What do you want out of a fishing book? Stories of incredible fish? Legendary locations? Tips on catching? Bait secrets? Rig advice?
Most of that practical stuff is readily available on the internet nowadays, so I like to read more about the planning, the anticipation, the excitement.. and about being there, which Jerry delivers in heaps!
His new book Catching Memories lets us follow Jerry from his early sessions on Hainault Park lake, to the more famous venues such as Yateley, Sutton, Tolpits, and Church Pool.
Jerry starts by telling us of the cementing of life long friendships in his early angling days, and some of the crazy pranks, him and his mates, got up to that helped bond this carp mad group of lads. Indeed, there are some personally written chapters from a few of his friends included in the book.
Obviously 'Catching' contains many great stories about some of the amazing carp Jerry has caught over the years, from Horton's Woodcarving and Shoulders, to Tolpit's Plodder, and Sutton's Heart Tail Gertie.. his first 40-pounder! And throughout, you can almost feel Jerry's determination and drive when targeting his chosen quarry, and it's great to read about.
The book also recounts some of the funnier fishing moments, including the annoying 'tree root' tale. It seems Jerry just couldn't walk along a certain path at a peaceful Horton, without catching this root and tipping up his barrow, sending everything crashing to the ground.. usually behind the head bailiffs bivvy! The bailiff got so used to it, that instead of jumping up to see what had happened, he just used to call out, 'Is that you Jerry?'
For those of us who are lucky enough to know Jerry personally, his straight forward, but friendly approach, comes across on every page, in fact there's one point where he writes 'I don't like to keep on writing - and then my rod ripped off - but it's the truth, that's exactly what happened', as if he's embarrassed to tell us of another great fish capture! But that just shows Jerry in his true light, not as a 'I've caught them all' star, but as a great angler, happy to tell us of his fishing exploits!
With even a chapter dedicated to, what some might find surprising.. his acting career, he gives us a real insight into what being Jerry Hammond, the 'compulsive angler' is all about.. as well as being a fishery owner, a husband, father.. and now grandad!
If you want a good fishing read, get Catching Memories!
The book retails at £27, and you can order your copy from http://www.calmproductions.com/acatalog/Catching_Memories.html