Love a great fishing read?
Then you’re spoilt for choice right now, because this last year has seen a bumper crop of great books.
Whether you want to catch more fish or be thoroughly entertained, there’s something for everyone.
Now we’re in the depths of winter, even the hardiest among us might shy away from venturing out to the lake or riverbank, but a good angling book, read by the fireside, is the next-best thing to fishing.
Here are six of the best, ranging from the humorous to the instructional. Enjoy!
The Far From Compleat Angler, Tom Fort
Merlin Unwin, £14.99
The latest edition of Tom Fort’s classsic is long overdue. The author’s witty style and varied tastes are a delight throughout. Indeed, how many writers take us everywhere from winter pike fishing to crazy journeys through the backwaters of Eastern Europe and even into an hilarious imagined interview with Izaak Walton himself? There aren’t many all-rounders who write better to this day, and this book is a real treasure trove of great adventures.
Lifelines – an anthology of angling, various authors
Narod publishing, £10.95
A fishing collection with a difference, this compelling book gathers a star-studded list of contributors from Paul Whitehouse to Chris Yates. Far from being just a fishing anthology, it tackles the realities and challenges of the Covid era with fresh hope. Editors Rod Sturdy and Nathan Walter have played a blinder, not only in bringing such an excellent mix of writing together, but in pledging all profits to support the NHS and Lisa Wilson’s fishing charity.
Fishing From the Rock of the Bay, James Batty
Merlin Unwin, £14.99
For anyone who likes a good laugh, along with a weatherbeaten slice of angling life, James Batty’s second book is a rare treat. Packed with colourful tales and hilarious one-liners, it takes the reader from deepest Cornwall to Ireland and the coast of Africa. Some of the escapades fall well into the “you couldn’t make it up” category and would appeal to non-anglers as much as the converted. It’s the ideal volume to dip into as the mood takes.
Mick and Me, a fishing friendship for life
Little Egret Press, £35
Homage to the great friendship and adventures of two anglers, this is a specimen hunting book with a difference. Martin Abonyi and the late Mick Townsend are the men in question, the latter having an incredible track record for big roach, among other specimens. Further words from Dai Gribble, John Bailey and others help bring this book to life, which is about friendship as much as it is about fishing. A heart-warming read to inspire your own big fish adventures.
The Simple Fishing Guidebook by Carl and Alex
YouTube fishing giants Carl and Alex have turned their hand to an instructional book, with great results. A stylish, clean layout and beautiful illustrations perfectly suit their lively, no-nonsense approach to angling. It’s packed with plenty of lessons on watercraft, tackle and tactics, and their trademark enthusiasm is evident throughout. An ideal gift for any angler, but especially newcomers and those who want to broaden their fishing diet in 2022.
Chomp! Charlie Carter and the Monster Pike, David Rogers
For the young angler in your life, David Rogers’ first book follows the tale of young Charlie Carter, who witnesses ‘a 20ft pike with razor sharp teeth’ leap from the River Thames. Nobody believes him, but with fishermen and swimmers mysteriously disappearing, he embarks on a quest to track down the beast, spurred on by the promise of a £1 million reward put forward by a local newspaper for anybody who catches ‘The English Jaws’.