Merlin Unwin Books

"Merlin Unwin Books are lively, innovative countryside book publishers.

Their well-produced range of rural, wildlife, fieldsports and fishing books never fail to inform and entertain."

Philip Dunne MP
co-founder of Ottakar’s bookshops

The Fisherman's Bedside Book

This is a selection of the best essays from the celebrated classic fishing anthology, first compiled in 1945 by 'BB', one of Britain's best-loved naturalists. 

There are tales of salmon and trout with sections on coarse fishing: carp, tench, barbel, perch, roach, bream, pike and chub. The 'Bishop Browne' story of the giant salmon that was hooked in 1896 where the Earn flows into the Tay and fought for ten hours before the line went slack, cannot fail to arouse a thrill in all fishermen, and there are other classics and less famous fishing incidents in Britain and abroad.

The fine and distinctive scraperboard illustrations by Denys Watkins-Pitchford ('BB') all appeared in the original edition of The Fisherman's Bedside Book.

Ian Niall in his introduction describes how BB's artistic vision and naturalist's observation enabled him to look at the reeds and rushes, the ancient pollarded willow by the pool and the duck shedding water droplets from frantically beating wings as it springs into the air, and to capture them in illustration and word.

The Fisherman's Bedside Book brings together this rare combination of Denys Watkins-Pitchford's skills with some of the best writing from fishing people for fishing people.

Author: BB
Illustrator: Denys Watkins-Pitchford
ISBN: 978 1 873674 67 3
Published: January 1945
Latest edition: February 2004
Format: 234 x 156 mm
Binding: Hardback
No. of pages: 224
46 scraperboard illustrations
Price: £18.95

The Fisherman's Bedside Book by BB

Press reviews

Reviewed in The Observer in March 1993

'This is a book to keep any fisherman awake at night.'


Reviewed by Arthur Ransome in March 1993

'The best fishing anthology I have ever read.'


Reviewed by Eddie Young of Trout & Salmon Magazine in July 2004

'This is a book for the non-snobbish angler. So-called coarse fish have their rightful place, not just as the fish we hunted in our early youth but often as magnificent creatures in their own right. It’s good to see this reintroducton of the best of BB to a new readership, which won’t be disappointed.'


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