The Native Moors, whose characteristics are so pleasantly sketched by ' Sarcelle' in his descriptions of sport with fishes and birds, were keen fishermen with the rod. Invoking Allah for prosperity, they watch the times and the seasons, go afloat with their rough tackle, and come back sometimes with from one hundred to two hundred fish in their boat—tasargelt, or what not, averaging seven pounds in weight. ' We did not come in till we had not a hook left,' naively said one of them after a hot day among the shoals. The tackle used by these fishermen is a short stumpy piece of bamboo, about eight or nine feet long, to which is attached on a strong cord line a couple of yards of stout wire. The hook is often barbless, and of the butchers' meathook order in size. Among the baits, whose name is legion, there is used, especially for the tasargelt, an attractive strip of octopus arm, threaded upon the shank of the hook, and fastened to the wire above. Curiously enough no care is taken to extend the bait beyond the bend, so that the point, and the barb if any, together with a good deal of the wire, are left bare.
With his lifelong experience of sea angling ' Sarcelle' naturally improved upon these primitive methods, using proper rods and tackle and trying a variety of the baits and flies of civilisation, even a combination of white rag and red wool here, as in every clime, proving efficacious. But the most expert fishermen with the best appliances are frequently smashed up by the monsters of the deep. A boat must be used. The natives have four or five rowers, the boats go out in fleets, and the fishermen move amongst the immense shoal singing, shouting, yelling, and flailing the water with their rods, lines, and hooks. When sport is ' on ' no attempt is made to play the fish ; it is lifted bodily in by sheer weight of pole and cord if not too big for such summary jurisdiction, with the result of fishermen making it a boast that they do not come in until they have lost every hook. The experienced sportsmen who pursue the rules of the game are compelled to use stout hempen lines and snooding of fine white wire, and even these prove insufficient against the strong sharp teeth of the tasargelt. The fish which visit the Mogador coast come by instinct to prey upon the small silvery fish of the sardine and anchovy type, and any artificial bait should be in imitation of them. Sole-skin, minnows, or any of the dainty phantom productions, would be useless. A simple bit of tin, slightly curved like the common baby-spinner used at home, is enough for sport when the fish are feeding.