Book Review – The Lure Of The Bass by Marc Cowling

When I was a young man and I bought a new (to me) car, one of the first things that I did was purchase a Haynes Manual. The Haynes Manual team stripped a car down to a pile of nuts, bolts, gaskets and springs, and then rebuilt it. Each process of the strip-down and re-build was photographed and described in detail. So much so that a total mechanical ‘numpty’ like me could have some degree of confidence in tackling repair jobs on the car, that without the book, I would not have dared to attempt.

The Lure of The Bass is the Haynes Manual of bass angling with lures. Every aspect (apart from bucktail jigs) appears to be covered. I would describe the book as almost scientific in its approach.

Firstly, I have to say that I bought my copy of the book from Marc. I didn’t get a free book to review. Even though he knew that I would be reviewing it, I wanted to pay because I could be completely honest in sharing my thoughts about Marc’s writing skills and bass knowledge.

It would be safe to say that, once it was known that a new bass book, of this type, was in the pipeline and that it would be published later in 2018, there were a lot of people counting down the days to get their hands on a copy. Let’s face it, new books about our favourite fish are few and far between. So, can you reinvent the wheel, or the bass book, in this case? Yes, I think you can. I can’t recall another bass book that is quite like this one.

Marc is a bass guide and a fairly new one at that, but his knowledge of fishing, and bass fishing in particular, is built on strong foundations. Fishing has been his passion from childhood, and since his change of career to take up bass guiding, he has built on those knowledge foundations with hours, days, and nights, of fishing and research.

Marc has an excellent web-blog called South Devon Bass Guide and the encouraging words that he received in response to his blog posts was, he says, what motivated him to write this book. The book covers every inch of the subject of bass lure fishing. If there 1s a book that the beginning lure angler really ought to read, and the experienced bass angler should have in his library, then this is it.

The book starts with a Foreword by Henry Gilbey, but don’t let that put you off (only joking Henry). This is followed by an introduction by Marc in which he recounts the capture of a bass caught more than twenty years ago. He caught it on an eleven-foot carp rod, a 5000-size bait-runner reel, 12lb monofilament line and a cheap shallow diving lure. It is a tale that all us anglers of a certain age can exactly relate to.

The subsequent chapters cover everything from the food items bass eat, locating fish, tackle choices in minute detail, even down to the best lure clip. And these factual aspects about lures, rods, locations, etc., are interspersed with reminiscences about solo fishing trips or guided sessions that are so vividly described that you could almost be there helping land the bass.

Virtually every lure type is covered; hard lures of all kinds, soft plastics, jig-heads, metals, needle lures, and so on, all are described, with details of when, where and how to fish them.

What I particularly like about the book, however, is the time that Marc has spent meticulously gathering information about his catches and openly — sharing that knowledge with his readership. Percentage catches caught in various conditions are all noted, from the size of the lure, to the clarity of the water, to the lunar cycle, to the height of the swell, to sea temperature, and to the barometric pressure readings. Marc has really put some effort into being a good, knowledgeable bass guide and this he injects into the pages of the book. What is more, the visual charts with all this information on are easy to absorb.

The annotated photographs of potential bass holding spots, and the lure to real bait comparisons, are invaluable in assisting the constantly knowledge hungry bass angler in their quest for silver.

Furthermore, it is good to see a book that allocates some space to advise anglers on safety equipment that we should wear or carry when fishing. For £16.99, less than the price of a decent quality hard lure, you can get this book, which contains so much knowledge and inspiration between the covers of its 212 pages. It is bang up-to-date, and will, in time, join the other classic bass books by those famous bass writers, past and present, in the library of every bass angler, to be read and re-read on those days when we can’t get out to wet a line.

A great book, well done Marc.

Author: Nigel Fairclough

Published in softback at £16.99, plus £1.99 postage. Available from southdeveonbassguide.com

 

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