A lot of books have no particular interest for me these days, many of them just contain trophy shots of the author holding some specimens, or are merely a soapbox for his (or her) political views. This one did catch my eye though (possibly because the front cover is adorned with one of Maurice Pledger’s wonderful paintings) and being an avid lure angler myself the interest was immediate.

Sorry to say that I have never heard of Dave Pugh (although now, I wouldn’t mind spending a day or three fishing with him), but in the book he speaks with a lot of authority, as his pictures show. It’s not just about the pictures though, it’s the way he make you re-think the way you work your lures, what to look for when buying them, and learning about where to fish them.

You might be excused for thinking that he merely wants you to go out and buy even more lures to suit every and all occasions, but such a concept couldn’t be further from the truth. For example on colour, he claims that the beautiful lure you examined in the shop from the side a couple of feet away in perfect light is nothing like how a pike will see it. You probably already have a lure that would catch a pike at a particular point in time, you’re just not working it correctly.

Also, most of us believe that if we don’t get takes it’s because we are working the lure too fast. However, he insists that on some occasions we’re not working the lure fast enough, sometimes, but not all the time… He also recommends stopping the retrieve as soon as you can see the lure yourself, the ‘killer pause’ as he calls it, hold it there and not just for a little while, keep it there a long while. Often a pike will have chased the lure in and although it shows no intention of taking it on this retrieve, you don’t want to spook it for it may just take on the next retrieve.

As if to back this up, only recently I had caught a pike on a fast-ish retrieve and released it safely in the deep water in front of me. The next cast was a short one to rid the spool of any embedded line and low and behold another even larger pike took the lure just about where the ‘killer pause’ would have been. I don’t know why it didn’t spook with the first fish, but it had possibly followed it in and then just sat there waiting.

It’s not all about pike either, he covers perch, chub and zander. I’m even starting to wish that there were more zander in the waters that I fish as I am really beginning to warm to this species now. He also covers basic tackle requirements as well as casting control.

Like I say, it really makes you think afresh about the way you’ve been working your lures in the past and how with just subtle modifications to how you work your lures, you can improve your catch rate tremendously! It’s also a great learning manual for anyone taking up lure fishing for the first time and one that might save you a pound or two buying lots of unnecessary lures.

It’s published in hardback by Coch-y-Bonddu Books Ltd ISBN 978 1 904784 64 7 and is highly recommended. And at £19.95 it amounts to the cost of a couple of decent crankbaits..