Angling seasons may be winding down and hunters are headed afield, but a good book on fishing could be a good start for planned outings.
Outdoor writer Mike Seymour, a former educator and licensed guide, has an uncanny touch for catching freshwater fishes of all sizes and species. He has devoted countless hours to every kind of fish-catching from the smallest of mountain streams to the widest open waters of the Great Lakes.
His approach to every fishing prospect appears to be mild-mannered and casual, but once his fishing gear gets in gear he works every possible option and consistently comes back with a high catch - if not keep - count.
His skill at both catching fish and working with people interested in those catches has resulted in the production of a text worth the attention of the newest novice and the most seasoned salt in search of fishing advice.
Seymour’s “The Smart Guide to Freshwater Fishing” is written in the style of Mike’s level-headed demeanor while working the waters.
On many occasions during more than two decades I have had opportunities to fish with or near Seymour during New York State Outdoor Writers Association conference outings. Invariably, he applies what he knows to a situation, makes useful suggestions to others, asks key questions about improving catch rates and sizes and does so without the bravado of a promoter.
His expertise ranges from fly fishing to ice fishing to shore casting, boat trips trolling, drifting or anchored and variations on all every kind of freshwater angling area fishermen and women could encounter.
His guide focuses on every aspect possible to help the novice become a better fish catcher. In doing so, he provides readers with a continuous series of boxes in the text. Some define terms, some offer tips, all serve as pointers for anglers at every level of skill and involvement.
Part One presents 13 sections on the fishing aura, getting started with gear (tackle and bait options), basic techniques for setting up, finding fish, the catch and a thorough outlay of the ethics of consumption, catch-and-release and the simple things even experts at times forget when fishing - health concerns, safety afloat and afoot, and nature’s nastiness such as insect bites, motion sickness, poison ivy, sunburn and other woes.
But the main focus is upon making each trip a more productive and enjoyable outing in which an angler can effectively catch fish and enjoy the outdoors.
Part Two deals extensive with fly fishing and ice fishing, two involvements that require different approaches, gear and catching techniques. Just the ice fishing tips in Chapter 17 are worth the price of this guide.
Part Three focuses on the most common fish species grouped on families from sunfish to sturgeon. Each keys on specifics that can be applied in freshwater fisheries from the smallest southern panfish pond to a wide northern lake loaded with pike.
Every fisherman who has spent any time in search of any freshwater species will find sometime worthwhile knowing and using on future outings. The book is modestly priced at $19.95 (U.S.) and is available from Amazon.com, Powells.com, bn.com, and smartguide.com.