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

Fishing with Emma

Fishing with Emma is for all who already enjoy or would like to take up coarse fishing.

It will also appeal to those who fish for certain species but want to branch out to try some new ones.

Emma knows her stuff and she’s prepared to share her knowledge in a clear, no-nonsense way.

• Completely up-to-date with 21st century techniques at
   affordable prices
• Includes waggler, stick and controller float fishing,
   legering techniques, feeders, spinning, dead baiting,    
   groundbaiting, responsible fish-handling, and much
• An inspirational and enjoyable cartoon strip which will
   have you rushing for your local river, gravel pit,
   commercial fishery or canal bank to get fishing

And for any members of the angling fraternity who might ask: why are we fishing with Emma and not a man? the simple answer is, ‘Why shouldn’t a woman be an all-round expert at coarse fishing?’ She hasn’t got a problem with that…  

Author: David Overland
Illustrator: David Overland
ISBN: 978 1 906122 50 8
Published: April 2013
Format: 205 x 255 mm
Binding: Paperback
No. of pages: 96
92 colour cartoons
Price: £9.99

look inside this book
Fishing with Emma by David Overland

Reader reviews

Reviewed by Steve Palin in May 2013

Steve Palin, currently a Government School Adviser and recently retired headteacher, has commented on Fishing with Emma:

The graphics and artwork are superb - original, inspired and high quality. I love the blend of digital and graphic. Some of the fish and underwater images remind me of the wonderful artwork of Keith Linsell – they’re very evocative. I like the balance and range of the perspectives and different settings eg the nightime eels session – great stuff – they make the book for me.

The resonance with Mr Crabtree is a stroke of genius – it’s like and unlike at one and the same time. One of the book’s strongest features, I think. The text is concise and informative, and complements the cartoon captions well, I thought. The latter are entertaining too and I like the appropriate level of humour involved.

I fully get the Emma thing – it’s the main feature, I suppose, which gives it originality and ‘cool’. I would think it’s a great attraction for most buyers, especially the girl/female audience. Emma’s overall image is professional and adult (in a mature, tutorial sort of a way!). I do feel, however, that in the same way that you’ll always get boys taking up horse riding but the hobby will forever be dominated by girls, the converse is true of angling. In this regard, I suspect that element of potential market for this book will always be limited.

Finally, the thing that I least enjoyed was the rather unconventional grammar protocols. I just don’t understand why the pages are littered with unnecessary and unconventional capital letters! (The teacher in me rebels!!!) The punctuation is also, I think, somewhat idiosyncratic in parts.

The latter gripe, however, in no way affects the overall pleasure and impressiveness of the book – I love it!

Reviewed by Gary Poyssick in June 2013

This book is something that quite frankly knocked us out in far more ways then one. First, the character is adorable. Second, she's a serious angler and an outstanding teacher. But most of all it is something that can bring the many "should-be" women to our outstanding sport. We own a magazine called, and I am hoping that a woman I know - a serious and experienced and passionate angler in her own right - will be the person who authors the formal review. Other than hair color (and likely accent) they might be the same sportsperson :) Gary Poyssick

Reviewed by Richard Allen in November 2015

I bought this for my 7 year old daughter who I take fishing most weeks. It is daily bed-time reading. Both simple and yet very sophisticated at the same time with a totally engaging female character with whom my daughter identifies much more easily than the usual camo-clad chap. In concept and delivery, simply brilliant. When will Emma be out fishing again?

Press reviews

Reviewed by Ben Hervey-Murray of Angler's Mail in March 2013

'The style is very much that of a modern Mr Crabtree, but with what must be every single fisherman’s dream woman at the helm instead. She even has a Ferrari as a fishing car. Detailed illustrations and explanations accompany each chapter, and the advice is well-thought out. It’s a great guide to mastering the basics of angling on all sorts of waters and lots of species. The advice is spot on and we loved the humourous bits, such as when Emma decides she’s bored at a party at an estate house and goes eel fishing in the adjacent lake for the night instead.'

Reviewed by Peter Smitham of in April 2013

'This new book is great fun. Obviously aimed at all ages and all sexes it works on many levels. It is one of the best modern instructional books for any youngster taking up the sport, and is an entertaining and well drawn comic strip for an older experienced angler.'

Reviewed by Jeffrey Olstead of BASC magazine in May 2013

'This is Mr Crabtree for the 21st century. The tweedy pipe-smoking uncle is replaced by Emma – every teenage boy’s dream, every teenage girl’s aspiration, and she knows a thing or two about fishing. Following her predecessor’s format the book is a mixture of text and excellent graphics loaded with information and although coarse fishing has become bewilderingly technical this is a good practical guide that cuts through the mumbo jumbo. If you want to get a youngster interested in fishing, or ensure success for one who has already started, this book couldn’t be bettered.’

Reviewed by Rob Hilton of Barbel Fisher, Spring 2013 in May 2013

'Having read through its 92 pages and marvelled at some of the Crabtree-esque illustrations, I couldn’t help but be pleased at how much I actually enjoyed it. It took me straight back to my youth… I gave the book to my nine-year-old daughter to read… she too enjoyed it thoroughly and… I could tell that the interest in our sport she showed in her pre-school years was beginning to stir again. A nice little book that will appeal to all ages.'

Reviewed by Debbie Hanson of in August 2013

'Fishing with Emma is an entertaining and instructional written adventure in UK coarse angling by author and illustrator David Overland. Anglers of all experience levels and specialties will truly appreciate this book. Emma shares fishing wisdom with her audience in cartoon strip style. Sure, maybe some cartoons are meant to be funny, but I’m here to tell you that Emma takes fishing quite seriously.'

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