The garfish, which, as will be seen by reference to Chapter XI., is known by a large variety of names, is occasionally cut up when nothing better offers. A strip of its skin makes a very fair whiffing bait for pollack, mackerel and bass, and in small pieces it can be used near the bottom for whiting, cod, etc. It should be quite fresh for these purposes.
Gentles are the larvae of the bluebottle and other flies, and are very easily bred in summer, when they are only too numerous at butchers' and tallow chandlers'. They are little used as sea-fish baits except for grey mullet, which occasionally take them in the brackish water of harbours. I have no doubt, however, that if any place was carefully baited with a quantity of these little creatures, several other varieties of sea fish could be educated up to eating them. In hot weather gentles turn into the chrysalis state very quickly unless kept in a dark, cool place in bran or damp sand, the latter being the best. It is not difficult to keep a supply of these creatures all through the winter. They should be placed in a wide-mouthed pickle bottle with common mould, corked up, and buried so far below the ground that the frost will not reach them. In hot summer weather, when gentles are turning quickly, they can be steamed and kept a few days ; but the live creature is probably the more killing.
Pieces of grey gurnard are good bait for many kinds of fish, and the skin, either dried or fresh, is most useful. For whiffing or casting a bait can be sliced out of the belly of the gurnard. It should be well scraped and shaped to resemble the sole-skin fly shown on p. 138, but the tail end may with advantage be prolonged for half an inch and weighted with a shot, which helps to make it waggish and lifelike. The strip is of course bent over the shank of the hook and sewn round the edges, a piece of lead foil being inserted to make it swim upright.