The Book of the Pike

Henry Choldmondeley-Pennell - The Book of the Pike

Frederick Warne 1865

This is one of those books that ought to have been reprinted, but never was, unless you count cheap Internet reprints, which don’t really do it justice, because the original has the most fabulous colour plate of a pike as the frontispiece. When Pennell wrote this, there weren’t any books about pike fishing worth mentioning and it filled a yawning gap, which meant that the work was incredibly popular in its day. The text was originally published in Pennell’s The Fisherman’s Magazine, which ran for only a couple of years before being absorbed into Land & Water, a venture in which his cousin, Frank Buckland, was heavily involved.

Needless to say, this isn’t a modern textbook on pike fishing and the methods Pennell suggests show signs of their age, but that doesn’t prevent it being a highly collectible book if you are a pike fisherman. Sooner or later, it will dawn on one of the better angling publishers to re-issue this one, but for the moment it is fairly expensive to come by.