ISBN 1-86126-629-4
Price: £ 19.95

Fifteen years since it first appeared in print, a revised and updated edition of Hooked on Bass has hit the shelves.

With a PhD in marine biology and a degree in zoology with marine zoology between them you’d be hard-pushed to find two anglers better qualified then Alan Vaughan and Mike Ladle to write a book on catching sea bass from the shore.

You’d be hard-pushed to find a book with this much common sense and watercraft, come to that.

So much that is written about sea fishing dwells on rigs and casting to the extent that the fish become almost an after-thought.

Yet the latest carbon miracle, hi-tech rig and pendulum cast are little use if they propel your bait 100 yards over the heads of the bass.

Vaughan and Ladle start at the opposite end of the equation, with three chapters devoted to the fish, the marine creatures which form its diet and the choices available to the angler by way of baits.

Photographs and illustrations may seem a little primitive compared to glossier works, but this is a book which boils fishing down to the basics – find the fish and put what they want to eat in front of them.

The styles of fishing are kept as simple as the basic rigs and tackle. Holding the rod to feel for bites bouncing a light leger rig around, float fishing and spinning are their favoured tactics.

Each is weighed up and put in context with a refreshing lack of the usual big name tackle endorsements. A Jif lemon filled with candle wax, fished with a bog-standard carp or spinning rod, can be just as deadly as the latest £ 300 casting pole.

Different types of beaches are described in detail, as the authors consider how differing types of ground affect the type of prey available and feeding habits of the bass.

A final chapter brings the original book up to date with sections on using braid, fly fishing, surface lures and even jerk baiting.

One reviewer dubbed this book the finest ever written on bass fishing. Another said: “It had me spellbound.”

I learned so much the first time I skim-read Hooked on Bass I could hardly take it all in. If one thing helps me fulfil my desire to get to grips with the sea’s most challenging quarry, it’ll probably be this book.

Top marks – 10 out of 10!