The Biggest Fish of All
Mark Barrett reviews the long-awaited new book from the Perchfishers group.
If you’re a book lover as I am then the past twelve months has been a bumper time for new offerings. I have already reviewed several new books on FishingMagic, all of which have been excellent, but I would be less than truthful if I didn’t say that this book, for me, was the most eagerly awaited.
You see this book has very big steps to follow in as its predecessor, ‘The Book of the Perch’ has become highly collectable and is much acclaimed by the critics so potentially releasing a follow up, though much needed, had the potential to tarnish the brand so to speak.
Well thankfully I can put that possibility to bed. From the moment that you pick the book up you realise that it’s a weighty tome, in fact it’s 372 pages long and absolutely bursting with photographs, drawings, diagrams and paintings, it really is a feast for the eyes. However the brain is not left unattended as the book is heaving with information for the perch angler, alongside tales of big perch, lists of big captures and just about everything that you could ever want to know about the ‘sergeant major’.
The book starts with chapters on big perch, how to catch them, how to plan a campaign and all the methods that you can use to catch a big perch. The book then moves on to some of the famous big perch waters. If I was ultra-critical here I would say that though the book really covers most of the famous big perch waters and also the phenomenon of the commercial fishery perch that has flourished in the last decade, in certain places I think that it tends to concentrate just a bit too much on certain stretches of rivers, rather than dealing with the river as a whole.
A good example of this is of my favourite river the Great Ouse. Obviously much is written about the Claydon Brook and ‘Twins’ sections of the river as they have produced some of the historic perch catches, however there is nothing about the middle or lower reaches of the river which, though not as productive as the upper reaches, does still throw up fantastic perch fishing and it would have been nicer to have had the complete story of the river rather than just fragments, as good as they are.
That aside the book moves on through perch fishing opportunities abroad and a great section on lure fishing that I thought covered the subject fantastically and I found myself nodding in agreement at almost everything within its pages.
There then comes the only section of the book that I really couldn’t get to grips with. This section is dedicated to ‘The Angling Artists’. Now in itself it’s an interesting subject and it is very well covered within the book, the only problem that I had with it was why was it there?
Admittedly it doesn’t detract from the book in any way but by the same rationale it adds nothing other than the chance to admire some great artwork, which could just as easily have fitted in elsewhere. It just appeared a bit ‘shoe horned in’ to me but that may just be a personal thing.
That aside all I can add is that I thought that it was a fantastic read and a book that you will come back to time and time again both for reference, enjoyment and indeed the production values which, as we have come to expect from the publishers Harper Fine Angling Books, is right there at the top of the tree.
No perch fanatic would be disappointed with this book and in fact I personally think that it knocks it predecessor into a cocked hat, it really is that good and everyone involved in its production should be extremely proud of themselves as they have produced a definite modern classic.
You can pick up a copy from Harper Fine Angling Books for £35 plus £6 postage.
By the Same Author
- The Angling Trust, an ‘Unbelievably Weak Governing Body’ - Not Just Teeth: December
- Fishing in Sickness and in Health - Not Just Teeth: November
- Jigging for Zander and Deadbaiting for Pike - Not Just Teeth: October
- Autumn perch and catfish - Not Just Teeth: September
- Catfish, Carp and Kids – Not Just Teeth: August
- Paying your Dues?
- Zander Fishing - Shadows in the Moonlight: Part 3
- Zander Fishing - Shadows in the Moonlight: Part 2
- Sounding Off
- Zander Fishing - Shadows in the Moonlight