SAUNDERS, James. ~ The Compleat Fisherman. Being a large and particular account, of all the several ways of fishing now practised in Europe; with abundance of curious secrets and niceties in the art of fishing, as well in the sea, as in lakes, meers, ponds, rivers or brooks; whether by darts, spears, harpoons, nets, hook and line, or any other way whatsover. More particularly calculated for the sport of angling. With directions for preparing the angle rods, lines, hooks, and baits, proper for every part of the sport respectively; and also for the angler’s conduct in rightly applying them. Also, an account of all the principal rivers, lakes, &c. in England; and what kinds of fish are more especially found in them. Collected from the best authors, and from the long experience of James Saunders, Esq; of Newton-Awbery, upon the River Trent. London: printed for W. Mears and S. Tooke, 1724.
12mo (164 × 94 mm.), pp. [vi], 234. Folding frontispiece. Engraved head and tailpiece. Contemporary calf, gilt decorations to spine and edges, gilt rules to covers. Some wear to joints and spine but holding well. Armorial bookplates of the Right Hon. the Lord Carmichael and Francis Alexander. A very good copy.
First edition. The book gives details of various methods of catching different fish, and which rivers to find them in. It is the first angling book to mention silk-worm gut. According to ESTC, this present work was issued separately by five different printers in 1724. This issue is the only one included in Westwood & Satchell (Biblioteca Piscatoria, pp.189). The attractive engraved folding frontispiece shows different methods of fishing and four species of fish: brill, trout, carp and perch. ESTC lists three copies only: at Harvard, Princeton and Boston Public Library. Biblioteca Piscatoria, pp.189