Found this on google Paul.Anyone know why it was also called pope
Interesting read Simon. :thumbs:Found this on google Paul.
POPE, OR RUFF.
(Acerina vulgaris. Acerina cernua)
Local names: Jack Ruff, Pope, Ruff, Tommy Bar. German: Der Kaulbarsch Steinschwert. Danish: Horke. Swedish: Girs. French: Gremille.
THIS fish is well known to Thames anglers, by whom it is often caught while gudgeon-fishing. A cruel habit, which probably originated in some idea connected with Roman Catholic persecution, is practised up and down the Thames, and, I believe, almost all over England. A wine cork is pressed tightly on to the spine of the dorsal fin, and the fish turned loose ; this is what is called “plugging a pope.” There are, I believe, a great number of these fish in the Yare and Wensum. Mr. Searle tells me that they are plentiful in canal cuts in Berkshire, where there is a gravelly bottom, but not much stream.
Mr. Edon, the attendant at my fish museum, informs me that the Sheffield people, especially the artisans, are very great anglers, and that angling matches are often instituted, for which prizes are offered. These prizes are generally exhibited the night before the match, and consist of the funniest things possible, such as a sack of soot, a child’s pair of shoes, a hay-fork. The next morning a special train is run to “fish off the match” in the Keadley canal, Lincolnshire, the station being Crewel Bridge, where competitors for the match, from Leeds, York, &c., meet and join the excursion. Pegs are placed along the side of the canal 10 yards apart, each peg being numbered, and the angler who draws the number on a ticket drawn from a big beer-jug must fish at the post corresponding to the number. Sometimes there are as many as five or six hundred competitors. I understand it is a common sight to see a forest of rods at the drawing of tickets, and also when the fishing commences, the row of rods extending sometimes three miles or more. On these occasions a great many popes are caught, and it is the invariable custom of anglers to carry bits of cork in their pocket, which they fix on to the back spines of the fish, which they let loose again into the water both during and after the match. It is a very funny sight to see the surface of the canal for so many miles covered by these unfortunate popes.