Fishing was a major interest of Arthur Ransome, and a subject for his books and newspaper columns; his last book (published in 1959) was Mainly about Fishing. His father was a keen fisherman; while on holiday in Nibthwaite he fished for trout and his children were taught to row and hold a net, and fished for minnows or perch. He died from the effects of a broken ankle he received while returning from fishing (TLE page 15,20).
At the beginning of Swallowdale they pass a Fisherman broad on the beam .... a rowing boat with two natives in it .... (one) holding a fishing rod .... Towing a spinner for pike (says John) (SD1). Later they catch about a dozen small trout in the tarn, and Roger catches a two pound trout, one of the grandfathers (SD15).
In Coot Club the Coots go Eel Setting at night (CC3). Pete the youngest of the Death and Glories is a keen fisherman (like St Peter?). At the beginning, the boatman taking the D's to the Teasel says of Dr Dudgeon (CC2):
- He’s a fisherman.... Put up that old bream (as a weathercock on the house) himself. Not much time for sailin’, I s’pose, bein’ a doctor, but you often see him fishing off his garden end when the season come on.
In The Big Six the Owner of the Cachalot is a keen fisherman, and the Cachalot is equipped for fishing summer and winter. He buys "tiddlers" as pike bait from the Death and Glories. While the Owner is away getting milk from the Roaring Donkey, Pete catches “The World’s Whopper” of a pike, which the owner has bet the landlord he can catch (BS7). The landlord weighs the pike as "Thirty pound and a half", and says that the fish will make our fortunes ....they’ll be coming from London and Manchester.... We’ll have the spare beds full from June to March (BS8). In the Postscript to The Big Six, the Death and Glories go to the Roaring Donkey to see the handing over of the stuffed fish to the inn, with their three names in gold letters. An old fisherman with a white beard says Poor lads …. So young and with nothing left to live for. Pete says Let’s go and catch another.