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Mark D. Williams

Professional Fishing Expert

Best Fishing Books & Fly Fishing Books

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How-to books are usually boring, often dry and humorless, missing key components like diagrams that actually show you what to do. For the purposes of this list, I will assume you don’t fish much or you wouldn’t need a how-to book. For this list, I selected a cross-section of the best conventional how-to books for fresh or salt, bass, or trout and these books are thorough, interesting, and surprisingly, often humorous.

When you're ready to learn how to fish, turn to our experts who will recommend the best fishing books. Learn how to fly fishing books, trout fishing book selections and salmon fishing books give you the advice you need.

Best Learn-to-Fish Books by Mark D. Williams

The Best You Can Get

  • The Field & Stream Bass-Fishing Handbook

    Mark says: Take two of the top experts in the sport of fishing and let them put everything they know about bass fishing in one book and voila! One great how-to book. Dozens of schematics and maps, loaded with useful quick tips, chockfull of strategies and techniques. The book covers how to catch both largemouth and smallmouth bass in lakes, rivers and other watery places.

    • by Mark Sosin and Bill Dance
    • 128 pages
    • Lyons Press
  • What Fish Don't Want You to Know: An Insider's Guide to Freshwater Fishing

    Mark says: This outside-of-the-box how-to book includes numerous photographs and illustrations, easy-to-follow instructions, amusing anecdotes and lots of commonsense that the rest of us anglers never ever thought about. Baron takes a look at the underwater habits of fish. He shares techniques and tips to trick fish, to find where they are, to obtain maximum results on a minimum budget.

    • by Frank P. Baron
    • 176 pages
    • International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press
  • The Ultimate Guide to Freshwater Fishing

    Mark says: This huge book covers lures, bait, and tried and true techniques for making the catch. Easy-to-follow text and over 1,000 color photographs and illustrations. A must-have for any serious angler especially fishermen who love to fish multiple species.

    • by North American Fishing Club
    • 432 pages
    • Publishing Solutions
  • The Complete Guide to Freshwater Fishing (The Freshwater Angler)

    Mark says: Besides the 500 never-before-published photographs, beyond all the species from yellow perch to muskie to trout, this coffee-table type book is imminently usable for both the seasoned angler and the neophyte. This collection of tips, techniques, instruction and description covers all waters and all styles of fishing.

    Readers will read expert advice from tourney anglers, outdoor writers, and fishing veterans. I have a dog-eared copy on my shelf next to my desk. Referential, instructional and entertaining.

    • by Creative Publishing International
    • 288 pages
    • Creative Publishing
  • The Orvis Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing, New and Revised

    Mark says: Orvis selected THE name in saltwater flyfishing in Nick Curcione. His innovative original flies and sport-changing methods brought saltwater longrodding into the 21st Century. This book shows how saltwater flyfishing is a different creature than freshwater - in the salt, you are angling for fish that often consider you the prey instead of the other way around. Curcione covers any species that can be caught on a fly rod (which runs from tarpon to shark to albacore) and also provides comprehensive coverage of everything from rods, reels, techniques, and strategies.

    • by Nick Curcione
    • 224 pages
    • Lyons Press

You will be happy with any of these

  • Noodling for Flatheads: Moonshine, Monster Catfish, and Other Southern Comforts

    Mark says: Noodling is also called grabbling. Grabbling is also called "grabbing a catfish with your bare hands". Some call this noodling/grabbling crazy. You can’t help but call this exciting, daring, adventurous and especially Southern. I’ve noodled once, when I was much younger and more adventurous, but I had no clue what I was doing. This book would have been a big help while I was grabbling with that ten-pound catfish stuck underneath that stump. One great thing about noodling/grabbling? No equipment needed.

    • by Burkhard Bilger
    • 256 pages
    • Scribner
  • Saltwater Fishing Made Easy

    Mark says: If you ever wanted to fish the salt, whether surf or fly or jig or troll or chum or whatever, this is the book to buy first. Pollizotto covers more than seventy-five popular game fish on North America’s coasts. The book does a great job covering everything from equipment to techniques to strategies to feeding habits.

    • Martin Pollizotto
    • 384 pages
    • International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press
  • Lefty Kreh's Ultimate Guide to Fly Fishing: Everything Anglers Need to Know by the World's Foremost Fly Fishing Expert

    Mark says: Here’s the thing: if you are not a flyfisher, if you don’t want to buy fifty books covering how-to flyfish, if you have to buy just one flyfishing book, then buy this one. Lefty Kreh is widely-considered to be the top flyfishing expert who ever lived. He’s written over two dozen books and the best tips and strategies and how-to info for fresh and saltwater are in this compendium.

    • by Lefty Kreh
    • 424 pages
    • Lyons Press
  • The L.L. Bean Ultimate Book of Fly Fishing

    Mark says: A beautiful book written by three of the top experts in flyfishing. Detailed, comprehensive and resplendent in its numerous photos in support of instruction, this book is for the angler who wants to learn how to flyfish and intends to give it a serious try. This detailed how-to guide is categories into four essential parts - General Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing for Bass, Fly Casting, and Fly Tying-and covers each with in-depth analysis in clear, easy-to-follow language.

    • by Macauley Lord, Dick Talleur, Dave Whitlock
    • 352 pages
    • Lyons Press
  • In-Fisherman 100 Best Freshwater Fishing Tips: Expert Advice from North America's Leading Authority on Sportfishing

    Mark says: The editors at In-Fisherman magazine and radio know more about freshwater fish than freshwater fish themselves. Covering more than 40 species of fish - from gar and bass to pike and muskie – in this guide are the best strategies and techniques for successful freshwater angling. I like the bite-sized tips, the elemental diagrams and excellent photos. One can pick up this book at any page and get lost in reverie.

    • by Editors In-Fisherman
    • 224 pages
    • Harper

Related Articles

Learning how to fish doesn't have to be boring with our selection of conventional best fishing books that give the basics of how to fish for the beginner. Choose from how to fly fishing books, salmon fishing books and trout fishing book selections that often are humorous for a fun way to learn how to fish. With the best fishing books, you'll soon be telling tales about the big ones that got away.