A book about bass fishing and about life

These are some of the comments and reviews I have received about A Bass Angler’s Life: a book about bass fishing and about life.

Remi Naftel, Guernsey (15.7.19): “This has been released today by a good friend & committee member of BASS. It’s 30 years of bass fishing with lure and bait, very interesting and full of knowledge.”

Simon De La Mare, Guernsey (24.7.19): “I have just finished reading your book and absolutely loved it. It made me laugh, especially the parts with the  stories about the dog. Combining my love and passion for dogs and fishing did it for me.

There are some very interesting facts about fishing which I did not know, but then I don’t think I will ever stop learning about bass fishing. Come the autumn I am going to be experimenting with big baits, and also spinning in the dark, something that I am already doing but your book has given me more confidence with it. You have also fuelled my addiction with fishing lures; so many colours of dolive sticks, and so many lures you have mentioned.

The stories on red letter days were fantastic. I can picture them as I am reading them  like I am there with you they were so well written.

There is only one problem that I can see with reading your book that is how much it has fuelled my passion and obsession with bass fishing. Every time I drive along the coast all I am thinking about is ohh that looks bassie and I must try there.

I will read your book again in the future. I  have read Hooked on Bass at least 4 times. I will also recommend it to others. I have been asked a lot by young anglers about bass fishing, and have always been happy to pass on hints and tips and have taken a few fishing if they have asked. I have always told them to read Hooked on Bass and now I will add your book to this list.”

Alan Vaughan, Brixham (25.7.19): “This book is a delight for anyone interested in bass. Robin is a very accomplished bass angler who writes eloquently and with humour, taking you on a journey which is his discovery of the bass fishing in Cornwall. This is a must-have book.”

Richard Brandon, Pelynt nr Looe (28.7.19):  “Any angler who enjoys considered and open-minded writing will be captivated and inspired by Robin Bradley’s book. His deep and extensive experience is conveyed in a thought-provoking and modest style perfectly balanced with a memorable sense of humour, particularly when describing the antics of his eccentric fishing dog Toby.

It is so refreshing to read an angling book that avoids tired formats, an example being an early chapter on “People”. It’s full of snapshots of highly-individual bass anglers in an amusing and celebratory way. Similarly the chapter on “Places” vividly captures the atmosphere and challenges of remote bass haunts.

Throughout this attractively-produced book the author creates an impressive backdrop of the majestic Cornish and Guernsey coasts with their secluded and sometimes eerie marks.

‘A Bass Angler’s Life’  is impressively original. A book that is both remarkable and one that will endure as long as anglers seek this intriguing species.

Sallie Eden, Roseland Online Newsletter (1.8.19).

Sea Angler Magazine (issue 574):  Bass angler, campaigner and now author, Robin Bradley reflects back over 30 years spent on the shore targeting his favourite species. Basically, Robin describes his journey into bass angling, the people who’ve inspired him and plenty of interesting stories and encounters along the way. It’s honest, entertaining and absolutely packed with factual fishing stories.

Ted Tuckerman, Facebook (4.9.19).

David Kelly (9.9.19): “Delightfully unassuming in style yet entertaining and informative, ‘A Bass Angler’s Life’ is a thoroughly readable account of one man’s life spent in pursuit of the UK’s premier sporting sea fish.  But this is no one dimensional book about fishing methods and results.  Rather it also contains a collection of anecdotes, insights and reflections by the author and as such will appeal not just to anglers, but also to those who appreciate  the coastline in its wider context.”

Toby Coates (9.10.19): “I literally finished your book last night and thoroughly enjoyed it from cover to cover. It is really refreshing to read a book that touched upon all of the other distractions that we have to cope with in our day to day lives whilst we constantly dream about the perfect tide! Congratulations on the book!”

BASS Magazine (Autumn 2019),  reviewed by Nigel Fairclough: When I was younger, I had a stereotypical image in my head, that all sea and coarse anglers  were working class types; flat cap and fag end in mouth, sort of thing. Game anglers needed a few quid and, usually, were at the upper end of the class scale, landed gentry, doctors, etc. How wrong I was. The more I read angling books, the more pleasantly surprised I am that the guy in the surgery that squeezed my testicles and instructed me to cough, was just as likely to be a bass angler as me. Such is the case with Robin Bradley.

The title of Robin’s book A Bass Angler’s Life is very apt, because, on our journey through the book, we see Robin and his family grow and develop.  It’s almost an Eamonn Andrews red velvet book type situation, especially on the fishing front. Robin evolves from a bait angler, into a lure angler over time. Though, of course, he still practices both.

Based in Cornwall, Robin takes us bait gathering and fishing, over a period of thirty years or more. We also visit Guernsey and other UK locations. He introduces us to people who have influenced or inspired him on his journey and writes about his association with BASS and the conservation site of things.

The bait gathering information is very interesting, and this part of the book could be particularly valuable to new members of our fishing community. Trips are described in vivid detail; indeed, I could almost feel myself perspiring a little as ‘we’ made our way down some of those narrow coastal paths, towards the rock marks and beach locations.

My favourite piece of advice in the book, is from the late tackle shop owner Pete Bottono, who’s advice on bait fishing for bass, in the dark at a particular mark was, “Cast as far as you can piss, boy”.  Great advice indeed, unless you are an Olympic class urinator. Even then it isn’t going to be very far.

A little like myself, Robin doesn’t mind a canine companion with him on his trips. Toby the golden retriever is there to help land the fish if required.

Robin’s obsession with a specific soft plastic lure is almost legendary. In the book there is a picture of this lure in every imaginable colour. And Robin offers us good advice on how to use them.

I would describe the book as a ‘fireside book’ for sure. It’s not a ‘how to’ book, however there are enough useful tips and helpful advice to satisfy folks that are new to bass angling, and experienced hands as well. Indeed, I picked up a tip or two from reading it myself. It’s a book that is very easy to read and it surely will be read and re-read. I’ve made a space for it in my fishing bookcase, and so should you.

Geoff Tomkinson (11.12.19): I bought a copy of Robin’s book recently & finished reading it this morning. What a cracking good read it is, full of good humour, loads of angling tales & plenty of wise advice.

I like Robin’s simple approach to tackle and most advice is dispensed via real-life experiences rather than in a dry instructional way. He also comes across as a thoroughly nice bloke.

He has now joined Gammon, Ladle/Vaughan, Thrussel and Darling in my list of best Bass books. Highly recommended.

James Lean (12.1.20): Morning Robin. Started reading your book yesterday and finished it by last night! Really enjoyable read.

Tony Hooper (12.4.20): I took your book to Ireland last Autumn and what a great read! I am sure many anglers will relate to much of the contents just as I did. Your book was excellent and I hope you sell many more copies.

Keith Towsey (13.4.20) : I’ve read your book from end to end and really enjoyed it, especially as I know some of the characters in it.

Tony Rose (12.6.20): Thank you for your excellent book which I found both informative and enjoyable.

I caught my first bass in 1956 and have caught many since.  For 30 odd years I freedived so had the chance to observe fish behaviour. I am now retired but a registered  commercial line fisher inspired by Ed  Schliffke to solely fish with lures off South Devon.

I found myself nodding agreement and smiling at our shared experiences whilst still we ponder the  difficuly in understanding how the pieces of information fit together – if indeed they do!

Ralph Bennett  (3.9.20): I bought your book as a Christmas present from my wife (to me).

I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page, and in many ways, your bass fishing over the years has had similar fishing paths as myself after Bass.

Although you live and fish in Cornwall, and I live in Liverpool, and fish in Anglesey, many of the locations you fish, I can relate to very similar areas in Anglesey.

Lots of rock marks, several of which involve a good hike, and a good clamber up and down, large open beaches, weed covered shallow rocks and reefs, and a couple of estuaries, to get to similar types of fishing marks.

Your book is great read, and, which I really like, is not a “how to fish” book, rather it is very informative, great details of how you have caught fish over the years, and written with a great passion for bass fishing.

Like yourself, and although I still do some bait fishing, these days using lures is such a good way of presenting our “bait” to the bass, and in a lot of very different conditions. Collecting lures is also very addictive !

Even these days, as grandparents, we still, more often than not, have to fit our fishing times into busy family lifestyles, lure fishing really ticks most of the boxes for us.

We also have another similarity, I caught my first bass as a young teenager in the late 1960’s in the Menai Strait, on an ABU Toby lure, and there is a great photo of your own Toby, Bass retriever extraordinaire.

My favourite chapter, it’s got to be chapter 8, Fishy Tales.

I joined BASS only a few years ago, and so far I haven’t been able to get to any of the Fish In’s nor the AGM, both of which are on my agenda, and hoping to get there next year.

The book is a very enjoyable and a very entertaining read, especially as I can relate to many of the situations you write about.

Mike Ladle (1.10.19): I had to go up to Oxford by coach this week, and had time to read the book properly. I’d only scanned it before, so although I knew it was well written and interesting, I had not appreciated how much we have in common when it comes to fishing for bass. Had we lived closer together, I’m sure that we would have spent (probably too much) time on the shore together.

Thanks again for the book, it’s a good effort, and I’ve learned quite a few things  (my criteria for a GOOD fishing book is to find two believable, useful facts in it – mostly there are none).

Pedro Dionisio, Portugal (30.12.20: Finished last night. Excellent book, well written and a great read. Despite the different in our ages, I could relate myself in many of the experiences described. Took a little longer than expected to finish since free time wasn’t much, but it was time well spent. Congrats for the book, well done!

Simon Willey, Cornwall (8.10.22): I’d just like thank you for you book.
I bought it to take on holiday with me and wanted something that would inspire me to get up and get on with my fishing. I did not want a book on how to catch bass ,there’s plenty of them about, but something that may inspire me to put a lot more effort in .

Well what can I say , it was everything and a whole lot more. You have certainly dedicated  a lot  of your free time to catching these fantastic fish and it shows in the passion you portray in this book.

I loved the stories , the whys ,the what for’s, and the fun you have had.
Thanks again for thoroughly good read , and it has certainly given me the kick I needed to put a lot more effort into my fishing.

Clive Hodges (9.12.22): I’ve known Robin for a few years now but reading his book showed how little I really knew about him. It’s as much about his life as it is about his bass fishing.

Within its pages is a tale about how this man grew into his bass fishing and how life events nudged him into different locations.
It’s not intended as a ‘how to’ bass fishing book. I think you would enjoy the read because of that very aspect Craig.
For me, it is a book I will read again and I’m confident it will be just as enjoyable second time around and there’s not many fishing related books that can do that for me.
Bass Lures UK (4.11.23): A Bass Anglers life by @bradlerob is a wonderful book about balancing family life whilst following his passions with companions. He talks about how fishing has been instrumental in his life and how this magical sport has gained him so many friends over the years. He is a great guy and this book explains why.