Freshwater fishing is, arguably, the most popular and common form of fishing activities. Not only is freshwater in abundance in numerous locations across the world, but it’s also relatively easy to pick up due to how simple the equipment is to use.
If you find yourself wanting to learn more about freshwater fishing, be that to get yourself set up properly or to refresh the knowledge you already have, then you need to get reading. There’s plenty of freshwater fishing books out there, but the ones we’ll be covering are some of the best.
The Top Six Freshwater Fishing Books
The Complete Guide to Freshwater Fishing (The Freshwater Angler), By Creative Publishing
First on our list is this 2001 released book, coming from the editors over at Creative Publishing. Despite not being the most attractive looking or up to date publication, this guide has a lot of information to bestow its readers.
Upon its pages are 500 photographs of anglers in action, fishing tips from some of the (then) top North American fishing experts, details about different fishing species, and advice on different techniques.
Considering the book is only 288 pages long, there’s quite a lot of information covered in a short space of time. Not that you need to worry about ease of read, for this guide is written in a format that makes it ideal to novice and intermediate fishers alike.
Freshwater Fishing Tips & Techniques: A Fully Illustrated Guide to Freshwater Fishing, By Gene Kugach
Described as a “great little book”, you’d be forgiven for thinking this a small publication, when in fact, Gene Kugah’s book spans 2034 pages. Granted, it isn’t a lengthy read, but it still has plenty for you to learn.
Before you read its advice however, it’s important to remember that this title was released in 1997 and so some of its references will be outdated. Nevertheless, while there’ll be some old fashioned commentary in there, the advice will still be beneficial to fishers.
This book will give you a breakdown of the bait to use, the species to fish for, and even how to prepare what you catch that day. It’s the perfect all rounder for new freshwater fishers, as reinforced by its readers.
The Ultimate Guide to Freshwater Fishing, By North American Fishing Club
Our next book might not be as old as Kugah’s title, but it isn’t far off; published in 2003, this is an old timer when compared with more contemporary books. Yet, the amount of detail and sheer volume of information makes this North American Fishing Club guide a goldmine.
Consisting of over 400 pages, it’s by far one of the larger publications on this list, meaning you’ll need to set enough time aside to properly soak up its wisdom. Alongside its detailed chapters on baiting, tried and tested techniques on the water, and various other topics, there’s also over 1,000 photographs to help guide you.
Few readers have given this book below five stars, commenting on it being “the best” fishing book there is. Having read some of its contents for ourselves, it’s not hard to understand why they say this — this book has a little of everything covered within its pages.
The Art of Freshwater Fishing: A How-To Guide (The Freshwater Angler), By Creative Publishing
We have another installment from Creative Publishing, this time from 1998, roughly three years prior to when their Complete Guide to Freshwater Fishing was released.
Think of this book as the foundation of which their later book builds upon. Although this book is less than 200 pages long, it discusses how to locate and successfully catch some of the most common freshwater fish. Furthermore, it does so by using detailed, high quality photographs alongside concise, informative paragraphs of information.
Given the lack of depth in this book, which stands to reason considering its short length, it’s unsurprising that many fishers think of this as a beginners guide to freshwater fishing. This is because it covers a lot of topics but in a brief way, with further reading needing to build upon what you’ve just learnt.
Ken Schultz’s Field Guide to Freshwater Fish, By Ken Schultz
If you prefer to keep your reading materials short, then this guide from Ken Schultz will fit into your life nicely. At only 266 pages in length, this guide is a compact means of getting all the essential information for fishing.
Not only do you get to learn about baiting, a full colour walkthrough of the 140 plus fish species, etc, but you also get the experience of Schultz himself, who was a Field and Stream fishing writer/editor from back in the 1970s. What is more, Schultz was even inducted into the holy grail of fisher communities, the Fishing Hall of Fame, back in the late 1990s.
Some readers may find Schultz’ approach more old school, however, the feedback and reviews are generally positive and favourable, thus making this another essential read.
Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes, Second Edition (Peterson Field Guides), By Lawrence M. Page Et Al
Not only is the last book on our list the longest in length at 688 pages, but it’s also one of the more recent publications, having been released in 2011.
This hefty book has been hailed as a great read for any level of fisher, due to how thorough the information provided. From providing maps of local freshwater hotspots (in the US), to a helpful guide on how to tell different species apart, this book packs it all in.
Combining science, experience, and firsthand stories, this is a guide that has a little of everything for its readers. It even includes high quality photography to help guide you through its sections.
Despite being regarded as the simpler fishing activity to enjoy, freshwater fishing isn’t without a need for skill. This is why so many books on the subject have been created and read by critics and fishers alike — because there’s always more to learn.
If you feel the need to brush up on your techniques, or perhaps you’re hoping to learn a few more, then the books we’ve covered here are six of the best publications to use. Granted, some of these titles are better suited to beginners, however, that doesn’t take away from the essential information they provide.