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In some places Pike are taken by what is termed dipping; the hook used is a large sized gorge hook, very slightly leaded on the shank, and baited as in Trolling, only the mouth of the fish is to be sewed up, and the back fin cut away, and then looped to the swivel; the line is let out from the Reel to a convenient length, and the bait is dropped in any small openings where the water is not very deep, and overspread with docks and weeds. The fish hanging with his head downwards will, when gently moved, (and all baits, especially dead ones, should be kept in constant Motion,) shoot and play about among the Weeds so naturally that the Pike will be eager in taking it this way, even from the surface: when the bait is seized the line is to be slackened, and the Pike allowed line to run; in a short time it will be perceived to shake, which is a signal to strike; when hooked he must be cautiously managed, winding up the line gradually: in getting the Pike through the Weeds endeavour to keep his Nose above them, and use the landing-net in taking him from the water. In this method the baits must be as fresh as possible.
For Snap-fishing, (which is best used in March, the Pike being then very shy of gorging, although
tion of the fish is attributed to the rapidity of the Current forcing it into a Position from which it could not afterwards extricate itself, and consequently there remained till it was literally starved to death.
At Shardeloes, the Seat of Mr. DRAKE, is a good Painting by Francis Barlow, of a Pike caught in the Lake before the House, which weighed Thirty-four pounds.
with seeming eagerness they seize the bait,) should the rod be purposely made for it, the length should be about twelve feet; if a common rod is employed, the top should be stouter than that used in Trolling, with a strong loop to fasten the line upon, which must be a foot shorter than the rod: for the live Snap no hook is so proper as the double spring hook: to bait it nothing more is requisite than to hang the fish to the small hook under the back fin, which may be done with so little hurt to the fish that it will live many hours. Gudgeons (which, in all modes of Pikefishing, are superior to every other) and Dace are the best baits; they must be kept alive in a Tin kettle, with holes in the lid, and which in hot weather should be placed in the water.
The other live snap-hook is baited by the small hook being thrust through the fish beneath the back fin; and some use a piece of silk or thread doubled, hung on the point of the small hook, and brought under the belly of the bait, and tied on the other side to the shanks of the large hooks; Care and Expedition are required in doing this, otherwise the bait will be so injured as to be incapable of swimming briskly in the water: a cork float, the size of a common Burgamot pear, with a small pistol bullet or two, not only to poise but to keep the bait at a proper depth, which is from two to three feet. If a Pike be near where the bait is put in, it will come to the surface, or increase the quickness of its motion to avoid him; these signs will put the Angler on his guard: when the float is drawn under allow it to be sunk considerably before striking, which in