines: You must not ev'ry worm promiscuous use, Judgment will tell the proper baits to chuse; The worm that draws a long immod’rate size The trout abhors, and the rank morsel flies; And if too small, the naked fraud's in sight, And fear forbids while hunger does invite. Those baits will best reward the fisher's pains, Whose polish'd tails a shining yellow stains: Cleanse them from filth, to give a tempting gloss, Cherish the sully'd reptile race with moss;
Amid the verdant bed they twine, they toil, And from their bodies wipe their native soil. Palmer-fy, Palmer-worm, I'ool-bed, or
Cankers, Found on herbs, plants and trees, where they are bred, if not a perfect caterpillar, yet undoubtedly a species thereof; they gain the name of wool-beds from their outward parts being woolly; these and the May-fly are the foundation of Ay angling.
These are good baitseither for Trout, Chub, Grayling, Roach, or Dace.
Bobs, Found in sandy and mellow ground, and got by following the plough in autuinn, are worins as big as two maggots, have red heads, and their bodies full of soft guts: put them in a tub with some of the mould that you gather them in, keep them in a warm place, and they are an excellent bait from the first of November till the middle of April: you may boil them the morning you intend angling, in milk and water for two minutes, which will make them tough; and put them in a box where gum ivy has been rubbed,
These are choice baits, from the beginning of November until after the middle of April, for Chub, Roach, Dace, Salmon-smelts, Trout, Bream, Tench, and Carp.
Cow-turd Bob, or Clap-bait, Found under a cow-turd from the beginning of May to Michaelmas; it is bigger than a gentle, but very like one; it is best kept in the saine earth you find it in.
This is an excellent bait for a Trout, if you angle with it on the top of the water, with a bristled hook.
Flag-worms, or Dock-worms, Found among flags, in old pits or ponds, in little husks
among the strings or fibres of the roots; are small worms, pale, yellow, or white, as a gentle : these are very good baits.
These are excellent baits for graylings, tench, bream, carp, roach, and dace.
Back-worm, or Ash-grub, Found under the bark of an oak, ash, elder, or beech, especially when felled, and they have lain sometime, or in the hollow of these trees when dotted and rotten ; it is to be used from Michael. mas to May or June. It is very full and white, bent round from the tail to the head, and the parts resembling a young dor or humble-bee.
This is an excellent bait for Trout and Grayling; it is very tender, and curious to be baited with.
Cod-bail, Cad-bait, Cadis-worm, or Case
worm, are thus differently called, and are of three Sorts.
Ist. Found under stones that lie loose and hollow, in small brooks, shallow rivers, or very fine gravel, in case or husk, and when fit for use they are yellowish, are bigger than a gentle, with a blackish head. Another sort is found in pits, ponds, ditches, in rushes, water-weeds, straw, &c. called ruff-coats, or straw-worms.
The next is a green sort, found in pits, ponds, or ditches, in March, coming in before the yellow ones, which are not to be fished with till April, and in July they go out of season; the last sort is to be used in the month of August. When you take them to fish with, carry them in woollen bags, for the air kills them.
These are excellent baits for all kinds of fish, particularly a large Club.
Gentles, or Maggots, to breed and preserre.
Take a piece of beast's liver, scotch it with a knife, and with a cross stick, hang it in some corner, over a pot or barrel, half full of dry, crumbled clay, and bran or sand; as the gentles grow big, they will fall into the barrel, and scour themselves, and be always ready for use whenever you are inclined to fish ; and these gentles may be ihus created till after Michaelmas. But if you desire to keep gentles all the year, then get a dead cat, or kite, and let it be fly-blown, and when the gentles begin to be alive and stir, then bury it and them in moist, soft earth, but as free from frost as you can, and these you may dig up at any time when you want to use them; these will last to March, and about that time turn into flies.
Gentles are not only the most universal, but also the most alluring bait, and an angler should never go out a fishing, without taking some with him. Trouts have been taken with them, when they have refused all kinds of worms and artificial flies: to every kind of fish they are an acceptable bait, (Pikes and Salmons excepted) but I do not doubt they would be so to them, were it possible to fix