Fishing books – anthologies

Since we are still tediously locked down, here’s a bit more on fishing books.

People have been writing about fishing for centuries, so we now have a huge volume of literature at our disposal. Fishing anthologies provide a way into it by pulling together extracts from many other books. This one came out in 1995:

Fishing anthology

The compiler Jeremy Paxman has selected stories from around the world, from ancient times to the present day, that capture the spirit and fun of fishing. The titles of just a few of them will give an idea of the book’s broad scope:

  • Chub Fishing on Christmas Morning
  • The African Tiger Fish
  • The Discipline of Carp
  • Uncle Silas Goes Fishing
  • Something Had to Give – An Irish Pike
  • What to do if a Shark Attacks
  • The Art of Lying

The Fisherman’s Bedside Book is a classic and was one of my favourites growing up:

Fishing anthology
Fishing anthology
Fishing anthology

First published in 1945 with a second edition in 1955, it was republished in 2004. It mainly contains fishing tales and reminiscences about salmon, trout, tench, carp, pike, various other coarse fish and some sea species. There are also odd pieces on fishponds, worms, knots and poaching. The carp stuff is interesting. In 1955 carp were not widely distributed and most anglers regarded them as virtually uncatchable. A few pioneers were starting to make progress however (including the book’s compiler BB). The stories collected here reflect those changing times and show where a lot of our modern methods originated.

The limited directly instructional material is badly dated, but there are more recent publications for that side of things (and the internet of course). These old books are more for your own enjoyment, although you will still learn plenty about fishing from the sheer wealth of experience they contain.