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advantage of the wind to move up and down the pool: a boat will be necessary in this diversion.
Huxing Pike is also done by fixing an armed hook baited, at such a length as to swim about mid-water, to the leg of a Goose or Duck, and then driving the. Birds into the water. It was thus formerly practised in the Loch of Monteith, in Scotland, which abounds with very large Perch and Pike. "Upon the Islands a number of Geese were collected by the Farmers, who occupied the surrounding banks of the Loch: after baited lines of two or three feet long had been tied to the legs of their Geese, they were driven into the water; steering naturally homewards, in different directions, the baits were soon swallowed: a violent and often tedious struggle ensued; in which, however, the Geese at length prevailed, though they were frequently much exhausted before they reached the Shore." This method has not been so long relinquished but there are old persons upon the spot who were active promoters of the Amusement.
Trimmers of two sorts are described, and also the mode of baiting them, in the Engraving; the upper are made of flat Cork, or any light wood painted, to be seven or eight inches diameter, turned round with a Groove in the edge, large enough to receive a fine whipcord or silk line twelve or fourteen yards, or at least five yards longer than the depth of the water: a small peg, two inches long, : fixed in the centre, with the end slit; and a small
double hook fixed to
a brass-wire link is to be used. Insert the baitingneedle under the side-fin of the bait, (for which large
Gudgeons are superior to all others,) and keep it just within the skin of the side; bring it out beyond the back-fin, drawing the wire after it, and the hook, when drawn home, will be partly covered by the side fin. This method, This method, performed carefully, will preserve the fish alive for many hours longer than any other; one end of the line is of course fixed to the cork, the other to the loop in the wire; the line is then slightly put into the slit of the peg, to keep the bait at a proper depth, (from three to four feet, which is more likely to attract the Pike's notice than if laid deeper, or nearer the Surface,) and to prevent its untwisting the line out of the groove. The Trimmer should always be started on the windward side of the pond, and the rougher the water the better sport; if not seized in one trip, it must be taken up and re-started from the windward side again.
The lower Trimmers are also of Cork, and are to be baited and used as above; their form is adapted to go easily through weeds when taken by the Pike; after the line is run off, they will follow in the shape of a Wedge, and will not long be kept from appearing on the Surface in the weediest places: a hole is burnt through one corner of the Cork, by which with a cord it may be made stationary to the side of any water; and which method is sometimes preferred where a boat cannot be readily commanded. No species of fishing does more execution than this: in windy weather, at all Seasons of the Year, and both day and night, the Trimmer presents itself as the most deadly Foe the Pike can encounter.
The largest Pike ever known to be taken with a
trimmer, was by Messrs. HITCH and MAJOR RHODE, in Dagenham Breach; it weighed thirty-five pounds.
Pike, in clear water and a gentle gale, from the middle of Summer to the latter end of Autumn, bite best about three in the afternoon; in the Winter, during the whole day; and in the Spring, most eagerly early in the Morn, and late at Eve.
The following facetious note was sent with a Pike by a Military Gentleman during the late rebellion in Ireland, to a Clergyman, who had requested the former to exert his Skill in providing him with some fish upon a particular day, when the Bishop of the Diocese was to dine with him.-" Dear Sir, I send you a Pike, God forgive me, designedly for his Lordship's belly: into which, from what you have told me, there will be no great labour in thrusting it!"
A curious Anecdote is told of ABBOT, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Seventeenth Century, a Prelate of great Piety and Learning. He was born at Guildford, where his Parents lived in low Circumstances, his Father being a Weaver: his Mother, during her Pregnancy, dreamed if she could eat a Pike, her child would be a Son, and arrive at great Preferment: the Pike came miraculously to hand, for she caught it out of the River accidentally, whilst dipping a pail of water: the story of the Dream was circulated, the Child was befriended and put to School, and at length became Primate of all England. At the close of Life he met with a sad Misfortune; for, being upon a Visit at the Seat of Lord ZouсH, he was persuaded to exercise himself in the Park with a Cross-bow, and by accident shot the Keeper instead of a Deer.
A commission was appointed to examine whether this Irregularity incapacitated him from the Office of Primate; and the Determination being left with the KING, he decided in favour of the Archbishop, who ever after kept a Monthly Fast on account of the Disaster, and settled Twenty pounds a year upon the Keeper's Widow.
is to be found in many of the English rivers: it delights most in gentle streams, with gravelly and sandy bottoms, and is met with in the Kennet, Cole, and the Mersey, of a size superior to those generally taken elsewhere. Mr. PENNANT records one caught near Uxbridge that weighed half a pound: though properly a river fish, they thrive amazingly in Ponds which have gravelly scours, and are fed with brooks running through them. The Compiler had Gudgeons in a Pond of this description, so large, that their average weight was five, and at most six to the pound: the shape of the body is thick and round; the irides tinged with red, the gill covers with green and silver: this fish is leather-mouthed; the lower jaw is shorter than the upper; at each corner of the mouth is a single beard; the back is dark olive, streaked with black; the lateral line straight; the sides beneath that silvery, the belly white; the tail is forked, and, as well as the dorsal fin, is beautifully marked with black. The flesh of the Gudgeon is so delicious, as to be called the fresh-water Smelt, and is compared with the Smelt in point of flavour.