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Fish Field Guides Buying Guide

If you're a serious fisherman, you want to be equipped with all the necessary gear  and knowledge to cast and catch successfully.  This means the proper tackle , the best bait, a sophisticated rod , and of course, some trusty fish field guides.  In many ways, you should probably man yourself with these books before doing much else, because they'll tell you what species of fish you can find where.  Once you've determined the fish you're after, you can then buy the appropriate bait  and lures  to catch them fast.  

Guide Essentials

There are a lot of fish field guides out there that can be found everywhere from Waterstone's to your local hobby shop.  The trick is to know what information they should absolutely include:

  • Most popular guides cover continents, so make sure that you get the guide that applies to your region of interest.
  • A thorough, straightforward index will allow you to find the information you need quickly.
  • Quality illustrations often help you identify different species of fish.  Some field guides only include silhouette illustrations, while others include full-colour details.
  • Smaller books are great for taking along with you on a fishing trip, while larger books are better suited for doing your studying beforehand.

How They're Organized

Fish field guides are first divided by region.  This means denoting salt-water, freshwater, tropical, bay, etc.  Then they are divided into categories based on similar characteristics and relationships.  Some common categories include:

  • Minnows, Suckers and Shiners.
  • Elongate Fish with Long Snout
  • Trout and Salmon.
  • Darters and Sculpins.
  • Flatfish, Sunfish and Perchlike Fish.
  • Sharlike Fish.
  • Long, Slender Fish.
  • Seahorses.
  • Drumlike Fish, Cods and Catfish.
  • Bass, Grunts and Snappers.
  • Puffers and Box Fish.

Related Guides

Fish FindersPeterson Field Guides Fish 

Freshwater Fishing Tackle

Fishing Rods

Utility Knives and Tools

Marine Electronics