by Jeremy Wade
Da Capo Press, 2011
The host of River Monsters here unspools his adventures with rod and reel. Wade is clearly a master at the craft of fishing, but he makes it clear here that sometimes he's benefited from dumb luck. He has caught (and, when practical, released) the largest freshwater fishes on every inhabited continent. Along the way, he has plenty of harrowing adventures, in the water and out. Wade explains some points of fish biology (for example, adapting to fresh v. salt water) and conservation concisely and clearly. He also has some tidbits for the cryptozoologist. Remember, Wade is the guy who filed an "impossible animal:" a river dolphin with a weird sawtooth back, which turned out to be a wildly unlikely survivor of being hacked with a machete by a fisherman. He investigates Lake Iliamna (finding some data I did not, although the reverse is also true) and comes to the same conclusion I did, that it's an undocumented population of white sturgeon. This book is gripping fun from beginning to end.