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The Best Fishing Books To Read Today

When the waves are flat and a surfer needs a break from getting pounded by the unforgiving ocean, many turn to the peaceful art of fishing.

Much like surfing, fishing is an endless chase for the best thing, in this case the biggest fish.

Many writers in the past have tried to encapsulate the feeling and art of fishing in books so we’ll break down some of the best fishing books you can get your hands on.

Why Read Fishing Books?

There’s truly nothing like bettering your skills at something.

Many fishing books offer instruction and lessons on how to be a better fisherman and steward of the ocean.

Not only are these books allowing you to gain a deeper knowledge of the fish you might catch and rods and reels you must use, it also allows you to gain a better understanding of the way the ocean works.

This is a skill that surfers in particular will find endlessly useful.

Fishing writers also offer a unique perspective into the philosophical meaning behind fishing which is always an interesting subject to ponder.

Best Fishing Books

1: The Old Man and the Sea

One of Ernest Hemingway's most read books, The Old Man and the Sea is a classic fishing story written in 1952.

It follows an aged Cuban fisherman who is intent on catching a stunning marlin.

The old man is constantly down on his luck and struggles to catch the fish throughout the book.

Hemingway’s prose in this novel is at its peak and his style beautifully paints a portrait of a seasoned fisherman grasping for one more prized fish.

Learn more about this fishing book.

2: Field Guide to Saltwater Fish

Written in 2003, Ken Shultz’s Field Guide To Saltwater Fish perfectly encapsulates all you need to know about the different fish in North America.

Perfect for the ocean fisherman, this book will tell you the ins and outs of the fish you might find along North America's coastlines.

It covers 227 different fish and within the book it has fully colored illustrations of the fish, making it easy to identify a catch. Bottom line, this book is a must have for the salt water fisher.

Learn more about this fishing book.

3: Saltwater Fishing Guide

Al Ristori’s Saltwater Fishing Guide has everything you need to know about saltwater fishing. The book covers everything from 125 fish species to saltwater fishing tips like reel and rod choice.

He runs down boats, knots, and even covers ocean and marine conservation.

Ristori is a popular fishing writer and writes frequently in the publication, Salt Water Sportsman making this not only helpful but an interesting read as well.

Learn more about this fishing book.

4: Best Fishing Stories Ever Told

We all have a crazy fishing story but this compilation of fishing stories encapsulates the very best.

Best Fishing Stories Ever Told contains fishing stories from excellent writers like Rudyard Kipling and Lord Byron.

The compilation perfectly sums up the rush that fishing brings and the shared experiences fishermen have when catching their perfect fish.

Learn more about this fishing book.

5: Blues

From Pulitzer Prize winning author John Hersey comes this great fishing book called Blues.

Blues ponders the question of why to fish.

Hersey tackles this question with creating two characters, the fisherman and the doubting stranger and throughout the book explains the ecological and philosophical reasons of why a person might be interested in fishing. This is a great book for the philosophical fisherman.

Learn more about this fishing book.

6: Fly Fishing in Saltwater

Fly fishing is often thought of as something done in freshwater but this book, Fly Fishing in Saltwater, helped pioneer the saltwater fishing movement.

Lefty Kreh runs down the basics of fly fishing in saltwater from going through major saltwater species and different flies to use depending on the water and fish you're trying to catch.

Fly fishing is a much trickier form of fishing and it takes a lot of technique, so this book is great for those trying to learn the ins and outs of fly fishing.

Learn more about this fishing book.

7: The Compleat Angler

A literary classic, The Compleat Angler was published in 1653 and was met with great reception when first published.

The fishing book is structured as a dialogue between a seasoned fisherman named Piscator and his student Viator.

Throughout the book they discuss the process of catching and eating fish in England. Izaak Walton beautifully writes about fishing and the struggles and successes of the sport.

Learn more about this fishing book.

8: Moby Dick

Herman Melville's most renowned work, this fishing story is a tale of revenge and the intricate methods of 19th century whaling ships.

The story follows Ishmael, a sailor who joins a crew on a whaling ship with a deranged captain, Captain Ahab.

Ahab’s sole purpose in his life is to catch the white whale that he believes deliberately chopped his leg off and exact revenge onto the beast.

Melville draws on his experience from sailing and goes into extreme detail of the process and dangerous methods that whaling ships would go through to obtain oil from the animal.

Learn more about this fishing book.

9: How to Think Like a Fish: And Other Lessons from a Lifetime in Angling

Jeremy Wade, star of the show River Monsters, wrote the book How to Think Like a Fish in an attempt to distill everything one needs to know about fishing.

It goes into the practical concepts of fishing, like the rods and reels one must use but he also ponders the art of fishing.

The fishing book is full of wisdom and interesting fishing stories from Wade who boasts a lifetime of experience with fishing.

Learn more about this fishing book.

10: The Longest Silence

A collection of short stories by Thomas McGuane, The Longest Silence encompasses a lifetime of fishing stories from various parts of the world.

Its long winded prose perfectly pairs with its topic of fishing as McGuane takes you around the globe.

This fishing book focuses primarily on fly fishing and its intricate and masterful process that can take a lifetime to fully master.

Learn more about this fishing book.

Fishing Books

Fishing books are great for anyone who has had an experience with fishing.

It's not a hard thing to understand but writers are still able to encapsulate the complex feelings one gets from fishing.

On top of that there are plenty of fishing instruction books teaching you about the complexities of fishing.

So the next time you have nothing to do and the waves are flat, take a break from your phone and pick up a fishing book.


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