Title: Living the Dream – Born to Fish II (The Ski-Boat Years)
Author: Patrick Garratt
Size: 195mm x 130mm 298 pages
“Only a person with an intimate knowledge of fishing along South Africa’s eastern coastline could have written this book. The author covers offshore angling techniques in great detail, and his reading of the sea conditions at surf launch sites on the KZN coast is extremely well described. The narrative follows four main characters as they mature and start fishing offshore, eventually purchasing their own ski-boat. Any offshore angler reading this excellent book will recognise in the stories of the four young anglers the incredible joy of their own experiences of offshore boating and fishing” – Erwin Bersik, Publishing Executive Ski-Boat Magazine; past president of the Natal Deep Sea Anglers Association; awarded Natal, Springbok and Protea colours for deep sea fishing.
“More than a story, this book is an education. The true-to-life experiences of the characters, the places it describes, the mountain of information, and the insight into the scientific world can only be portrayed in such graphic detail by a writer who has lived these experiences. Living the Dream: The Ski-Boat Years is a must for everyone with a passion for the environment and angling. If we ignore its lessons, the book may well become a reference to our past.” – Rob Naysmith, a ski-boater all his life. Started a charter fishing business in 1993; represented WPDSAA for many years as an angler and skipper; currently runs a fishing charter and his own boat building repairs and retail business.
“Pat Garratt’s life experience, passion for the ocean and love for fishing all come together in Living the Dream: The Ski-Boat Years. A collection of fishing adventures I thoroughly enjoyed reading and recommend to all.” – Dave Christie, Marine Biologist; founder of Two Oceans Sport Fishing Charters; owner of Big Catch Fishing Tackle and all-round angler.
The book costs R165 and is available from The Kingfisher (Durban), Basil Manning Fishing Tackle (Durban), Simon Chater (Durban — 082 896 4799), Surf Emporium (Muizenberg), Expressions on the Beach (Muizenberg), Big Catch Fishing Tackle (Paarden Eiland), or directly from the author.
If you are looking for a copy of Pat’s book, or you want to email him, please use the link below:
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Miles Godbold 31 October 2020
Following on the success of his previous book author Pat Garratt has reinforced his eminence with another written in the same vein. The first in his proposed trilogy introduced four youngsters from diverse backgrounds drawn together by their love of angling. Called Born to Fish, Garratt employed the novel approach in which a loose story served not only to cement their relationship but also as the platform for his message – that the greed of unchecked harvests of marine life will ultimately deplete fish stocks beyond recovery and, to change this, a sense of sensible utilisation was needed by the angling fraternity. Not least, in the questions asked and lessons learned by his characters, this book rode upon another aspect; that of providing rock and surf anglers with the knowledge to target the various fish species with which our coast is blessed. It was an informal method in which to couch his vision of conservation and to convey his considerable understanding of marine ecology.
Garratt is better qualified than most to promote this approach, having been bitten by the fishing bug himself as a boy before pursuing that passion into his professional working life. An initial science degree led to a ski-boat commercial fishing venture, then to marine research and ultimately a PhD in his field and curatorship of two major aquariums in South Africa. Few can have had such a complete experience, his research involving the capture of thousands of fish on hook and line, hundreds of hours observing behaviour underwater, tagging and releasing and attempting to understand the complexities of fish biology. Entwined in this period of his life was an early book he co-authored, The South African Fisherman – Whibley & Garratt – a fishing guide to this country’s coast line, followed by the popular Crazy. The Adventures of a Marine Biologist.
No stranger to the written word, he now continues the journey of the four young fishing addicts in Living the Life – The Ski Boat Years. The same characters have matured, their rod skills have grown and so too their understanding of conservation of marine resources in this, his latest offering, in which he applies his focus to off-shore fishing along our coast.
Again the depth of his substantial knowledge is plumbed, this time to cover the full package from ski-boat launching and the reading of sea conditions, sea birds and marine creatures and the targeting of deep and shallow water species at the many spots along our coast. This is not simply a light read for juveniles, as his casual and easy method of writing might suggest. The lessons are carried by the dialogue of his characters and contained in conversations are hard-learned tips on fishing in our waters which even salty skippers would be wise to imbibe. Dangers are spelled out and repeated, with advice given in a way that may sound old hat to some but new to most. And never ignored are Garratt’s sensitive descriptions of the beauty which washes over times spent at sea, the quiet lapping of waves against a boat at rest, the frantic feeding of seabirds on bait shoals, the adrenalin flood at the hook-up of a billfish or tuna and the deep satisfaction of its tagged release.
More than anything this book is written by someone who’s been there, done it. His description of the excitement that accompanies a successful ski-boat launch could only emanate from the pen of a writer who has done it many, many times. For the old hand deep-sea fisherman there is much of value in this book. For the tyro it should be a must-read. Garratt chanced upon a fresh approach with his first book of the trilogy and it was well received. This one is no different and should be a keeper for anyone interested in fishing along our coast. Not one to be tagged and released.
Miles Godbold 31 October 2020