This section is from the book "American Game Fishes", by W. A. Perry. Also available from Amazon: American Game Fishes: Their Habits, Habitat, and Peculiarities; How, When, and Where to Angle for Them.
A few years ago English methods were described in reprints of English books, or written by Englishmen who had become Americanized, yet who taught that the "Thames style," or "Nottingham fishing-tackle" were the proper methods by which to catch Pike, or other "coarse fish," as they called them, to distinguish them from the gamy Trout. But with the improvements introduced in late years by American tackle-makers, the English methods are relegated to the shades of the past, by American anglers. I will refer to one or two points in the manner of casting, that experience has led me to adopt when fishing for Pike in our wide rivers, or bays on the great lakes.
The Pike is a sharp-eyed, shy fish; you must reach him "a ways off"; you cannot expect to stand on a big rock, drop down in the water beneath you, and get hooked to a great northern Pike. "He aint nobody's fool, and don't you believe it!"
Take a trolling or spinning hook, baited with a piece of fat pork, cut in shape like a fish, have a boat pulled alongside the rushes I have spoken of; let out twenty yards of line, and then have your oarsman pull a long slow stroke, and if the Pike family are receiving visitors, you will soon know it. Trolling with a long line and three sets of hooks is a most barbarous way of fishing for the Pike. I care not if this family are the Sharks of fresh water, they are entitled to fair play. His Satanic Majesty is never as black as he is painted, so the Esox lucius is cousin german to the Nobilor vulgate Mascalonge, and partakes of his noble nature. He is a foe-man worthy the steel of the most ardent angler. Some anglers call the family "snakes." I pity them! Go where Pike can be found, fish for them with legitimate tackle, and give them a fair chance, and they will give just as much pleasure as any royal Small-mouth Bass that ever swam.