13 Best Fishing Books Beginners and Pro's Must Read

Best Fishing Books
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Before starting your fishing adventures, you should inform and educate yourself about different aspects of fishing.

It can seem overwhelming because there are so many things to think about. For a beginner, a lot of questions appear.

Not everyone has the luxury of a seasoned angler to show them the ropes. But don't worry, there are plenty of resources to help you learn the ins and outs all by yourself.

Even if you've had some experience with a rod and reel, it's always good to brush up on your knowledge or learn new tricks you might not have known.

The last thing you want is to be perched by a body of water, struggling to get a bite, and feeling like you've wasted your time and resources - all because of a simple oversight.

Best fishing books are a fantastic starting point! They can provide essential tips, from basic techniques to advanced strategies, ensuring your fishing trips are both enjoyable and successful.

In a hurry!?

If you don't have much time use the links below to quickly find the best books for beginners and pro's for you on Amazon. You can be assured we only choose the best products...

My No. 1: NEVER AGAIN WITHOUT FISH, A Beginner`s Guide

Runner-Up: Basic Fishing: A Beginner’s Guide

13 BEST Fishing Books for Beginners

Here are books, recommended by me ...

Maybe you want to learn fly fishing, or learn how to catch a bass or carp, there is something for everyone. These books are the ones every angler should read and they are all easy to get.

All of them you can order online if you wish to do so.

My No. 1: NEVER AGAIN WITHOUT FISH (by Siniša Pintar)

Are you a beginner who is struggling to land a fish? Or do you just want to explore a bit more and improve your tactics?

Then this book might just be the right one for you!

As an experienced angler, I wanted to create a handbook that covers the majority of relevant fishing topics, but I also wanted to share some of my own stories and experiences. This book is not a standard manual, and it offers a bit more than just stating the obvious. I decided to share my personal wives and try to identify common mistakes that almost all beginners do.

When you finish reading it, hopefully, you will have enough theoretical knowledge to avoid “bad” fishing days and to have a foundation on top of which you can build your experience on the water!


Runner-Up: Basic Fishing: A Beginner’s Guide (by Wade Bourne)

This book will fascinate you and is great for anyone who recognized themselves in questions asked in the beginning of this article.

This book provides detailed information about fishing equipment, casting, lures, boats, and locations for fishing, even what to do with the fish you already caught. It is easy to read and follow authors guidelines, contains pictures and it is written in a very comprehensible way. It will teach you how to prepare yourself and fish safely and effectively.

Author, Wade Bourne, is a writer who has won many awards and has wide knowledge about fishing. If you are looking for your first book to learn how to fish, this could be the one.

It has excellent reviews and it is recommended both by beginners, who are happy with the knowledge the book provided, and by experienced anglers. Anglers who read this book say that the book helped them to start fishing properly.

Only downside is, according to some, that the book is focused mostly on streams and rivers and lacks specific content for lakes. Check it on Amazon (here).

Best Fishing Books - Basic-Guide

#3: Fishing for Dummies (by Greg Schwipps and Peter Kaminsky)

Fishing for Dummies is a book that is very recognizable by the name. Some activity “for Dummies” is a popular headline in many fields. This book is more focused on fishing techniques and casting. It will teach you techniques of bait-casting, spinning and fly-casting. That is the reason that it is suitable for multiple experience levels. For a beginner it will show how to start but for more experienced angler it will show how to upgrade your skills without going through the most basic information. In this book you will learn about technology too, and it will tell you how to use electronic and gadgets. It contains pictures in colors that help you visualize the content.

Reviews are mostly positive and readers like the fact it focuses a lot on casting technique. But because of that, this may not be ideal first fishing book for you. Downside is that it is better to have some experience before going in depth with those techniques.

#4: The Total Fishing Manual: 317 Essential Fishing Skills (by Joe Cermele)

This book is written by the editors of one famous fishing magazine. To complete it they wrote about everything they know and also did numerous interviews with other professionals. The book is a list of 317 fishing techniques, fishing gear, and all the other important parts of fishing experience. Everything written is proved to be working and following those guidelines will enable you to improve everything you need. How to pick specific gear, everything about fishing locations, how to find and lure fish and much more is a part of this book. If you are just learning how to fish, here you will find anything you can think of. Also, more experienced anglers will definitely find something to upgrade their knowledge. Unlike the previous two books, this one is for anglers fishing on the sea/ocean too.

Most of the readers find it interesting and very useful but the downside of the book is that the content is not easy to follow and it is hard to navigate through the book. To read it and get the best of it you will need a lot of concentration. If you are a knowledge-seeker and don’t want some “easy to read and relax” book, then this one is for you.

Best Fishing Books - Manual

#5: High Percentage Fishing (by Josh Alwine)

This book has more scientific approach. Focus is mostly on largemouth bass. It is a mixture of experiences gained by professional fishermen, and statistics and information. Through this book, some old beliefs about bass fishing are proved to be incorrect. Author collected an enormous amount of data and concluded, based on mathematical principles, what works the best. Topics that he wrote about are locations where we can find bass, about his life habits, how weather and lunar cycle impacts bass fishing, what are the best times for bass fishing, what bad times are, and how to lure it.

If you want to improve your bass fishing technique, this is a great book. The downside is that this book is not very useful for people who are interested in other fish species too. Also, some readers say it’s a bit tedious to read because of the statistical information. If you prefer science over old, unverified, stories, this one is for you. Even if you are not a bass lover, maybe reading this book can inspire you use same research methods for other fish species.

#6: The Complete Book of Fishing Knots, Leaders and Lines (by Lindsey Philpott)

This book is a must-have for every angler. Here you will find 50 different knots with detailed instructions and pictures how to tie them. Most of the beginners find knots to be very difficult. They require patience, steady hand and precision. With this book you can practice yourself. It will explain everything and offer tips and tricks how to be successful every time. All the knots in this book are explained with a thick monofilament line in order to be as simple as possible. When you master that skill, it will be easy to start using different lines. Except knots, author also wrote some interesting facts about them, to make the book more enjoyable to read.

Readers are satisfied with this book and find it very useful. So, check it on Amazon (here).

The downside is that sometimes is hard to follow the pictures, with some more complicated knots.

Best Fishing Books - Knots-Lines

#7: The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide (by Tom Rosenbauer)

Fly fishing is probably the hardest fishing technique, but that is one of the reasons it is so interesting. If you want to learn this technique, the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide is a book for you. It contains information about various topics, from rods, reels, leaders and knots to taking care of environment and conservation, which is a part of the this new book edition. The book is complemented with pictures. If you already have some experience, this book offers many great information and you will find something for you. Trough chapters, author explains how to choose, set up and take care about your tackle, casting technique, flies, striking, techniques for streams, still water and saltwater, and how to catch a big one.

Readers find this book absolutely amazing. It explains everything in-depth but in a very comprehensible and easy to follow way. Downsides are rarely mentioned, and the only one is that this book is more suitable for beginners and anglers with limited experience, not so much for the ones who have been practicing fly or trout fishing for a long time.

#8: The River Why (by David James Duncan)

Unlike the previously mentioned books, this is a novel. If you are not looking for “fishing manuals” and want to enjoy and relax while reading, this one is for you. In this book comedy weaves with nature, love and discovering yourself. A young fisherman runs away from his crazy family to a remote location. He goes there to find steelheads. His search for steelheads becomes a story about self-discovery and unpredictable events.

Maybe you are wondering why this book is on this list. We are all connected to nature, especially anglers who spend a lot of time in it and take what nature has to offer. Sometimes we must enjoy and relax, not just chase fish. Every fishermen has a reason why he pursuits his dream about catching fish. Also, being in nature for a long time changes us, weather we notice that or not. And it is the same with the main character of this book. So give it a try!

Readers consider this book funny, entertaining but also emotional. Easy to read and it will make you laugh. Downside is that some don’t like the way it is written, but considering this is a novel, everyone has their own taste in books.

Best Fishing Books - The River Why

#9: Fishing With Kids: A Parent’s Guide (by John Paxton)

This book is written by John Paxton. John has crafted a fishing guide designed to help parents take their kids fishing, even if the parent has never tried the sport.

It walks you through the basic gear you need, what species to target and how to find them, and gives several tips and tricks to help make your fishing adventure safe and successful.

John takes special pains to teach parents what they really need to know about the sport and its gear, and describes exactly what parents need to know without losing them in details.

At a printed length of 178 pages, Fishing With Kids: A Parent’s Guide is a substantial work that can make your child’s next fishing adventure substantially better!

#10 Incredible and true! Fishing stories (by Shaun Morey)

For every adventurer, this book is a must read!

This is not a manual or a learning book, it is about inspiration, adventure, and incredible fishing encounters all over the world!

Author travels the world and interviews anglers in different places to hear their craziest and wildest stories, which are perfectly written in a way that will inspire you, make you laugh, and wonder is it really possible!

We all know that anglers tend to exaggerate, however these incredible stories are true. If you still don’t believe me, you will change your mind now. This book contains pictures, and even video links that confirm every single event described!

It is great for beginners who need motivation but also for experienced anglers or anyone who loves fishing and reading.

From all books here, this one is among the best books that can be a cool present for any angler!

#11 How to Think Like a Fish (by Jeremy Wade)

Nothing can beat experience, and this author know is. After a lifetime on the water, you start to understand fish as you were one of them.

Among all manuals about techniques and baits, this one focuses on the fundamental knowledge, and that is how fish think and behave.

Every angler needs to know it to be able to improve their techniques. Anglers must be able to think fast, be good problem solvers, and keep their mind focused. If you lack that, not even the best equipment or baits can help you.

I find this book excellent for anglers of all experience levels and highly recommend it. Author is a very accomplished angler with some record braking catches in his lifetime, so you can rest assured that you will learn a lot! From UK, to India, big fish are there waiting to be caught and he figured out how to do it best!

It is available as hardcover, paperback, and kindle version, for everyone’s preference in the world of the best books about fishing.

Best Fishing Books - Think Like a Fish

#12 Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes (by Lawrence M. Page and Brooks M. Burr)

The next one is the Peterson guide.

What makes it one of the best books on fishing is that it focuses on all available freshwater species in North America.

This continent is among the best for fishing due to huge areas of untouched nature, numerous bodies of water, and hundreds of fish species.

Second edition contains new species that showed up in recent years, and were not present before, as well as all original ones mentioned in first edition.

Identifying fish and knowing about them can significantly improve your fishing success. You have to know where to find fish, and this book will teach you how. Besides pure text, there are very detailed maps that will guide you to all the perfect fishing places!

Illustrated plates focus on even the slightest differences among some fish species that are otherwise hard to recognize, and teaches you how to distinguish them.

And don’t think that fishing guide books like this are only for those living in North America. If you plan to travel there from abroad, this book can be great to familiarize yourself with species before you arrive. Or just to read it and learn something new and interesting.

#13: A River Runs through It and Other Stories (by Norman MacLean)

Norman Maclean's book "A River Runs Through It and Other Stories" is another classic and a profound reflection of early 20th-century life in Montana, woven with the vibrant threads of nature, family, and the art of fly-fishing. 

The narrative's heartbeat is found in the lush descriptions of the landscape and in the nuanced portrayal of human relationships.

Maclean's prose is as clear and refreshing as the mountain streams he depicts. His stories, tinged with both humor and sorrow, are deeply human and universally resonant. This collection is a testament to the enduring beauty of the American West and the complexity of the human spirit.

Learn-about-Fishing-Books-Best - My Recommendations

Frequently Asked Questions About Fishing Books

In case that you need any more answers before deciding which fishing book would be the best for you, here are some frequently asked questions about fishing books.

What to Look for When Buying New Fishing Book?

There are many fishing books available on the market, and they all have something insightful to offer. However, not all fishing books are the same.

Whether you are buying it for yourself, or as a present, think about the following:

  • What do I want to learn? - something about baits? Equipment? Knots? Techniques for trout? Choose a book that contains all the necessary chapters.

  • How many pages it has? - some people like to read a lot, while other want just a brief explanations and guidelines. Writing style should suit your needs.

  • Is it a fishing manual or a "story"? - fishing manuals are there to teach you new things, while stories are there for you to relax and dive into fishing world while you are away from the water.

  • What kind of fishing I want to learn? - is it related to specific species or techniques? Freshwater or saltwater? Winter or summer? Choose a book that covers your topics.

  • E-book or hard copy? - some books come in both versions, while others are available only as an e-book or a hard copy. Choose the one that you will like more. Even audiobooks are available.

  • Is it for my experience level? - Angling books for beginners are different than those for very experienced anglers. If you are learning from the beginning, don't go for specialized ones as you won't get that initial info you need to start fishing properly.

Of course, there are other features to consider, like graphs, pictures, tables, and everything else you want in a book.

Learn-about-Fishing-Books-Best - What to Look When Buying

What are the Most Popular Fishing Book Genres / Types?

Whether you are checking out best books for beginners or manuals for very experienced anglers, they all fall into certain category of books. Among the most popular ones are the following:

Memoirs and Biographies

Memoirs and biographies are there for every angler to enjoy, no matter the experience level. You can see the fishing world from someone else experience, see what motivates them, and maybe even learn something from their experience.

For those who love to read and relax their mind while away from water, this type of books is an excellent choice.

Fishing Techniques and Tips

When it comes to how to fish books, those are the most prevalent on the market among all types. Some were mentioned here, like "High percentage fishing" or "The total fishing manuals".

These books are extremely useful, and some of them can even become a part of your tackle box, to check out on the water, when you need to change your approach. One of the best examples is "The complete book of fishing knots".

Those who have a specific fishing problem or want to learn new techniques, should get one of the manuals that mentions their preferred topics.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing books fall into the category of outdoor and sports literature, catering to the interests of avid anglers and nature enthusiasts.

These books cover a range of topics related to fly fishing, including techniques for casting and presenting flies, understanding the behavior of different fish species like brown trout, rainbow trout, and salmon, as well as identifying the insects and bugs that they feed on in a process called "matching the hatch". 

Fly fishing books often provide insights into specific trout streams and rivers, offering valuable information on the best times to fish certain areas and the most effective flies to use.

Many of these books also include how-to guides for beginners looking to hone their skills with a fly rod, making them essential resources for anyone looking to become a proficient fly fisherman.

Best Fishing Books - Fly

Fishing Fiction

Fishing fiction can be a great choice for those who like novels and stories in general. And when they are about fishing, that's even better!

If you recognize yourself here, I advise you to read "The river why". This book is about life, nature, and finding yourself in it.

Although fiction, we can all find a part of ourselves in it, and it is a good read during those days when you cant be casting your rod on a shore!

Conservation and History

Although you may not think about it, conservation and history have a huge impact on recreational angling.

Rules and regulations change trough years, climate changes, and fish species change their numbers and locations. What happened in the past affects you today, and what we as a society do today, will affect new generations of anglers.

For a true nature lover who is not just about fishing results, books in this category are an excellent choice.

Humor and Poetry

There is nothing better than feeling happy, so why not reading humoristic fishing books! To brighten up your bad days, or to make good ones even better!

The same goes for poetry. When you think about it, fishing is poetic. You do it for adventure and love, and you are one with nature.

For all of you who are happy romantics about everything in life, these may be the best choices!

Learn-about-Fishing-Books-Best - Genres and Types

What are the Benefits of Reading (Fishing) Books?

First of all - books are much longer than internet articles. In books, everything is explained in depth.

Topics are various; they cover almost everything you should learn as a beginner. Secondly, not anyone can write a book. Fishing books are reliable sources of knowledge. For an experienced angler they provide detailed information that he can later use to upgrade everything he already knows.

Reading a book or two takes more time than watching a ten minute video. While reading you have time to think about what do you want from fishing experience.

You will not make a quick decision to buy something you don’t actually need or to skip all the beginners’ steps and try to become an expert overnight.

Fishing books will establish a good knowledge foundation on which you can build up your practice. You can always combine books with other sources of information.

You can read a book anytime, anywhere. You don’t need internet access to read a book, and you can enjoy a fishing book at times you can’t go fishing.

Maybe you are already very experienced angler, but there is always something you don’t know. Books are a great asset to find out new information that will boost your skills ...

Fishing books will take you to a journey to the fishing world from the comfort of your home. You will connect with the authors reading this great literature and imagine yourself practicing new skills when the time comes.

Can I Buy a Fishing Book as a Gift for Fisherman?

Yes, you definitely can!

Books are incredible presents that will amaze any angler who loves to read. Even if they are not passionate about reading as they are about fishing, a good book will make them interested.

It is a great way of diving into a world of fishing from the comfort of your living room. You can choose books in accordance with experience level. Manuals are great for beginners, while various fishing stories are great for professionals.

Besides, a book will last for a lifetime and it will remind your loved one of you every time they see it!

Learn about Fishing - Fishing Books Every Angler Should Read


If you wanted to choose a book to learn how to fish, hopefully this list helped you to choose a right one.

With all the content available, sometimes is hard to decide what is the best. Fishing books are a great source of knowledge and entertainment. Even if you think you already know everything, there is nothing wrong with refreshing your memories.

Every book has its advantages and it’s up to you to decide which one is the best for you. Topics and writing styles are various and there is something for everyone’s taste. Books can be an inspiration for our fishing adventures during times we can’t do anything but read.

About Me

Slo-fishing - About Us


I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind Slo-fishing.si and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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