Saturday, June 11, 2011


I bought these two books, or rather my parent's did, back in my 4th or 5th grade year. I had already read the simpler pamphlet type fishing books by Garcia that cost a $1, and they were a bit slim on information as well as pictures and travel stories to spur my imagination about future fishing adventures. These were a bit more expensive, at about $2 or so.

The Fisherman's Bible series of outdoor books which were not only full of good technical fishing information and information on gear and tackle selection but were also full of great travel stories and pictures. Published by Doubleday, they were called THE OUTDOOR BIBLES.

Some other OUTDOOR BIBLE series books you can find on other subjects are:

-Archery (by Fred Bear hissownself!)
-Deer Hunter's
-Fresh Water Fisherman's
-Skin Diver's

The Saltwater Fisherman's Bible was of interest to me. It did have some brief reference to Gulf {of Mexico} Coast fishing in it, but was a compendium of fishing opportunities from coast to coast. Over the years, in travels from east to west, some of the stuff I read in this book many times over the years came in handy when fishing in the Atlantic or the Pacific while on vacation. The Saltwater Fisherman's bible was written by Erwin A. Bauer, who along with his wife Peggy, were noted outdoorsmen, writers, photographers, fishermen, hunters and other such wildlife related pursuits.

Here's a link to find THE SALTWATER FISHERMAN'S BIBLE yourself, or do like I did when my initial copy finally fell to pieces and pick one up at a Half Price Books for $3.98. My new to me copy is a revised addition with yellow and white as shown in the bottom photo.

I personally prefer the older, black cover editions of these books which were first published in 1962, and there is really cool stuff in the gear section. In fact, I have much of the gear depicted in those photos and have had since, well, way back then. Although I supplement fishing gear now and then, I'm pretty tried and true using what has worked for me over the years, both tackle and gear and lures wise. Rods represent the biggest change, as graphite and what has followed have been too strong to ignore.

At the same time, I got a copy of the Trout Fisherman's Bible as well. It was another book in this series by different authors about various hunting and fishing and sporting endeavors. These books sold often in racks in sporting goods stores in Houston like Oshman's and in the sporting goods departments of stores like K Mart, Gibson's Discount Center, Ward's and Sears.

Again, this book was tremendously valuable to me, as well as being highly interested in the great pictures of fishing adventures that it contained. Later in the year after getting this book, and getting a fly fishing rig and a spinning rig, I was ready to go trout fishing in Colorado on vacation with the parents. Custom dicatated that we stop at various public fishing spots, of which there were many at rivers and creeks on our way to Aspen.  

Being a Texas boy with no trout to fish for and no real reading materials other than Field and Stream, Sports Afield and Outdoor Life to try to gleen the basics of trout fishing in creeks, rivers and lakes, The Bible was a big filler in of gaps in knowledge for me. I learned about things like using salmon eggs for bait, and found they worked *well* in a gin clear, strong running creek near Branson, Missouri, which was  the appropriately named "Fish Creek", and later, in a creek near Aspen. 

I can't find any biographical information on Mr. Holland right now, and if you know some I'd be very interested to know more about the lives of Erwin and Peggy Bauer and Dan Holland. I don't have that book handy right now to see if there is anything there. I do know it was published originally in 1962 and has been revised since then. Once revision I found was revised in 1979 by Dan and Gary Holland, with no further infomation found. Again, I've commonly seen this book at Half Price and it's readily available online.

Going back to Erwin Bauer and another book in this series that he authored about bass fishing. Another great book, and although there have been advances aplenty in the last 50 years since this book was written, the same basics he talks about apply, particularly if you're not fishing with the bass boat equivolent of the Starship Enterprise or to make a more current reference, not fishing with the Escalade of bass boats. 

So my advice is that if you're at all into saltwater or bass or trout fishing and you've never read these books, go to ebay or half price or amazon and get the original "old school" editions.

Just check out the coolness of the metal v-hull fishing boat depicted on the Bass Fisherman's Bible cover. Just as functional as it can be, and it's a reasonable size for one or two persons to deal with when launching and loading.

These books are all outdoor classics from the early 60's. My guess is the market was the folks like, well, my folks, who were now into their 30's with some expendable income after serving in the Korean War, going to college and law school while working full time and having kids. I know my folks were ready for some relaxation once school ended and my Dad's career started and he wasn't going going going all the time.

Fishing. Boating. Golfing. Hunting. Shooting. These were the leisure time pursuits of my parents and their friends and our neighbors. About the only thing missing from the list of book titles of hobbies that we had in Houston is BBQ'ing, and I think all those folks already had a great idea of how to do that.

Do you remember these books? Did you like them? Read them?

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