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The Best Bait

The Best Bait image
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When Col. Hall Rankin and his friend Capt. Sani Bubb go out after black bass, they are never obliged to buy mackerel for supper when they come back. They lisli togetber from the sanie boat. The other day they anchored their eanoe in thc Susquehanna, just above the Williarasport dam. The coloncl baited his luiok with clippers. The clipper is an insect two inches long. It has legs all over itself and a head like a claw-hammer. The clipper is found under stones in running water at this time of the year. When you catch one you raust grab it right back of the head, or it will close on your finger like a lobster. In the early summer the clipper comes out on shore, and a pair of big wings are added to his otbrer accoutrements. Then it flies around nights, like a horned toad on wings, and feeds on raftmen, boatmen and night fishermen. It is called the helgramite by people who get their ideas from Boston. Fellows who fish for chubsin the Delaware have a way of baiting clipper that is uniijue. Tbe clipper is nearly black. The chub tisherman put the point of his hook near the head of the bait, and, by a deft movcment of the hand, shoves it through the clipper and turas the bait iniide out. Then it is as white as snow, and looks like a big wood grub. The chub likes the clipper served in this way, and won't take it in any other style. For basa, though it is hooked in its own natural beauty, and is a killing bait. The colonel baited with clippers. Capt. Bubb tempted the bass with selected rassloppers. They had each landetl a half dozen of fine baas. Suddenly a rousing jood bite carne to each of' them at the same :ime. The colonel played his fish with all he skill of the finiahed angler. The captain put his through all the necessary matioeuvers with the hand of an expert. Then they both landed their fish. There was only one. The colonel's hook was through ts upper jaw. The captain's hook was juried deep in its under jaw. "Too bad he happuned to run against your liouk," said the colonel. " It put you to a good deal of unnecessary labor." "I can't see how that basa ever managed o get near that bait of yours, " said the captain, " U's eDough to scare a shark into fitH." fLlAJJl J " You don't mean to say that you claim his bass with only a grasshopper as bait?" nquired the colonel, in great surprise. ' Why, any school boy knows that a bass will take a clipper beforc anythingelse, and goes for a grasshoppar the last thing. He ook my bait first, of course." " He did eh ? " said the captain, getting liad. " Well, I say that he took the grasshopper first, and he is my fish." The captain tore the colonel's hook out of he bass's mouth, and threw it as far ffom he boat as he could. Then ho procceded o loosen the fish from his own hook. The colonel grabbcd him. "Let that bass alone," he cried, " or '11 throw you out of the boat ! " Capt. Bubb took hold of Col. Rankin. 'hey had a little wrobtle. Then the colonel found himaelf flying through the air. Ie landed something like twenty fcet from he boat He disappeared beneath the urface. He carne up half a minute or go Iterward along-side of a pole that was [riven into the bottom of the river to tie oata to by fi.sherman. It stuck out of the water about three feet. The colonel grabbed hold of it. When he got the water ut of his eyes and mouth and ears, he ooked around. Capt. Bubb was fishing way, as if nothing had occurred to divort lis attention froin the sport. The water was very deep, and the colonel couldn't wiin a stroke. The captain never looked round to see what had becomo of him. 'he pole was limber, and the colonel had reat difficulty in supporting himaelf byit. Lfter seeing Capt. Bubb haul in half a ozen big bass, and feeling that he couldn't epend on the pole much loner, Colonel lankin said : "I say, cap, there ain't much better bait br bass than grasshoppers, ia there? " " Should aay not," eaid the captain without looking around. "Some folks use clippers; but I'm latned if I see how they ratch anything if there's grasshoppers around," said the colonel. " I Deither," replied Capt. Bubb. A pause. " Say, cap," said Col. Rankin, "tliat was a deyilieh mee bass you caught just as I went in swituming. How much d'ye think it'll weigh?" Then the captain looked around. " Better come in, hadn't you, colonel," he asked, innocently. " It'sabout time to go home. ' ' 'J'he colonel said he guesaed he would. Capt. Bubb pulled up (he anohor, rowec out to the pole, and pulled the colonel in. lhen, having enough bass, they wont liĆ³me. Col. Hankin says he never thought much of home bait fishing anyhow, and that he won't go afcer bass again till next summer.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News