Dominic Garnett and Andy Mytton have collaborated here to produce what will be the last word in lure-fishing for some time to come! When it is eventually surpassed it will probably be Garnett and Mytton who pull it off because Hooked on Lure Fishing is a comprehensive and thoroughly detailed work based on their personal experiences; clearly, nothing is hearsay or second-hand for the reader has dozens of good quality colour photos of the authors in action from Cornwall to San Francisco and all stations in between.  Apart from this, it is, surely, impossible to write so fluently and enthusiastically without heaps of hard-earned, first-hand experience.

Andy with a cracking wrasse

For me, the book’s outstanding quality can be found in its authenticity. Neither writer has sought to apologise or to excuse their self for their enthusiasm in hunting-down our smaller species – sometimes fish measuring but a few inches – from pools no bigger than a kitchen-sink; their obvious though unstated contention that ‘everything is relative’ is evident throughout their work’s 224 high quality pages. Their zeal for ‘mini-monsters’ is expressly not some kind ofboyish enthusiasm’ but genuine recognition and respect for creatures we would never see or know about if it were not for these fellas or their like – and there can’t be too many at the moment. Nonetheless, there’s plenty here for those wishing to perfect their big-fish methods too: see the novel ideas for boat-fishing for zander and tips on perch-fishing with lures both large and miniscule – not to mention novel.

A great shot of a blennie in attack-mode.

Hooked on Lure Fishing is not a book to cuddle-up with, anecdotal material forming – for me at least – too little of its content. But my personal affection for stories and accounts is irrelevant because this is a reference-book skilfully written to be informative and concise for those seeking information and guidance. You’ll find few descriptions of balmy summer-mornings and magnificent sunsets but you will most definitely find which lures are most successful and how they are to be fished.

It ain’t all about mini-beasts! Dom with a superb perch.

I confess there is much here of which I was totally unaware so, as a life-long angler, I guess this would apply to many if not most of us! Who knew that flounder can be positively aggressive? Yes, we’re aware of their predatory status but who was aware that they will actively attack shoals of bait-fish 3-4 inches in length at all depths – sometimes right up to the surface? And how many of us have seen a sea scorpion in all its glory (if at all?)  The shot on p.113 shows a magnificent creature deserving of our admiration and wonder and, perhaps, our attention with a pencil-thin wand and 2lb line!

Superb study of the sea scorpion

Blennies, gobies and other miniature predators can provide us with a whole new dimension in fishing, one predicated not just on a bit of fun but on genuine interest and new knowledge. Of course, hunting mini-monsters is never going to replace specimen-hunting but the very subtle methods and rigs illustrated so well here by Neil Sutherland can certainly help in that pursuit.

 Now THAT’S a big gobie!

As I made my way through Hooked on Lure Fishing I became aware of the feeling I get when shopping at the German supermarket, Aldi! Every so often, there’s a schema-disturbance in the form of a ‘TIP’ and these foment a feeling of ‘discovery’…the revelation of a tit-bit that’s just begging to be absorbed. Thus, with plenty of superb illustrations and outstanding underwater photography, the book maintains interest for those going from cover-to-cover rather than seeking specific information on a particular subject.

 Dominic with evening garfish.

I’d never profess to know it all but until I read through Garnett & Mytton’s latest work I might have claimed to know most of it. Well, I certainly wouldn’t now. This book has opened my eyes to more than I can specifically describe such is its fully comprehensive treatment of its subject. There are species I’d never heard of.

What Garnett and Mytton have achieved (in collaboration with Sutherland and the aptly-named Jack Perks!) is, I believe, a completely new angle on our sport; one which gets us thinking about new possibilities in methodology; where we can fish; what we can fish for and with which lures.

A tiny selection of the lures recommended by Garnett and Mytton.

I once wrote of a childhood friend who would fish with Mr Crabtree goes Fishing on his lap and I can see how this book might find a permanent place on many a passenger seat. For sure, Hooked on Lure Fishing succeeds in its aim to teach everyone how to join in the fun.


Cliff Hatton.


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‘Hooked on Lure-Fishing’ is published by Merlin Unwin Books Ltd, Palmers House, 7, Corve St, Ludlow , Shrops SY8 1DB