Over the past four years, I have read over 30 books on fish.
Unfortunately, most of them were a waste of time.
Instead, I encourage you to give these five a read.
They’re well worth your time.
1. Last of the Blue Water Hunters by Carlos Eyles
This book teleports you into the mind of a seasoned diver hunting white sea bass in Catalina.
It’s old school. Teaches you unsafe practices. And 100% bad***.
Carlos documents his time living on a sailboat in Catalina, where he spent his days hunting and living off his spoils. It’s practically Walden but for spearos. This book helped me see how spearfishing could be integral to my lifestyle.
If you need a book to kick you in the pants to get out and dive, it’s this book.
2. Probably More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast by Milton Love
Back in the day, I couldn’t tell the difference between fish species.
I stumbled upon this book with one of the most straightforward titles. I couldn’t click buy fast enough. When it arrived, I devoured it cover to cover. Dr. Milton Love’s humor is what makes it a page-turner.
To become a better hunter, you’ll need to learn the behaviors and tendencies of the fish you’re chasing. This book is a perfect primer on the subject.
3. Bluewater Hunting & Free Diving by Terry Maas
This book is the gold standard of spearfishing books.
Terry Maas is an absolute legend who paved the way for us newcomers. Reading stories of his adventures down in Baja makes today’s Baja trips feel like posh resort getaways. This book focuses more on the big game, so you won’t find much regarding reef hunting.
It’s packed with physiological, psychological, and uncommon-sense advice for novices and experts. Plus, it’s a hoot looking back at the style of the 80s.
4. Sushi Master: An expert guide to sourcing, making, and enjoying sushi at home by Nick Sakagami
Spearfishing made me appreciate food in a whole new light.
Early in my spearfishing journey, my buddy, Matt stressed the importance of bleeding fish after killing. I had no idea that leaving the blood affects the taste. Later he explained that if I wanted to freeze my fish, I needed to thoroughly dry the fillets before vacuum sealing to prevent freezer burn. At this point, I knew my fish care knowledge was suboptimal.
I went down a rabbit hole and stumbled upon this book. It was a trip to enter the mind of a sushi master and how he analyzed fish for sushi restaurants. I’m not going to start a sushi restaurant anytime soon, but at least I have a greater appreciation for their craft.
5. Take One Fish by Josh Niland
Josh Niland took the culinary seafood game by storm with his first book, the Whole Fish Cookbook. Take One Fish doubles down on the concept of nose-to-fin cooking.
Culinary seafood has seen little innovation over the years. Especially in fishing circles where people think “fresh is best” and deep-frying is the Everest of cooking. This couldn’t be further from the truth. With techniques such as ikejime, cutting off fish scales, dry aging, and utilizing various organs – we’re experiencing a seafood renaissance right before our eyes.
This book is worth it if you’re looking to up your fish care game.
Killing an animal is a privilege, and treating the meat respectfully is essential. Without a doubt, bleeding your fish and throwing them in an ice slurry produces a higher quality product.
I hope you found these books helpful. If you have any book recommendations for me, please let me know!