Longtime readers of Field & Stream will recall the fishing output Ken Schultz shared as an editor and writer and still shares as a blog writer.
His 1996 “Fishing Encyclopedia and World Wide Angling Guide” became a standard reference source as soon as it was published.
Schultz is a consummate angling source because of his approach to fishing and fishermen. He easily could have ranked high in fishing competitions. Instead, he always had an ardent interest before and after outings in how and where other anglers find, catch and keep or release every kind of fish that can be caught.
Well before he began writing for major outdoors magazines in 1973, Schultz was always at home on the ocean, in a Louisiana Bayou or drifting the lower Niagara River, anywhere fisher folk could catch fish. During writer gatherings moons ago, I fished with Schultz at Lake Charles in Louisiana and in the lower Niagara.
In Louisiana, a nasty cold front brought in some nice duck-shooting opportunities, but the redfish run did not even crawl. We mainly caught and often dined on sea trout during that gathering. But Schultz somehow hooked into the only redfish, a monster with its spotted tail that got photographed and published more than a rock concert.
All the while at Lake Charles, Schultz set aside his great catch and chatted with everyone there about their fishing encounters.
Schultz showed the same curiosity with fellow anglers during a fall king salmon run in the lower Niagara River, an outing held just before publication of his 1996 encyclopedia, which includes a substantial entry on river fishing in that publication.
Schultz’s latest text, “The Complete Guide to North American Fishing”, brings together a series of colorful photos and useful information about the fish, tools, techniques and places he has fished in Canada, Mexico and the United States, including trips to Alaska, around the Great Lakes and along the Atlantic seacoast.
From bluegill to bonefish, Schultz provides background and tackle tips that would be useful on a Honeoye Lake shoreline or along the Islamorada flats. Even carp and catfish, two species that lack the glamour of a bass or musky, get first-rate recognition and offerings of useful tackle tips. His coverage of walleye and perch will work on any productive waters around Western New York.
Sections on reels and rods address models and uses of the lightest fly gear to the heaviest saltwater equipment. Schultz explains the many and varied characteristics in tackle that can make the difference in targeting specific species in different settings. He highlights the many, long-reliable and newer rod and reel designs that help anglers increase the odds for catching their desired denizens of the deep.
The text illustrates and describes every popular line, lure and live bait a freshwater or saltwater angler might try on the water. The accessories section points out things to remember taking and how to avoid the glut of unneeded tackle and toys.
Every angler handles a rod and reel differently, and even the most seasoned lure chucker could use a tip or two that will upgrade their casting and retrieving skills. A detailed series of illustrations shows how to effectively cast spinning, spincasting and fly gear, along with helpful suggestions for retrieving and jigging while in a fixed position and for line control while trolling.
Detailed info on locating fish, hook setting, landing, releasing and knot-tying all help to heighten the enjoyment of fish catching. Concluding chapters on places to fish are worth the $39.95 price of this text available in April.
Look for “The Complete Guide to North American Fishing” at area bookstores in April or visit kenschultz.com.