Sunday, 10 January 2010

Tactical Pike Fishing - Book Review

Over Christmas I was able to set aside time to read books… due to a busy schedule I find it difficult to sit down and read. It is a great shame that books don’t feature as much in our lives as they should following the advent of the internet and all the information it holds.

There is something about a book though, it is tactile and you can see the work that an author has put into it and they are measured on that work – cover to cover. The other beauty is that there isn’t any hyperlink distraction.

So Christmas lunch out of the way and the snow piling up outside I set about reading Tactical Pike Fishing by Mike Ladle and Jerome Masters. I have a tendency to scan a book first and see if it interests me and then sit down and read it… I did have a flick through it and thought instantly that this book shouldn’t disappoint. I am used to reading Mike Ladle’s work as I avidly read his blog and check it for updates on a daily basis. Mike has been one of the biggest influences on my fishing since my father put a rod in my hand at the age of 5 and I don’t say that flippantly.

I suppose the fear of being a reader of an author’s blog is that when you come to read the book it is just the same information regurgitated in a different way… this isn’t.

This is without a shadow of a doubt a defining book on the life of the pike. Sure there have been famous anglers who have written books about piking but this is a no nonsense book free of dogma and ego. Above all this is an insight into a scientific study of pike. This book has been written by two eminent scientists who are also anglers and who know a lot about fish and their environment.

Radio tagging pike, wading in flooded river plains and 8,500 separate tracking logs of pike set this book apart from the rest. This book assists the reader in ascertaining pike movements year round… how far they travel, their effect on the ecosystem in which they live and what they feed on and when.

The book is well illustrated not only with photos of pike but graphs showing the results of scientific study.

The last section concentrates on methods that are employed to catch pike and piking tales… this marries very nicely with the scientific element of the book and puts the science into practice.

Whether you are the most experienced piker in the land or a complete novice this is the book for you. It will ensure that you better understand your quarry and it will get you thinking about it as part of an ecosystem and not just in isolation. I firmly believe that this book should be in every serious angler’s bookcase.

My fishing results are proof of the Mike Ladle approach to fishing and the methods employed by Mike have enabled me to gain a great degree of satisfaction in my hobby. My final thoughts…

Ignore this book at your peril!

Tactical Pike Fishing by Mike Ladle and Jerome Masters is published by Crowood Press £19.95 ( and worth every penny!)

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