The best fishing books 📚

Browse the best books on fishing as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of Fishing Dogs: A Guide to the History, Talents, and Training of the Baildale, the Flounderhounder, the Angler Dog, and Sundry Other Breeds of Aquatic Dogs

Fishing Dogs: A Guide to the History, Talents, and Training of the Baildale, the Flounderhounder, the Angler Dog, and Sundry Other Breeds of Aquatic Dogs

By Raymond Coppinger, Peter Pinardi

Why this book?

My good friend Ray Coppinger, who died in 2017 at age 80, was known as the world’s leading scientific expert on the behavior of dogs. As well as writing some of the most important scholarly works on dog behavior, he also penned this slim volume - the hands-down funniest book about the dog-human relationship. Ray could act impatient when people got mushy about their dogs, but in this small gem he reveals that he understood the emotional bond between people and dogs at a very deep level. 

From the list:

The best books on how dogs love people

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Book cover of Fishing in Africa: A Guide to War and Corruption

Fishing in Africa: A Guide to War and Corruption

By Andrew Buckoke

Why this book?

A revealing portrait of 80s/90s Africa from a journalist who had covered many of the continent’s trouble spots for major British newspapers. Through his journeys you get to meet a wide range of players from fighters in the bush to aid executives and politicians in executive suites. A fascinating mix of travel writing and political analysis (and yes with some fishing thrown in). 

From the list:

The best African set political thrillers

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Book cover of Nights of Ice

Nights of Ice

By Spike Walker

Why this book?

Spike Walker is another writer that has inspired me. Working at sea in Alaska is to tempt fate amid the savage spectacle of nature in raw form. Men are trapped on boats for weeks and even months. Even a safe journey can drive men to the edge. However, in Alaska, disaster can arise at moment’s notice—and often does. Walker tells Alaska sea stories better than anyone. In Nights of Ice, he shares seven amazing stories of disaster and survival. The stories come alive, as Walker has worked on the edge himself. Now he tells some of the greatest Alaskan sea…
From the list:

The best books of the sea

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Book cover of The Hollow House

The Hollow House

By Carlo Dellonte

Why this book?

A man is driving to some oceanside cliffs to end his life. On the way, he stops for a night at a B&B in a small fishing village. He meets a girl, who has disappeared in the morning, and the man thinks, “What the heck. I’ll just stick around here and pretend I’m the girl’s boyfriend (who no one in the village has met before) and wait until she returns.” The villagers grow increasingly suspicious (about everything, it seems) and the man is soon caught in an uncontrollable deception of his own making.

This is a really odd, really…

From the list:

The best books that leave you questioning identity (and maybe reality, too)

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Book cover of Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish

Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish

By G. Bruce Knecht

Why this book?

If you’ve ever considered eating “sustainably” fished seafood, this book will open your eyes to the fact that there is no such thing as truly sustainable fishing. Through stories of modern-day, high-seas piracy, you’ll get a better understanding of how rogue fishing vessels will go anywhere, legal or otherwise, to make a profit. And that one of many reasons why fish species are in great decline everywhere. But this is a demand-driven problem, which means we all have a role to play in solving it.

From the list:

The best books about saving the oceans

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Book cover of The Fisherman

The Fisherman

By John Langan

Why this book?

This book tells a small, human story of grief and loss, set in a cleverly nested series of reveals about the horror of the history of a particular area. What I loved most about this book was the grandness and scale of the eldritch creatures that the characters face (at different times, with different weapons, and with varied ideas of what on earth is going on)--this felt truly cosmic to me, a real look into the abyss. I also loved how the horrors were presented in the mind as well as the world, which constantly kept me on my toes.

From the list:

The best modern cosmic horror

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