John Bailey - Improve Your Bait Fishing

New Holland Publishers - £12.99
ISBN 1 84330 354 X

Just when you thought there wasn’t anything new to read on the subject, John dons scuba gear and sets out to photograph fish in their natural environment – being fished at. The blurb describes this series as informative books for ‘all anglers, from novices to experts’ and for once it doesn’t overstate the case, although I suspect the main audience for these 96 page guides will be beginners. The text might be concise, but each volume is beautifully illustrated with colour photographs.

Editorially, the guides are a little peculiar and the fly fishing one, in particular, can’t quite make up its mind about whether it is a ‘how-to’ book or a showcase for some of the exotic destinations John has visited. The effect is to dilute the content and I can’t help thinking that this particular volume would have been far better had it concentrated on showing exactly how fish see a fly, given that most of what has been published in the past has been based more on gossip than observation. However, you can’t complain about the price and if you are looking for something to encourage a young fisherman, I can’t think of a better place to start than one of these books.

Out of print.