I’ve known Mike Thrussell for a very long time, and for many years one of my jobs was to call him on a weekly basis to get the catch prospects for his area of coastline (and what a big area it was). Mike was, and still is, a total professional, and added to the fact that he is a gifted writer, it was always a joy to work with him. In fact, chatting to Mike became one of the highlights of my week and we became friends before we ever met.
Personally Mike is almost pathologically modest, to the extent that he reports his catches in a way that verges on the apologetic, and he is the same with his writing, producing books, articles and blogs that are easy to read, with no hullaballoo.
Mike’s early books on bass and shark fishing set the mark on what angling books should be. Great advice dispensed in an easy to understand yet entertaining manner. His latest book, ‘The Tactical Shore Angler’, follows that same successful format.
At just over 220 pages long the amount of information packed into this book is truly astonishing, and better than that it is timeless.
The stalling point on many ‘how to’ style books is that angling is, and always has been, a progressive sport, and the information held in the pages of some books can become dated surprisingly quickly. Today’s hot off the press is tomorrow’s old news. That isn’t to say that there aren’t hidden gems of information that remain precious through the years, but they can be hard to find.
‘The Tactical Shore Angler’ deals, as much as possible, in constants – things that don’t change – which allow solid angling platforms to be built on them. Basic information such as fish shapes and physiology, weather patterns, and tides all have strong bearings on how to pursue the various species, especially in respect of how their behaviour is affected.
Similarly, there is great detail on how to read the many and varied types of venues that shore anglers will encounter, with invaluable information on where the different species are likely to be found on them.
The genius in Mike Thrussell’s writing is that he can make subjects that could potentially be a rather dull read interesting, as well as enlightening.
He doesn’t just cover the ‘how to’ he explains why it works as well.
Rigs and tackle are an area where Father Time can frown unkindly on the written word, but Mike has cleverly removed the threat of obsolescence by covering basic rigs that have birthed (and continue to do so) ever more sophisticated variants. Some of the rigs shown are already sophisticated in some degree, but what they have in common is that they are invariably the starting point, and they still work.
In respect of tackle, only one item is covered in depth – hooks. These are, after all, our first point of contact with the fish and they are of paramount importance. Again, the basic patterns are well covered, with good guidance in respect of matching hook choice correctly with baits, methods and intended quarry.
Bait choices are covered, as is bite detection, the latter touching on rod and beach tripod design, with the greater detail on how best to position the rod to enhance your chances of spotting bites at an early stage.
Finally, as you would expect from an angler of Mike’s experience, there are some tips and tricks guaranteed to bring you a few extra fish. Although this is positioned at the end of the book it is the chapter that most anglers will turn to first – even though they will gain even more benefit by reading what comes before it.
This book is an invaluable guide for the bait fishing shore angler, no matter what level of expertise they are at.
I guarantee that there is information in it which, if applied correctly, will increase your catches, and your enjoyment of our sport for years to come.
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