Fishing, the art of catching fish, whether by means of nets and spears, or of lines and hooks. The former are used in fresh and salt waters, for the taking of large fish, which go in shoals ; the latter are employed for catching single ones, such as bream, carp, etc. to which we refer. - See also Angling.
The most important point in. fishing, is the proper season, together with the place, bait, and mode of application. - In March, April, and September, the warmest days are the most successful for this sport, when the bait should be deep; for during those cool months the fish lie near the bottom. For fly-fishing, the most proper seasons are the months of April, May, or June, after a gentle shower of rain has beaten the insects down upon the water, without rendering it turbid ; and the most promising hours are about nine or ten in the morning, and three or four o'clock in the afternoon ; in still, warm evenings, however, fish will readily bite, till night approaches ; because at tho seasons gnats are flying in great numbers.
In the hot days of Midsummer, •when the earth is parched up, little success can be expected in any water. Nor will fish bite during cold weather, unless the evenings be warm and serene. The north and east winds are particularly un-favourable to fishing, as well as tempestuous weather in general; but, if a gentle breeze prevail, it will considerably facilitate the operations of the angler. For farther particulars relative to the proper seasons, baits, lines, hooks, etc. for taking fish, we refer the reader to Isaac Walton's Complete An-gler, 8vo. 1/84, where he will find ample . instructions, blended with considerable amusement.
Fishing-net, a contrivance of a reticular texture, thus denominated, as it is appropriated solely to the taking of fish.
These nets are in general made by the hand; but, as that method is necessarily tedious, and inadequate to supply the demand in populous fishing ports, Mr. J. W. Boswell, of Barnstaple, Devon, in the year 1795, invented a machine for the purpose of weaving nets, for which the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, etc. in 1/90*, conferred on him a premium of fifty guineas. His loom is calculated to make 68 meshes at the same time, and by the same motion, with a perfectly fast knot, which does not differ from those employed by fishermen: - nets thus manufactured have a complete selvedge, and are not liable to decay from the knots becoming loose, a circumstance of considerable importance to those employed in the fisheries. We regret that Mr. Boswell's ingenious machine is too complicated to give the reader a competent idea of its mechanism, without illustrating it by an engraving ; and, as few persons in domestic life will attempt to make their own fishing-nets, we refer the curious reader to the 14th vol. of the Transactions of the Patriotic Society above mentioned, where he will find an ample description, together with a plate explaining the whole of the machinery.