Eric Morecambe On Fishing
Review from 2008
We all know how much Eric loved fishing, and this book is solely dedicated to his favourite pastime form the very early beginnings through various encounters and even his own fish tanks.
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The book starts with a forward by Ernie wise, in which he declares how he doesn’t understand how anyone can enjoy all day standing in a river, being rained on and freezing cold, and not even catch a fish!
Eric then takes over and begins with his childhood in Morecambe, accompanying his father on many trips to the beach. Not fishing as any normal person would understand it, there was no rod or float. Instead together they would follow the tide out, and at specific points they pushed wooden poles deep into the sand. From these hung a rope, off which were numerous lengths of string complete with hooks and bait.
The tide would come in, they would wait a while and then follow it out again with the hope of having caught something. Any fish unlucky enough to get hooked would be taken home and either be eaten or sold in the street.
His father, not content with the success rate of this method invented several other devices that he tried out, all of which failed. This didn’t stop him though and he would be out there again the following day.
Eric states that one of his favourite memories was himself and his father, setting off at first light heading for the beech. Both on the same bicycle along with various poles, lines and bait hanging from every available point.
From these beginning, he soon became hooked, and moved on to the more popular ways of fishing. He was particularly fond of trout or salmon fishing, and describes in details the various flies and how they work best.
Moving on, Eric tells of his aquariums at home, and the disasters that struck. How fish ate other fish and how poisoned water spelt the end of one complete tank.
My favourite part of the book is a chapter entitle The Fish That Kept Its Head Below Water. In this he recounts his long acquaintance with a particular large brown trout, and year by year his obsession for catching it. Funny and intimate, it describes Eric as you would not expect. Crawling on his hands and knees though bushes, stalking and preparing for the grand finale. I won’t spoil the ending!
Illustrated throughout by David Hughes, this book gives us a different side to Eric, a quieter, relaxed and content person who loves the thrill of the catch. A man who loves to be alone by the side of a river, peaceful yet alert, casting his fly skilfully and waiting for the bite that may never come.
If you like fishing or like Eric Morecambe, this book is a good read. If you like fishing AND Eric Morecambe, then it’s un-missable.
© morecambeandwise.com 2008