Fishing with Satan, 1852

“The Skaneateles, N.Y., Columbian, of August 12th, speaks of a trout which was caught in Skaneateles Lake on the Monday previous, and which weighed 20 pounds. Capt. J. Randall was the successful fisherman…

“We have many a time, in former days, trolled for trout in Skaneateles Lake, but with no very great success. These finny exquisites were then few and far between. Or perhaps our bait, which was a clean piece of pork neatly rounded to the hook, was not the desirable thing.

“It was generally used, however, in Skaneateles, yea, even by one old fisherman who lived on the eastern shore of the lake, and who could furnish you with trout at any time you desired, in three hours notice.

“How he obtained them was with many persons a mystery. Some were disposed to endow him with superhuman powers; indeed, one or two over credulous and over-superstitious people in his neighborhood declared that he was aided by the evil one, they having many a time seen him in his boat accompanied by a very unpleasant looking object with a tail!”

— From “The Editor’s Chatter-Box” in Bizarre, for Fireside and Wayside, Collected by J. M. Church (Philadelphia) 1852

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