Merv Caught in the Deep
by Merv Hughes
Edited by Shane Mensforth, Illustrations by Trevor Hawkins, Cartoons by Weg. Published by Australian Fishing Network. First published 2006. ISBN 1 86513 101 6. Size: 260mm x 180mm. 214pp total. A Large number of excellent colour photographs and line drawings.
Merv Caught in the Deep. Many this side of the ditch will know Merv Hughes as the larger-than-life Australian cricket star with the oversized, funny looking moustache with his nose painted white by the obligatory liberal application of sun-block! Indeed, Merv Hughes, is about as big cricketing stars get – even in cricket-mad Australia!
Though this is certainly a book about fishing there are a few cricketing bits thrown in for good measure such as pictures and facts covering some of Merv’s stellar career, profiles of his cricketing mates and their thoughts on angling. The forward to the book is written by none other than former Australian test captain Mark Taylor.
Merv doesn’t profess to be a fishing expert but he certainly has done an expert job writing this book. He passes on much of the valuable fishing lore he has learnt from charter skippers, fellow cricketing anglers (or should that be angling cricketers), his dad, and a host of others.
This is a pretty substantial volume of 214 pages, beautifully, and heavily, punctuated throughout with superb colour photographs; coloured line art illustrations by Trevor Hawkins, and hilarious cartoons by someone calling themselves Wag!
Chapters cover: selecting the right fishing gear, knots, salt and fresh water hints, tactics and tackle, catching fish and loosing them, when to fish, where to go, favourite spots, sea sickness, looking after your catch, family fishing and much more.
Merv talks frankly about his battle with sea sickness. Believe it or not, Merv was as “sick as a dog” while fighting and boating the tuna you can see on the cover picture. When I say sick I’m not joking! He multi-tasks by fishing a throwing-up at the same time!
I like this book a lot. Perhaps it is my own history as a print publisher that tells me that little expense has been spared producing it. The words that come to mind are sumptuous and visually exciting. Even if you cannot read you would still learn heaps about fishing from the highly informative drawings and diagrams alone.
This is a very good fishing book by a great Australian sportsman. If you are looking for a Christmas gift for a cricket fan that enjoys fishing then get him this. He’ll love it. I know I did!