It is often said that there's a book in all of us. I've no doubt that this is true, but only a small percentage ever come to fruition. Even if you did commit to writing a book (and let's face facts, it's quite a commitment – they don't just 'appear'. Well, not unless you employ the services of a ghost-writer!), the chances of getting a publisher interested are slim, particularly in the world of angling. Fishing book sales are not on a par with Harry Potter, that's for sure, and many lose money.
For most of us, the only route to market would be self-publishing...and that could be scary. Not for George Mason, though. Having had a look at his website, I can see that he has confidence in his ability and has even published a book about publishing a book!
Fishing: Learn From The Tips & Laugh At The Tales appears to be his first angling publication. Like many of us, George Mason has fished since he was a youngster and picked up many tips and humorous tales in that time. This book contains a selection. The tips take up about two-thirds of the book, with the tales completing the final third.
Living in the Midlands, most of George's fishing seems to be freshwater based. By his own admission, he isn't a 'celebrity' angler. He's a normal bloke who enjoys fishing, has had some moderate success fishing matches at local level, and likes to write.
The 'Tips' section is broken down into subsections, namely 'Bait', 'Tackle' and 'Matches', with ten articles in each category. I've been fishing for nearly 35 years now, so most of what George says isn't new to me, but there would definitely be something in there for newcomers to the sport, and there were certainly some bits that made me think. Angling isn't an exact science, and we all have different ideas of what's 'right' and 'wrong', so digesting as much written and practical knowledge as you can will always help, whether you're a 6-year old boy just starting out, or an 80-year old seasoned veteran.
As each chapter is written in a fairly informal style, there's also more chance that some of it might sink in than if it was written text-book style. It's a bit like you're hearing it from a 'grown-up' who's taken you fishing.
For me, the 'Tales' part of the book was the most entertaining. I meet a lot of anglers, as I'm sure many of you do. Wherever you go in the world, fishing with a rod and line is something that breaks down barriers. You can be in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country, but you'll still get somebody coming up to you and asking how you're getting on. This often leads to a bit of banter and reminiscing, and that's what the 'Tales' part of this book is.
One particular tale makes me chuckle every time I think of it. I won't ruin it by repeating it here, but I'm pretty sure that anyone reading the book would wish they'd been present when Colin Brown did what Colin Brown did with his one-piece fishing suit...
Fishing: Learn From The Tips & Laugh At The Tales is certainly worth a read and I take my hat off to George Mason for not just writing it, but also for seeing it through to the end. It must have been a proud moment when he saw it for sale on the likes of Amazon. I sincerely hope it sells well enough to motivate him to do another, but on a purely selfish level, I'd love it to be more heavily weighted towards tales than tips.
Fishing: Learn From The Tips & Laugh At The Tales is available in paperback from Amazon. The cover price is £8.99. Click here for more details.