The common angle worm is a universal bait for fresh water angling. They grow almost everywhere except in sandy soils. The common white grub is also used successfully in trout fishing. They are found in fresh ploughed earth, and under old stumps, decaying foliage, etc. The grasshopper is also good for trout in his season. The trout or salmon spawn will attract trout quicker than any other possible bait, but it is not always to be had. Caterpillars, flies, locusts, beetles, etc. are good for trout.
Live bait consists of the minnow, the shiner, (or mullet) the goldfish and other small fish. Ponds of these fish are kept by those who furnish baits, and by some habitual sportsmen.
The frog is an excellent bait for pickerel. They are sometimes used whole, but in cases where you use the hind legs only, they should be skinned.
For saltwater fishing, the shrimp is the leading bait. The shedder crab, in its season, is most excellent, particularly for striped bass. The softshell clam, cut in small pieces, is a good bait for many kinds of sea fish. The horse mackerel, or small blue fish is an excellent bait. Where the tide runs swift, use the tail, leaving on the fine.
Preparing Baits - We have before said that salmon roe was ane excellent bait for trout. The roe of large trout or salmon trout is just as good. These are tempting baits for many other fresh water fish besides the trout. Old fishermen preserve it as follows: First put it in warm water, not hot enough to scald much - then separate the membranous films - rinse it will in cold water and hang it up to dry. The next day salt it with two ounces of salt and a quarter of an ounce of saltpeter to the pound of roe. Let it stand another day and then spread it to dry. When it becomes stiff put it in small pots, pouring over each some melted mutton tallow. You can then use a pot of preparation as you may want it for bait. It is excellent for trout, and indeed for almost any fry in fresh water.
Angle-worms are thus prepared: Take a lot of common moss and wash it in clean water, press it until nearly dry, then put it in an earthen pot with your worms. In a few days the worms will look exceedingly bright and be tough and active. If you wish to preserve them longer, you have only to take out the moss, wash it, sponge it, and return it to the pot. Repeat this process every three or four days and your worms will be in excellent condition as long as you desire to keep them.
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