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them; but whether those Pikes so bred will ever breed by generation as the others do, I shall leave to the disquisitions of men of more curiosity and leisure than I profess myself to have; and shall proceed to tell you that you may fish for a Pike, either with a Ledger or a Walking-bait; and you are to note, that I call that a Ledger-bait, which is fixed or made to rest in one certain place when you shall be absent from it: and I call that a Walkingbait, which you take with you, and have ever in motion. Concerning which two, I shall give you this direction; that your Ledger-bait is best to be a living bait, though a dead one may catch, whether it be a fish or a frog; and that you may make them live the longer, you may, or indeed you must, take this course.
First, for your live-bait of fish, a Roach or Dace is, I think, best and most tempting, and a Pearch is the longest lived on a hook, and having cut off his fin on his back, which may be done without hurting him, you must take your knife, which cannot be too sharp, and betwixt the head and the fin on the back, cut or make an incision, or such a scar, as you may put the arming-wire of your hook into it, with as little bruising or hurting the fish as art and diligence will enable you to do; and so carrying your arming-wire along his back, unto, or near the tail of your fish, betwixt the skin and the body of it, draw out that wire or arming of your hook at another scar near to his tail: then tie him about it with thread, but no harder than of necessity to prevent hurting the fish; and the better to avoid hurting the fish, some have a kind of probe to open the way, for the more easy entrance and passage of your wire or arming: but as for these, time, and a little experience, will teach you better than I can by words; therefore I will for the present say no more of this, but come next to give you some directions how to bait your hook with a Frog.
Ven. But, good Master, did you not say even now, that some Frogs were venomous, and is it not dangerous to touch them?
Pise. Yes, but I will give you some rules or cautions concerning them: and first, you are to note, that there are two kinds of Frogs; that is to say, if I may so express myself, a Flesh, and a Fishfrog: by Flesh-frogs, I mean frogs that breed and live on the land; and of these there be several sorts also, and of several colours, some being speckled, some greenish, some blackish, or brown: the Green-Frog, which is a small one, is by Topsell taken to be venomous; and so is the Padock or Frog-padock, which usually keeps or breeds on the land, and is very large, and bony, and big, especially the she-frog of that kind; yet these will sometimes come into the water, but it is not often; and the Land-frogs are some of them observed by him, to breed by laying eggs: and others to breed of the slime and dust of the earth, and that in Winter they turn to slime again, and that the next Summer that very slime returns to be a living creature; this
is the opinion of Pliny, and * Car* In his 19th danus undertakes to give a reason for til. ex. tne raining of frogs: but if it were
in my power, it should rain none but Water-frogs, for those I think are not venomous, especially the right Water-frog, which about February or March breeds in ditches by slime, and blackish eggs in that slime: about which time of breeding, the he and she-frogs are observed to use divers summersaults, and to croak and make a noise, which the Land-frog, or Padock-frog, never does. Now of these Water-frogs, if you intend to fish with a frog for a Pike, you are to choose the yellowest that you can get, for that the Pike ever likes best. And thus use your frog, that he may continue long alive.
Put your hook into his mouth, which you may easily do from the middle of April till August, and then the frog's mouth grows up, and he continues so for at least six months without eating, but is sustained, none, but He whose Name is Wonderful, knows how: I say, put your hook, I mean the arming-wire, through his mouth, and out at his gills, and then with a fine needle and silk sew the upper part of his leg with only one stitch to the armingwire of your hook, or tie the frog's leg above the upper joint to the armed wire; and in so doing, use him as though you loved him, that is, harm him as little as you may possibly, that he may live the longer.
And now, having given you this direction for the baiting your Ledger-hook with a live fish or frog, my next must be to tell you, how your hook thus baited must or may be used: and it is thus. Having fastened your hook to a line, which if it be not fourteen yards long, should not be less than twelve; you are to fasten that line to any bough near to a hole where a Pike is, or is likely to lie, or to have a haunt, and then wind your line on any forked stick, all your line, except half a yard of it, or rather more, and split that forked stick with such a nick or notch at one end of it, as may keep the line from any more of it ravelling from about the stick than so much of it as you intend ; and choose your forked stick to be of that bigness as may keep the fish or frog from pulling the forked stick under the water till the Pike bites, and then the Pike having pulled the line forth of the cleft or nick of that stick in which it was gently fastened, he will have line enough to go to his hold and pouch the bait: and if you would have this Ledger-bait to keep at a fixed place, undisturbed by wind or other accidents, which may drive it to the shore-side; for you are to note, that it is likeliest to catch a Pike in the midst of the water, then hang a small plummet of lead, a stone, or piece of tile, or a turf in a string, and cast it into the water, with the forked stick, to hang upon the ground, to be a kind of anchor to keep the forked stick from moving out of your intended place till the Pike come. This I take to be a very good way, to use so many Ledger-baits as you intend to make trial of.
Or if you bait your hooks thus with live fish or frogs, and in a windy day, fasten them thus to a bough or bundle of straw, and by the help of that wind can get them to move across a pond or mere, you are like to stand still on the shore and see sport presently if there be any store of Pikes; or these live-baits may make sport, being tied about the body or wings of a goose or duck, and she chased over a pond: and the like may be done with turning three or four live-baits thus fastened to bladders, or boughs, or bottles of hay or flags to swim down a river, whilst you walk quietly alone on the shore, and are still in expectation of sport. The rest must be taught you by practice, for time will not allow me to say more of this kind of fishing with live-baits.
And for your dead-bait for a Pike, for that you may be taught by one day's going a-fishing with me, or any other body that fishes for him, for the baiting your hook with a dead Gudgeon or a Roach, and moving it up and down the water, is too easy a thing to take up any time to direct you to do it; and yet, because I cut you short in that, I will commute for it, by telling you that that was told me for a secret: it is this. ,
Dissolve Gum of Ivy in Oil of Spike, and therewith anoint your dead-bait for a Pike, and then cast it into a likely place, and when it has lain a short time at the bottom, draw it towards the top of the water and so up the stream, and it is more than