%T AFN Australian Fish Guide 2nd Edition %A Fank Prokop %D 2000
This review is by Alicia Smith and may not be reproduced without permission. Please contact leeece at gmail dot com if you wish to talk about this.
This is the updated and expanded version, on which I'm not able to comment as I have not seen the comparison tome. Rob and I have recently started up fishing when we can grab a spare moment, and this book, in conjunction with the Sandgroper's Guide to Better Fishing is being a real help.
Frank Prokop resides in Western Australia, where he is the executive director of Recfishwest. Being in Perth ourselves we were gratified and somewhat suprised to find the detail on the W.A exclusive species just as good as those on the popular Eastern States species. Very much a plus for W.A anglers!
The book is in paperback format, and each fish is attractively illustrated in watercolour by Trevor Hawkins and a goodly amount of text accompanies, often quite humorously, but always with practical advice on capture (or non-capture as the case maybe, ie, if you catch a stonefish the book strongly advises to cut the line and let the beast go - and that's *good* advice!).
The fish are grouped in these chapters:
Freshwater Sportfish Freshwater Bait Species Shark/Ray Species Estuary/Surf Species Reef Species Pelagic Species Saltwater Bait Species
This works well for quick finding. Individual species have subheadings of Scientific Name, Range, Description and Fishing. Range in Australia is also illustrated on a small map. Under the catchable fish a variety of fishing rigs and baits are illustrated by Geoff Wilson which is really handy for the starting fisherfolk, or for those wishing to persue unfamiliar species. The text generally also gives a guide as to flavour and how to treat your fish after its been caught, whether it should be bled etc. Alternative names are given as well.
The book also illustrates nuisance species and instructs us to abide by the laws of our various states and territories as regards to dealing with them, as well as putting back undersized, and only taking what we need, but does so in an adult, reasonable fashion.
This book is humorous, attractive, compact and more than useful with its lovely illustrations and handy rig suggestions.
From my favourite entry, The Common Pike Eel:
"This is one species of fish which can be particularly nasty when captured. They are frequently taken while drifting deeper water in estuaries for flathead, bream or mulloway. A large common pike eel when taken into a boat will thrash around, rearing onto its tail and lash out with its vicious teeth, biting everything within reach at random. These fish are also extremely hardy and can take a long time to become subdued. A far better tactic is to cut the common pike eel off beside the boat, sacrificing a hook but potentially saving the relationship with all others in the boat."
"The pike eel is regarded as quite good eating but very few make it to the table given their unfortunate habit of trying to bite the hand that fed it"
I bought my copy from Kmart for under $25.00.
10/10 and a new spotting scope when the Painted Snipe are around. (Sid and Nancy scale.)