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Stores and libraries are filled with dozens of fishing books. Most of them focus on one particular species, aspect, or approach, such as flyfishing, bass fishing, or surf fishing. But the following ten volumes will form an excellent base for your own fishing-book collection:

Advanced Tactics for Bass & Trout by Jerry Gibbs; Stackpole Books/Outdoor Life Books; 1987. Professional advice on the best tackle and fishing techniques for the two most popular freshwater species in

Black's Fly Fishing; Black's Sporting Directories; JFB Inc. An annually updated guide to flyfishing tackle manufacturers, instructors, guides, and destinations.

Coastal Angling Guide by Tom Schlichter; Stackpole Books/Northeast Sportsman's Press; 1989. Species, tactics, and tackle for popular Northeast saltwater species, with a special section on party-boat fishing.

Guide to Freshwater Fishing Boats by Mike Toth; Hearst Marine Books, 1995. Yes, this is a shameless plug. Covers the basic design and uses of all freshwater craft; with a special section on freshwater species.

McClane's New Standard Fishing Encyclopedia and International Angling Guide, edited by A.J. McClane; Holt, Rinehart and Winston. This is the authoritative reference on fish species worldwide. Although it has not been updated since 1974, and some of its content reflects such age, McClane's is probably the most complete and reliable species text in existence.

The New American Trout Fishing by John Merwin; Macmillan Publishing Co.; 1994. A modern treatise (see Trout below) on the sport today.

Practical Fishing Knots by Mark Sosin and Lefty Kreh; Crown Publishers, Inc.; 1972. A thorough instructional guide on tying all types of knots for all types of fishing.

Smallmouth Strategies for the Fly Rod by Will Ryan; Lyons & Burford; 1996. A well-written, complete guide to flyfishing for smallmouth bass in all types of habitat throughout the year.

Surf Fishing the Atlantic Coast by Eric B. Burnley; Stackpole Books; 1989. An easy-to-read and well-illustrated guide to fishing beaches and jetties from Maine to Florida.

Trout by Ray Bergman; Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. First published in 1938, this second revised edition has become a classic treatise on trout fishing in the United States. Its age is advantageous in that it allows the beginner to learn about the modern-day infancy of the sport.

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