Although you could probably count the maximum number of times I'll go spinning for salmon in the next year on one finger (yes, you did read that correctly!), I do feel that it's appropriate for me to write a few words about a book I've been reading recently – Spinning For Salmon by Gary Webster.
Spinning For Salmon is what I'd describe as a good old-fashioned instructional fishing book. By that, I don't mean that it's not relevant for today's angler. Quite the opposite, in fact. What I mean is that it's the sort of book that I used to metaphorically devour as a child. It's one that somebody with very little knowledge can pick up, read, and get out there and put into practice.
The rate at which fishing books are churned out these days is incredible, but most of them seem to be almost autobiographical in their nature. That's fine if you want to while away a few hours just for the sake of entertainment, but you won't necessarily improve your fishing by reading them. In the introduction of this book, there's a section entitled 'How This Manual Is Put Together'. To me, that sums up the book perfectly. It's a manual; in the same way I might buy a Haynes manual if I wanted to fix my car, this book will fix my fishing, should I choose to start spinning for salmon.
After a brief introduction to the Atlantic Salmon, the author spends a considerable number of pages taking the reader through some of the spinning baits out there. As with a lot of fishing tackle, much of what's commercially available is designed to catch anglers first and fish second. This section explains what colours, actions, patterns, etc. you should be looking for and also recommends some specific lures to buy. When fishing for salmon, you don't want to waste time and effort putting the wrong lure in front of its nose, so selection is crucuial.
The next section covers 'Covering, Hooking, Playing and Landing Salmon'. Covering, in my mind, is the most important part. The rest can't happen if you get that bit wrong! Gary Webster covers all the bases for putting the lure in the strike zone, whilst ensuring you've got it at the right depth and speed, giving various techniques for different retrieves in the current. This is the chapter that anyone planning to fish for salmon with spinners should read and read and read.
The final section is called the 'Tactical Guide'. Here, the author imparts some of his knowledge of reading the water, the weather, the fish..everything!
Spinning For Salmon is 192-pages ong, including the index, and must rate as an essential read for anyone planning to do what it says on the cover! Whether fishing from the bank or boat, everyone from a novice to a seasoned salmon-angler will find something of use.
With a recommended price of just £12.99, colour photographs and black and white diagrams to accompany the text, it really is a no-brainer. Buy it!
Available from Robert Hale Publishing – www.halebooks.com