Saltwater Game Fishes of The World, An Illustrated History by Bob Dunn and Peter Goadby
Reviewed by Terry Lawton
Saltwater Game Fishes of The World, An Illustrated History, by Bob Dunn and Peter Goadby, is a most impressive work of scholarship. It is a big, coffee-table size work that is wonderfully and copiously illustrated. Saltwater Game Fishes is divided into three parts: The Naturalists, The Fishes, and The Anglers.
The Naturalists, starting with Aristotle, looks at the history of the study of fish through to the 19th century. This section covers the first nine chapters of the book. The Fishes covers the broadbill swordfish, sailfish and marlin, tuna and mackerel, sharks, dolphin, bluefish, striped bass, tarpon, bonefish and cobia - which is new to me. Zane Grey is quoted as stating in 1936 that the bonefish was the most challenging of the fish that he had caught. And this from a man who spent the best part of a life-time chasing giant marlin, bluefin tuna and every game fish that swims.
The final chapters cover the origins of sea fishing as a sport, the pioneers of ocean gamefishing, the tackle used, early writings on saltwater fishing and salwater gamefishing classics and a final chapter on the sport coming of age.
The book ends with an extensive but selected bibliography, illustration credits and a comprehensive index.
I am sure that one of the attractions of researching and writing this book must have been the characters involved, the tackle they used and the wonderful illustrations - mosaics, paintings and photographs.
Bob Dunn has been an angler for over 30 years and has enjoyed many facets of saltwater fishing including saltwater fly fishing. He has written two books on the history of Australian angling and when not fishing or writing about it, operates under the name Antiquarian Angler as a specialist dealer in old fishibg books, prints, antique tackle and memorabilia.
His fellow author, Peter Goadby, is a leading big game angler and author and is described on the dust jacket as a 'living legend'. He has fished many of the world's best hot spots and his knowledge and counsel on big game fish is sought by anglers and scientists alike.
As Michael Leech, president of the International Game Fish Association, writes in his foreword 'This book is not just a book for saltwater anglers. All anglers, whatever their individual persuasion, will benefit from this erudite and highly readable investigation of the origins of their sport.' Angling has a wonderful literary heritage and this book will enhance that heritage.
Saltwater Game Fishes of The World, An Illustrated History, by Bob Dunn and Peter Goadby. 292 pages hardback, published by Australian Fishing Network and available from Coch-Y-Bonddu Books at £60.
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