A naturalist goes fishing Casting in fragile waters from the Gulf of Mexico to New Zealand's South Island

James McClintock, 1955-

Book - 2015

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New York City : Palgrave Macmillan 2015.
Main Author
James McClintock, 1955- (-)
Physical Description
268 pages 25 cm
Includes bibliographic references and index.
  • Chandeleur Islands : redfish
  • Manitoba : lake trout
  • The Cahaba River : spotted bass
  • Gulf of Mexico : yellowfin tuna
  • Antarctica : toothfish
  • New Zealand : rainbow trout
  • Bahamas : bonefish
  • Costa Rica : tarpon
  • France : anchovies
  • Fishing for solutions.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

McClintock (Lost Antarctica), a marine biologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, combines work and play as he brings together tales of his professional career studying underwater habitats and a lifetime of recreational fishing. Recalling field and fishing trips in different parts of the world, McClintock uses them as segues to more general discussions about the environment. For instance, a story about speckled trout fishing in the Chandeleur Islands, a chain of uninhabited islands 30 miles off the Louisiana coast, leads to talk of wetlands and "raw untamed scenery." A year after Hurricane Katrina hit the region, fishing captains still hadn't returned, McClintock notes, due to the danger of submerged hazards as well as the "demise of the speck and red fishery." Similarly, accounts of fishing for yellowfin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico precede sobering descriptions of havoc wreaked by the blowout of the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. That disaster continues to affect the Gulf's economy and natural environment. By juxtaposing personal meditations on fishing stories with more academic sections on such topics as erosion and pollution, McClintock entices readers to absorb his cautionary tales about the continued health of the world's waterways. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Avid fisherman McClintock (Antarctic marine biology, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham; Lost Antarctica) shares the stories of a lifetime of fishing trips across a range of rivers, lakes, and oceans. Each of the nine chapters covers a particular location (the Chandeleur Islands, Manitoba, the Cahaba River, the Gulf of Mexico, Antarctica, New Zealand, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and France). McClintock describes excursions with friends and family and includes play-by-play action on specific catches. He skillfully weaves information on the life cycles of specific fish with the challenges they face from pollution, warming waters, acidification of the ocean, and overfishing. Through the author's narrative these diverse geographic areas and their other plant and animal species come alive on the page. Verdict This lyrical memoir will especially appeal to fishers for the author's enthusiasm for his hobby, the details of the thrill of the catch, and the information about the various species. Natural history buffs will also enjoy, perhaps skimming over the details of the catch.-Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Personal and professional lives come together for McClintock (Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land, 2012), an Antarctic marine biologist and passionate sport fisherman. The author is especially worried about the growing threat to fish posed by the increased acidification of the world's oceans, caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A fishing trip to the Chandeleur Islands off the coast of Louisiana evokes concern about the health of the habitat for the redfish and speckled sea trout that have drawn him and his fishing buddies to the area on yearly visits for more than a decade. This "portion of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, the fifty-mile chain of uninhabited islands, is a naturalist's dream," writes the author. He has personally witnessed the effects of dredging, coupled with pollution and the impact of global warming, all of which are depleting the number of fish and reducing their size. Nonetheless, McClintock writes with relish about his adventures as a sport fisherman. He opens with a story of chasing redfish and speckled sea trout. After a 40-minute battle with a "big red" hooked on his tackle but putting up a strong fight, the fish got away. His brother was luckier in his battle with a trout, which was caught, held up proudly for a photograph, and then released back to the sea. The author also writes of a four-day stay in a fishing lodge north of Manitoba in Canada, where there is "some of the best lake trout and pike fishing in the world." His accounts of these and other fishing adventuresin the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and moreprovide a lively backdrop for concerns about the effects of climate change Enjoyable reading for sport fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts who can look past any issues regarding cruelty to animals. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.