I have this book (and a number of others). I think I'd been fishing about 5 times before in my life, and each time I'd been handed a rod already rigged and taken to where there were fish - catching fish is easy this way.
Then I found myself living and sailing a little boat, and I felt it would be cool to catch my supper. Well first you have to know what to buy, then you have to know how to rig it, then if you manage to actually catch something, you have to know how to bring it aboard, kill it, and then gut it. I was starting to fire such questions around friends and one bought me this book.
Some parts I didn't like
* The book is of a "chatty" nature and I guess this is the author style, but I found it annoying and distracting. I just wanted facts.. the chatty stuff can be left to the side bars.
* Spend a lot of time and space telling fishing stories - what a great fisherman he is, and all the wonderful catches he has... For me these constant interjections seemed to distract from the flow of the thing I was trying to read up on, and It just kept making me feel depressed I didn't have fish for supper AGAIN.
* Didn't really start BASIC enough for me.. OK so I'm trolling - what speed is trolling? am I going too fast or too slow? And lots of other examples like that. It also spends a lot of time on making your own lure, so more advanced than I was ready for.
* It does have a pictorial fish guide (Good) but in black and white and scattered over too many pages. If I've just caught something, I want to know what I've got and if I need to throw it back NOW! (before it dies or thrashes too much, and hurts itself).
* Pages are poorly bound/glued, and drop out Once you've opened the same page too often
* I needed a lot more help than the book provided in landing the fish correctly/safely, and killing a fish (Or removing the hook and returning it).
It is really good for
* Basic Fishing knots
* Good beginners guide to loading line on the reel
* Describing basic lures. I never knew what a plug was - Now I can wonder the lure isles and recognize and name things.
* Gutting / processing the fish once it's aboard and dead.
* I expect as My fishing improves and my cruising gets further afield, the book will certainly continue to be useful.. there is lots of advance info - but too much for my stage (and it is hard to focus on just the basic stuff).
* Chapter on seafood Recipes...
* Purchase lists for various types of fishing setup... At first I thought this was really good, then I realized it would bankrupt me... I just wanted to take the first steps - this expected I was making an investment for a lifetime of fishing (and the difference in costs is HUGE). It would have been nice if the list included some kind of "must have" v. "Nice to have" indications.
Another book I found useful was "Saltwater Fishing Made Easy" by Martin Pollizotto. I never did find the perfect book for me.
Gemini 105Mc - Cruising
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