GFF book review

Weird Ways

Author: John Waldman
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John Waldman
100 Weird Ways to Catch Fish
Stackpole Books, 2005

GFF rating: 5 out of 7

Reviewed by Martin Joergensen

About a year go GFF visitor and author John Waldman (of "Stripers, An Angler's Anthology" fame) posted a message on our discussion board with the subject "World's Strangest & Most Clever Fishing Techniques".

In this message he called for assistance on strange ways of catching fish. The message spawned quite a good number of answers of which I'm sure you will find a few in the book that came from Waldman's inquiry - amongst other sources of course.

The book is entitled "100 Wierd Ways to Catch Fish", and has been in my shelf for a while now. I thought it was about time to write down my opinion on this little pearl, which I had great fun with when it first arrived.

It is of course not a fly fishing book per se. We might consider fly-fishing weird and I'm certain that a majority of non-fishing (and even fishing) people do, but Waldman, who himself is a die-hard angler, needs weirder ways for sure!

I need not tell you that some of these methods are beyond strange. I giggled more than once while reading through the book, and was struck by surprise by the strange inventions thought out to get fish to hand. Some are far beyond what can be described here in a few words, while some seem a bit more ordinary in spite of their strangeness. How about tickling trout? Or catching fish on lures with no hook? Or using animals or birds as aides? Most of us have heard about those. But using spider-web for a net? Stepping on flat fish and picking up by hand? Stilt fishing, anyone?

This book covers them all and many more.

Waldman writes in an enthusiastical and entertaining way, and the book is perfect as a bedside companion, divided into suitably small bites of text. Some methods are illustrated with drawings or photos, but most are just described in text. Waldman, being a scientist, is quite accurate in his account of each method, and often quote sources and origin.

The methods are sequenced by name and alphabetical order, and that ensures a helter-skelter read through what really is World's Strangest & Most Clever Fishing Techniques.

Definitely worth its 20 dollar price tag, and a great gift to any angler.

PS: Waldman does presentations on the subject by the way, and one is coming up in mid-September at Stony Brook University, so if you are nearby Long Island on September the 16, 2005, you can get the stories from the author himself.

The book can be bought directly from Stackpole Books.

Fishing for sturgeon with a Volkswagen beetle and a giant sling!

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User comments
From: Nycflyangler · none·at·  Link
Submitted August 11th 2010

Great book.

My sister, as a kid, used to be able to just put her hand into the Orvis trout pond and lift out a trout in her cupped hand.

The section on huxing is priceless.

Huxing is a technique of attaching a line to a goose or duck by wrapping it under under the left wing and over the left wing and then aroud the body like a belt. Then a baited hook was attached to the line at the foot or the wing. The waterfowl was then released. A pike would then take the bait and the water fowl would begin honking and trying to fly off and make it to shore.

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