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he submitted to his fate; nor would the tackle have held him, although purposely prepared for large fish, had not the Colonel been in a boat upon the lake, and by that means enabled to humour the Pike's struggles to escape. Upon the belly, in the print, may be seen a small Speck, which was a wound from whence was taken a hook he had swallowed and broke away with ten years before, (from a person who ascertained the fact,) and which had then worked itself through the Skin; for, upon the discoloured part being pressed, the hook appeared and was extracted from eye to fork this fish was 4 feet 1 inch; extreme length, 4 feet 9 inches; depth 114 *.
The next Pike in size to the foregoing, taken by the Troll, was in December 1792, by Mr. BINT, in the Pool at Packington, (the Earl of AYLESFORD's,) being from eye to fork 2 feet 11, full length 3 feet 10; circumference 1 foot 10 inches, and weighed thirty-four pounds and three quarters.
In 1804 a Pike was taken out of the same water, with a Carp that weighed ten pounds stuck in his throat, and which had choaked him. The Pike when empty was thirty pounds weight.
Mr. WILSON caught a Pike by Trolling in the Driffield Canal near Brigham, which weighed twentyeight pounds, measured two feet round the belly, and, three feet five inches in length; and what was sin
* In the Sporting Tour, this Fish is said to have been caught in Loch Alva; but Colonel T. in the Account he was so kind to give me, mentioned Loch Patuliche as the Water from whence it was taken.
gular, five pounds of solid fat were taken out of its inside.
Sir CECIL WRAY'S Pike, caught in June 1799, at the draining off the water from the Lake at his seat at Summer Castle, in Lincolnshire, weighed 47 lb. gross, 36 lb. after being cleaned, of eatable Meat; was 48 inches long, and 2 feet 2 inches in circumference: this fish must have got into the Lake when very small, and had acquired this enormous size in twenty-two years; for at that time the Lake was laid dry. Sir CECIL computes that he consumed three fish per diem, progressively larger as his own size increased, and that he at least destroyed 24,000; all of which, in the latter years of his growth, must have been valuable fish; so that the cost of his support exceeded, by some hundred times, his own Value*.
* BOWLKER, in his Art of Angling, remarks that his Father caught a Pike that was an Ell long, and weighed thirty-five pounds, which he gave to Lord CHOLMONDELY. By his lordship's directions it was put into a Canal in the garden, wherein were numbers of fish of various sorts. Twelve months after the water was drawn off, and it was discovered that the Pike had devoured all the fish but a single Carp, which weighed between nine and ten pounds; and even this had been bitten in several places. The Pike was again put into the Canal, and an abundance of fish for him to feed upon. All these he devoured in less than a year, and was observed by the Gardener and Workmen to draw Ducks, and other Waterfowl, under water. Crows, and other birds, were shot and thrown in, which he seized in the presence of the Servants. From this time his Lordship ordered him to be supplied with the Entrails of Poultry, and also those of Calves and Sheep: being neglected afterwards he died, as it is supposed, for want of Food.-The above is a further proof of the cost of maintaining one of these overgrown Fish.
A river Pike grows fast until he arrives at twenty-, four inches; he then ceases to extend so rapidly in length; (for in good water, with plenty of feed, a Pike spawned in March will, by the March following, be grown from sixteen to eighteen inches,) and proportionably thickens; afterwards he will be much longer arriving at his full Bigness, (which is about forty-six inches,) from the length of thirty, than he was in acquiring the first thirty inches *.
In May 1796 Mr. BISHOP, of Godstow, between Weir and Wytham Brook, landed the biggest Pike ever remembered to be taken in the Isis; it was 4 feet two inches long, 2 feet 10 in girth, and, after being disgorged of a Barbel nearly six, and a Chub upwards of three pounds, weighed thirty-one pounds and a half.
In June 1796 a male Pike was caught in Exton Park pond, (Lord GAINSBOROUGH'S,) the length 42+ from eye to fork, and from nose to tail 49 inches;
* Sir JOSEPH BANKS mentions a Pike caught in Lincolnshire, October 1794, which weighed Thirty-one pounds, and was from beak to the tail three feet ten inches; and gauged, by a pin thrust through, was four inches five-eighths thick at the shoulder. The pond had only been stocked twelve Years with small Pike, none exceeding a pound weight; notwithstanding which, several of Eighteen and Twenty pounds weight had been taken out in the last three years. The growth of the largest fish must, therefore, have been two pounds and a half Annually, for the Average of twelve Years, in which it had increased from 1 lb. to 31 lb. The pond from which this Pike was taken had a communication with a Small River well stocked with Fish, so that its supply of Food had always been abundant; and when dressed the Flesh was particularly juicy and tender.
the girth 28 inches, and weighed thirty-seven pounds and a quarter. Neither this, nor the fish taken in the Isis, was so well grown as Sir CECIL WRAY's.
In 1797 a Pike weighing near 40 lb. and measuring in length 3 feet 6, and in girth 2 feet, was caught in a pond at Totteridge, in Hertfordshire; a Tench of four pounds, and four pounds and a half of solid fat, were taken from his inside.
In Murden Hall Fleet, (already mentioned for its remarkable Tench,) a Pike was found that had been killed by a long frost; in its putrid state it weighed 42 lbs. but had wasted considerably; was 3 feet 6 long, and 2 feet 9 inches in girth; the Teeth were nearly as long, though not so stout, as those of a Greyhound: the head of this fish was dried with the skin on, and long preserved at the Hall as a great curiosity, not only on account of its immense size, but from a peculiarity in the lower jaw, which had bristles like those growing on the breast of a turkeycock, proceeding from the under part of it. This head was given to the Reverend Mr. KAY, of South Bemfleet, in Essex, by Mr. LUGAR; and from Mr. K.'s house some friendly Collector of natural Rarities took the opportunity of marching off with it, during a very severe Illness with which that Gentleman was afflicted in 1792*.
* In January 1803 the Gamekeeper of Mr. SHIFFNER of Comb Place, near Lewes, in Sussex, discovered in the Lewes River, near Barcomb Mills, a dead Pike of an extraordinary size, jammed between a Willow stump and the Bank. In length it measured, from Eye to Fork, four feet, was one foot thick across the back, and weighed, in its wasted state, Forty pounds. This confined situa