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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 likely that you have a pike follow with more than common eagerness.


And some affirm, that any bait anointed with the marrow of the thigh-bone of an hern is a great temptation to any fish.

These have not been tried by me, but told me by a friend of note, that pretended to do me a courtesy; but if this direction to catch a pike thus do you no good, yet I am certain this direction how to roast him when he is caught is choicely good, for I have tried it, and it is somewhat the better for not being common; but with my direction you must take this caution, that your pike must not be a small one, that is, it must be more than half a yard, and should be bigger.

First, open your pike at the gills, and if need be, cut also a little slit towards the belly; out of these take his guts and keep his liver, which you are to shred very small with thyme, sweet marjoram, and a little winter-savory; to these put some pickled oysters, and some anchovies, two or three, both these last whole (for the anchovies will melt, and the oysters should not); to these you must add also a pound of sweet butter, which you are to mix with the herbs that are shred, and let them all be well salted (if the pike be more than a yard long, then you may put into these herbs more than a pound, or if he be less, then less butter will suffice): these being thus mixed with a blade or two of mace, must be put into the pike's belly, and then his belly so sewed up as to keep all the butter in his belly, if it be possible, if not, then as much of it as you possibly can; but take not off the scales: then you are to thrust the spit through his mouth out at his tail; and then take four, or five, or six split sticks or very thin laths, and a convenient quantity of tape or filleting these laths are to be tied round about the pike's body from his head to his tail, and the tape tied somewhat thick to prevent his breaking or falling off from the spit: let him be roasted very leisurely, and often basted with claret wine and anchovies and butter mixed together, and also with what moisture falls from him into the pan: when you have roasted him sufficiently, you are to hold under him (when you unwind or cut the tape that ties him) such a dish as you purpose to eat him out of; and let him fall into it with the

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sauce that is roasted in his belly; and by this means the pike will be kept unbroken and complete: then, to the sauce which was within, and also that sauce in the pan, you are to add a fit quantity of the best butter, and to squeeze the juice of three or four oranges lastly, you may either put into the pike with the oysters two cloves of garlick, and take it whole out, when the pike is cut off the spit; or to give the sauce a haut-gout let the dish (into which you let the pike fall) be rubbed with it: the using or not using of this garlick is left to your discretion.—M. B.

This dish of meat is too good for any but anglers, or very honest men; and I trust you will prove both, and therefore I have trusted you with this secret.

Let me next tell you that Gesner tells us there are no pikes in Spain; and that the largest are in the lake Thrasymene in Italy; and the next, if not equal to them, are the pikes of England; and that in England, Lincolnshire boasteth to have the biggest. Just so doth Sussex boast of four sorts of fish; namely, an Arundel Mullet, a Chichester Lobster, a Shelsey Cockle, and an Amerley Trout.

But I will take up no more of your time with this relation, but proceed to give you some observations of the Carp, and how to angle for him, and to dress him, but not till he is caught.


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Observations of the Carp; with Directions how to Fish for him.

ISC. The Carp is the queen of rivers; a stately, a good, and a very subtle fish; that was not at first bred, nor hath been long in England, but is now naturalised. It is said they were brought hither by one Mr. Mascal, a gentleman that then lived at Plumstead, in Sussex, a county that abounds more with fish than any in this nation.

You may remember that I told you Gesner says there are no pikes in Spain; and doubtless there was a time, about a hundred or a few more years ago, when there were no carps in England, as may seem to be affirmed by Sir Richard Baker, in whose Chronicle you may find these verses:



Hops and turkeys, carps and beer,
Came into England all in a year.

And doubtless, as of sea-fish the herring dies soonest out of the

water, and of fresh-water fish, the trout, so (except the eel) the carp endures most hardness, and lives longest out of his own proper element. And, therefore, the report of the carp's being brought out of a foreign country into this nation is the more probable.

Carps and loaches are observed to breed several months in one year, which pikes and most other fish do not. And this is partly proved by tame and wild rabbits; and also by some ducks, which will lay eggs nine out of the twelve months; and yet there be other ducks that lay not longer than about one month. And it is the rather to be believed, because you shall scarce or never take a male carp without a melt, or a female without a roe or spawn, and for the most part, very much, and especially all the summer season. And it is observed that they breed more naturally in ponds than in running waters (if they breed there at all); and that those that live in rivers are taken by men of the best palates to be much the better meat.

And it is observed that in some ponds carps will not breed, especially in cold ponds; but where they will breed they breed innumerably: Aristotle and Pliny say six times in a year, if there be no pikes or perch to devour their spawn, when it is cast upon grass, or flags, or weeds, where it lies ten or twelve days before it is enlivened.

The carp, if he have water room and good feed, will grow to a very great bigness and length; I have heard, to be much above a yard long. Tis said (by Jovius, who hath writ of fishes) that in the lake Lurian in Italy carps have thriven to be more than fifty pounds weight; which is the more probable, for as the bear is conceived and born suddenly, and being born, is but short-lived, so, on the contrary, the elephant is said to be two years in his dam's belly (some think he is ten years in it), and being born, grows in bigness twenty years; and 'tis observed, too, that he lives to the age of a hundred years. And 'tis also observed that the crocodile is very long-lived, and more than that, that all that long life he thrives in bigness; and so I think some carps do, especially in some places; though I never saw one above twenty-three inches, which was a great and a goodly fish; but have been assured they are of a far greater size, and in England too.

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