Six great fishing books to read now

On days when fishing isn’t possible, these books are the next-best thing...

Six great fishing books to read now

by Angling Times |

Crucian Renaissance

Chris Turnbull, Little Egret Press, £30

Crucians have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past decade, to the point where targeting them has never been more popular. But the title also gives a nod to the remarkable efforts made to promote the conservation of this enigmatic species and reverse the decline in their habitat, while also encouraging the development of well-managed, ‘pure’ crucian fisheries.

The book has been lovingly compiled by renowned angling artist, author and crucian fanatic Chris Turnbull, and boasts a foreword by Chris Yates and contributions from a host of well-known ‘crucian aficionados’ including Hugh Miles, Mark Wintle, Trevor Harrop, Tim Norman and leading crucian ‘champion’ Peter Rolfe, author of the acclaimed book Crock of Gold.

Only 700 copies are being printed, so get your order in early by visiting the publisher’s website.

Crucian Renaissance
Crucian Renaissance

The Magic of Fishing

John Moorwood, Great Northern Books, £8.99

Nostalgic, funny, and moving in equal parts, John Moorwood’s homage to fishing takes a refreshingly different look at the sport. Taking the reader from first casts and childhood mischief through to match and specimen angling adventures, it’s a memoir with terrific variety.

Journeying everywhere from cluttered 1980s tackle shops to glory days on famous fisheries, it also delves into themes of family, friendship and loss.

Indeed, besides all the adventures with rod and line,

The Magic of Fishing also dares to cast into the sort of places rarely explored in fishing books – in particular, the power of fishing as a force for hope and recovery amid life’s ups and downs is potent stuff.

Beautifully written and full of vivid angling experiences, this book, with a foreword by our own Dominic Garnett, is a page-turner with real heart.

The Magic of Fishing
The Magic of Fishing

A Prospect of Angling

Bernard Venables, Little Egret Press, £35

This hefty hardback tome of 369 pages is Bernard Venables’ long-awaited final book, some 20 years after his death and fully 30 after it was conceived and begun by the author himself following the urgings of Peter Rogers, who completed the task and helped design it and write the foreword.

Bernard was co-founder and editorial director of Angling Times in 1953, and the book draws upon his favourite articles penned for the title over the following decade. It covers a huge range of subjects, and his beautifully descriptive writing skills and angling knowledge shine through.

There are also educational and humorous overtones, helping to showcase not only Bernard’s utter devotion to the sport, but also his self-appointed role as a passionate champion of the environment and all things fishing related. Perceptive, articulate and illustrated by the author himself, it’s a joy to read.

A Prospect of Angling
A Prospect of Angling

Crooked Lines

Dominic Garnett, DG Fishing, £9.99

REGULAR readers of Angling Times will already be familiar with Dom Garnett’s offbeat humour and entertaining stories.

For those of you who enjoy his Last Cast column each week, Crooked Lines will be a joy to read.

Featuring two dozen lively, original tales, the book ventures everywhere from Britain’s urban rivers to wilderness lakes in search of wild carp, predators and more fish species than you can shake a rod at.

There’s action from venues as far apart as Arctic Norway and New York’s Central Park (not recommended for night fishing!), along with unexpected twists and colourful characters galore.

Packed with original illustrations and a foreword from TV angling guru Matt Hayes, you can get a signed copy for just a tenner from the author’s website: dgfising.co.uk where there are also details of Dom’s other books available.

Crooked Lines
Crooked Lines

A History of Fish and Fisheries of the River Thames

David J Solomon, Flavial Books, £25, Reviewed by: Keith Arthur

If, like me, you’re an ardent absorber (and in my case, repeater) of interesting facts and figures, I can heartily recommend A History of Fish and Fisheries of the River Thames. Although the title hardly trips off the tongue, the book does indeed do ‘what it says on the tin’.

While researching such a book must be a nightmare, the author David J Solomon has obviously put an enormous amount of work into its creation.

Who among you knew there is a chance – albeit a slim one – of huchen (a giant relative of the salmon) still being present in the river, or that it is very likely that the Thames has produced more huge brown trout than any other waterway in the country?

The author has been very careful to omit, or at the very least explain carefully, rumours and allegations, to the point where I think it’s fair to say that you can take things stated as fact to be so.

That said, it has to be remembered that there will be people with knowledge and proof of captures who avoid research for reasons best known to themselves – aversion to publicity being one of the most obvious. This is a beautifully presented book that I’ll be delving into regularly, for sure.

A History of Fish and Fisheries of the River Thames
A History of Fish and Fisheries of the River Thames

The Trent Otter J.W. Martin The Man and His Fishing

Peter Rolfe, Medlar Press, £25

By any stretch of the imagination, JW Martin – aka the ‘Trent Otter’ – was an extraordinary man.

Born in the Lincolnshire Fens, he left school at 10, and while still in his youth set off alone and on foot for the town of Newark in search of a new life, so beginning his affiliation with the River Trent.

He became a highly accomplished angler, fishing alongside many greats of the time and, despite his lack of formal education, by middle age he had become one of the country’s most celebrated angling authors, penning more than a dozen hugely popular titles which he always described as ‘practical books for working people’.

Among these were Coarse Fish Angling, My Fishing Days and Fishing Ways, and Float Fishing and Spinning in the Nottingham Style, but his life wasn’t centred solely around the Trent, despite his nickname.

JW fished all over the country, and in 1900 moved to London to set up a successful tackle shop in Euston Square.

This book follows the trajectory of JW’s fascinating life and work, from his deprived childhood right through to his death in 1915.

It includes many extracts from his books and magazine articles, and is a must for fans of coarse angling history.

The Trent Otter J.W. Martin The Man and His Fishing
The Trent Otter J.W. Martin The Man and His Fishing
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