Domestic Encyclopædia (1802)/Angling

ANGLING, among sportsmen, is the art of fishing with a rod, to which are fitted a line, hook, and bait. The season for this amusement commences about the month of June, and the proper hours are, at the dawn of day, and about three o'clock in the afternoon; at which times the fish, in ponds and small rivers, are accustomed to feed. Easterly winds afford but little sport to the angler; for those blowing from the south, are the most conducive to his purpose; and a warm, but lowring day, is of all others the most propitious. A cloudy day following a bright moon-light night, is always an auspicious omen; as the fish do not love to seek for food in the moon-shine, and are, therefore, always hungry the next morning. The observation of small fish, confined in a jar, either refusing or taking food, affords a good criterion of the most convenient season.

Upon taking his stand, the angler should shelter himself under some tree or bush, or remain at least so far from the brink of the water, that he may just discern his float; as the fish are timorous, and easily frightened away. The rod must be preserved in a moderate state, neither too dry nor too moist, as in these cases it will be either brittle or rotten. Various baits are used; such as worms, artificial flies, paste made of boiled cheese, beat up with powdered quick-lime, &c.; when these last are employed, it will be proper to cement them with a little tow, and rub them over with honey. The best method of using the fly, is down the current of the stream; and half a dozen trials will be sufficient to determine, whether the fish will take or refuse the bait.—With respect to the habitations most congenial to particular kinds of fish, it deserves to be noticed, that bream are to be found in the deepest and most quiet places; eels, under the banks of rivers; perch and roach, in a pure, swift stream; chub, in deep, shaded holes; and trout, in clear, rapid brooks. Situations abounding in weeds, or old stumps of trees, often harbour numbers of fish, which bite freely; but there is great hazard of breaking the line, or entangling the hook. The openings of sluices and mill-dams always invite them up the current, to seek for the food which is conveyed with the stream; and angling in these places is generally successful.—See Fishing.