Rainy day reads: ‘Fish On, Fish’ off chronicles adventures and misadventures – Grand Forks Herald

In his first book, “Fish On, Fish Off,” Sautner chronicles his experiences, beginning as a self-taught fish-obsessed teenager in the early 1980s to the present, taking readers through every imaginable pitfall and oddball encounter along the way. The list includes rogue waves, menacing grizzly bears, a terrifying helicopter ride over the Straits of Magellan and the dangers of “combat fishing” in his crowded home state of New Jersey.

Sautner fishes for anything with fins. He fly casts for Atlantic salmon, dangles off bridges for giant tarpon, and fishes with “GI Joe-sized” tackle through the ice for diminutive panfish.

Each story features a distinct campfire storytelling style full of wit, color and keen observation of the natural world.

Some stories transport readers to remote outposts such as the Falkland Islands to fly cast for a strange fish no one has ever heard of or Cuba’s Bay of Pigs, where his only fishing rod breaks on the second cast. Other stories cover more familiar themes such as trying to find the balance between family and a full-blown addiction to pursuing one’s passion.

Author and television host Steven Rinella says of Sautner’s book: ” ‘Fish On, Fish Off’ has everything you’d want to find in a book about the outdoors: adventure, humor, pathos, suffering, triumph, and plenty of fish. This book of essays proves once and for all that poetry is as much a part of fishing as a rod and reel.”

Title: “Fish On, Fish Off.”

Author: Stephen Sautner.

Publisher: Lyon’s Press; available at retailers and online.

Price: About $15.

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