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all sorts of rivers and soils. They conceal themselves in the winter for six months in the mud, and they seldom rove about in the summer in the daytime, but all night long; at which time you may take a great number of them, by laying in nightlines, fastened here and there to banks, stumps of trees, &c. of a proper length for the depth of the water, leaded so as to lie on the ground, and a proper eel-hook whipped on each, baited with the following baits, which he delights in, viz. gardenworms, or lobs, minnows, hen’s-guts, fish garbage, loaches, small gudgeons, or miller's thumbs, also small roaches, the hook being laid in their mouths. There are two ways to take them in the day-time, called sniggling and bobbing. Sniggling is thus performed: take a strong line, and bait your hook with a large lob-worm, and go to such places abovementioned where eels hide themselves in the day-time; put the bait gently into the hole, by the help of a cleft stick, and if the eel is there he will certainly bite, let him tire himself by tugging, before you offer to pull him out, or else he will break your line. The other method is called bobbing. In order to perform this you must scour some large lobs, and with a needle run a twisted silk, or worsted, through as many of them, from end to end, as will lightly wrap a dozen times round your hand; make them into links, and fasten them to strong packthread or whip-cord, two yards long, then make a knot in the line about six or eight inchesfrom the worms; afterwards put three quarters of a pound of lead, made in a pyramidal form, on the cord; the lead must be made hollow three parts of the way up it, and then a hole must be bored through it, big enough to put the cord through and let the lead slide down to the knot. Then fix all to a manageable
pole, pole, and use it in inuddy water. When the fishes tug, let them have time to fasten, then draw them gently up, and hoist them quick to shore. A boat called a punt is very useful in this kind of fishing. Some 'use an eil spear to catch eels with, which is an instrument with three or four forks or jagged teeth, which they strike at random into the inud.
The rivers Stower in Dorsetshire; Ankam in Lincolnshire; and Irk in Lancashire; are famed by their respective neighbours for very excellent eels." Mr. Pope has celebrated the river Kennet, in Berkshire, on the same account, in his Windsor Forest.
The Kennet swift, for silver eels renown'd.
In Ramsey-mere, in Huntingdonshire, are a great quantity of eels and large pikes, which they call Hagets; but Cambridgeshire boasts of having the most and best eels, if you credit the natives.
Eel-pouts, another fish somewhat resembling the eel, but more esteemed, are also found in soine ri.
Their haunts are the same as the sel's, and they are to be taken in peals of thunder and heavy rain, when they leave their holes. The best bait is a small gudgeon. Hooks, the double or singleones.
The Roach. The roach is as foolish as the carp is crafty; he is by no means a delicate fish ; the river ones are inuch better than those bred in ponds. They spawn in May, and will bite all day long, if the weather is not in either of the extremes, on the top of the water. Their haunts are chiefly in sandy or gravelly deep waters; delighting to be in the shade. In April their baits are cads and worms. In sum
mer, white snails or flies. In Autumn, a paste made of fine white bread, moulded in your hands with water, and a little cotton added to it, to keep it from washing off the hook. In winter gentles are the best bait for him; you should fish with a line made of single hairs, a quill float, and the lead about a foot from the hock; and when you angle for roach, always cast in a ground bait, made of bran, clay, and bread, incorporated together ;* and when you angle with tender baits, always strike at the least nibble that is apparent. Sprouted malt, the young brood of wasps, bees dipt in blood, and the dried blood of sheep, are nostrums in this kind of angling.
The largest roach in this kingdom are taken in the Thames, where many have been caught of two pounds and a half weight; but roach of any size are hard to be taken without a boat.
The people who live in the fishing towns along the banks of the Thames, have a method of dressing large roach and dace, which it is said, renders them a very pleasant and savoury food; it is as follows: without scaling the fish, lay him on a gridiron, over a slow fire, and strew a little flour on him ; when he begins to grow brown, make a slit, not more than skin deep, in his back, from head to tail, and lay him on again; when he is broiled enough, the skin, scales and all, will peel off and leave the flesh, which will be by that tiine very firm, and perfectly clean ; 'open the belly, take out the inside, and use anchovy and butter for sauce.
Red-paste is an excellent bait colored with vermilion or red-lead, as I have before laid down, but it is best to take with you gentles, white-paste, and their other baits, as they are very fond of change, and will refuse one minute what they will take the next. Their hooks No. 11 or 12.
* Coarse bran and flour make an excellent ground bait, but they must not be too much moulded.
The Dace, or Dare. This fish, and the roach, are much of the same in? kind, therefore the directions given for one will serve for the other. They spawn about the middle of March, and will take any fly, especially the stonecadew-fly, May-fly, the latter end of April and most part of May; and the ant-fly in June, July, and August. When you angle for the dace with the ant-fly under water, let it be about two hand's breadth from the ground. They never refuse a fly in a warm day on the top of the water. The best bait for them in the winter, is the earth bob, it is the spawn of the beetle, and is to be found by following the plough in sandyish grounds; put them into a vessel with some of the earth from whence they are taken, and use them all the winter as an excellent bait, as I have before-mentioned in the description of baits. As for your line, &c. the directions given for the roach, will serve in all respects for the dace or dare.
Dace may be also taken with flesh-flies, upon the surface of the water; into whose backs, between the wings, you must put your hook, which should be very small: they bite in the morning and evening ; you must then provide a cane-rod, which is the lightest of any, and let it be seventeen feet, at least, in length, and your line which should, from the middle downwards, consist of single-hairs, be a little longer than your rod; then provide a sufficient quantity of small house-flies, which keep in a phial, stopped with a cork. With these repair,
especially about seven or eight o'clock in a summer's evening, to a mill-stream, and having fixed three or four hooks, with single hair-links, not above four inches long to your line, bait them with the flies, and angle upon the surface of the water on the smoothest part, at the end of the stream ; the dace will rise freely, especially if the sun does not shine on that
of the water where you cast the flies, and you may take two or three at a time. This sport will continue as long as day-light will permit you to see the flies. In the same
manner dace will also rise at the ant-fiy upon the surface of the water, if used in a morning at the foot of a current or mill-stream, or on the scour before the sun comes on the water. If the water is high, so as to be almost equal with its banks, take your fiy-rod, and fasten to your line an artificial-fly, called the caterpillar-fly, or a small red palmer, then take a large yellow gentle, the yellower the better, run the hook through the skin of it, and draw it up to the tail of the fly: this being done, whip it on the surface of the water, and if you are diligent and expert, you will have good diversion. If you angle where two mill-streams are going at the same time, let it be in the eddy between the two streams: first make use of your plummet; if the water is deep, angle within a foot of the bottom, and perhaps you will find but poor sport; but if it proves to be shallow, that is, about the depth of two feet, or not exceeding three, your sport may be better ; bait your hook with three large gentles, use a cork float, be very attentive, and strike at the very first bite: if there are any large dace in the mill-pool, they will resort to the eddy between the two streams.
N. B. Whenever you fish for roach or dace, at ground, without you use a ground-bait, the at