Worms are the most natural baits under water for almost every fish, instances having even occurred of Pike taking them. They should be preserved and cleansed in moderately dry moss, in a cool place in the summer, and out of the reach of the frost in the winter. The greater the quantity of moss which is used, and the oftener it is changed, the longer they will live, as they cannot bear being exposed to the open air. The largest is The Lob, or Dew-worm, which is found in old gardens, fallow fields, and early in the morning it may be taken upon the surface of grass fields. It is a good bait for Salmon, Trout, Perch, Chub, and Eels, particularly in muddy water.
It is a good bait about mid-water, and near the bottom in clear streams, on a hook No. 8, whipped to fine gut lightly shotted. Many anglers, in preparing their hooks for cod-bait fishing, prefer the shank being leaded to a shot on the line; but it is a method which we cannot approve, being but a tender bait, the lead renders it almost impossible to be drawn neatly over the shank. When used in still water, a small float is necessary. The codbait which is the most useful to the angler, is found in stony brooks or gravelly rivulets, closely adhering to any solid substance it finds at the bottom. When taken out of the water, they may be preserved a month by putting them in a woollen bag, with or without moss, upon a cool floor. If the bag should become too dry, care must be taken not to use too much water to damp it again, as these insects cannot endure their native element after they have been taken from it four days ; still they must not be exposed to the other extreme.
Is found from the beginning of June to the end of August, amongst the droppings from cattle in dry pastures; and far excels both the cod-bait and maggot during its short stay, and must be used for the same purposes. In shape it resembles a maggot, but its colour is much brighter; it is extremely tough, consequently a lasting bait.
Are of different colours, some of them are green, some are gray, and others speckled. They are useful baits in the hot months for Trout, Chub, Carp, Tench, Roach, and Dace, and are procured by shaking oak and ash trees, hazle bushes, and upon cabbage leaves. They must be used on the top upon streams, and mid-water in pools. Being tender baits, they require some attention to fix them neatly on the hook.
Is generally found about the mowing season, and continues until it is destroyed by frosty nights. It is eagerly taken by almost any fish in clear streams about mid-water, on a hook -No. 6, with fine gut, and one small shot.
Must be simmered in milk over a gentle fire in a saucepan, but it must not be suffered to boil fast, as it will burst the corns; or it may be set in a gentle oven all night, and the outward husk taken off: either wheat or malt is an excellent bait for Roach, Dace, and White Bream.
In July, August, and September, good baits may be provided from a wasp's nest far every kind of fish that will take maggots and cod-bait. The grubs must be taken from the comb, and baked before a moderate fire, with a tin bonnet behind it, which makes the baits tough, and blackens their ends.