Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle

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My barbless carp hook tied direct to braid.'

Review - Successful Shore Angling.

Phil Arnott is a skilled angler who I’ve known for a good many years, although we’ve rarely met. I know that he’s been working on his shore fishing book for some time too, so it wasn’t a total surprise when a review copy dropped through the letterbox. Anyway, here’s a little review:-

Although Phil and I are both keen shore anglers, of many years experience, our approaches are as different as chalk and cheese. Whereas nearly all my fish are caught by spinning, fly fishing or freelining, Phil is a dyed in the wool beach and rock fisherman, particularly well versed in the traditional approaches of the Yorkshire coast. However, he’s certainly not closed minded and he’s not averse to a spot of mullet fishing, pollack spinning or what have you. He also catches his fair share of bass and bream but there’s no doubt that the book is going to be of most interest to anglers of like mind to Phil who are steeped in the lore of cod fishing. When it comes to where, when and how to tempt a cod from the submarine undulations of sandy beaches or perhaps the best approach for winning the next match (how often you should reel in to change your bait etc.) Phil’s your man.

As far as I am concerned the book falls into three sections – the first two being areas which have always been a bit of a mystery to me, so I have to accept them largely at face value. Firstly there are detailed descriptions of how, where and when to find fish on what may seem to be miles of featureless sandy shoreline. Secondly there is quite a bit of detail about rigs, baits, tackle and approaches to shore fishing in general aimed at maximising catches. Refreshingly, the book does not (like so many before it) go through how to recognise and identify each and every species, although there are few paragraphs on suitable tactics for some of the common fish. Lastly there is a series of pleasant anecdotes and fishing tales which recall battles with decent tope, stingrays, cod, bass and mullet as well as how he and his pals winkle out blennies, triggerfish, small species of wrasse and the like.

Essentially this is an account of one sea angler’s approach to fishing from the shore. After reading it you’ll feel that you know Phil Arnott and his fishing. The book is nicely produced in hard covers. The text is well written, if a bit small for my aged eyes, and there are few typos or errors of any kind. Pictures range from nice, full page, colour views of marks and smaller insets of fish and tackle to diagrams of tidal movements.

Successful Shore Angling by Phil Arnott - published by Medlar Press – price £25

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com