Darwin’s Bass: The Evolutionary Psychology of Fishing Man

By Paul Quinnett

Nonfiction, 254 pages, 5.5" x 8.5"

In this sequel to his widely acclaimed Pavlov’s Trout – the first book ever about the psychology of fishing – psychologist and fisherman Paul Quinnett, Ph.D., returns with Darwin's Bass to explore the evolutionary foundations of fishing, and why so many people devote so much passion to this sport.

In this sequel to his widely acclaimed Pavlov’s Trout – the first book to explore the psychology of fishing – psychologist, philosopher and fisherman Paul Quinnett, Ph.D., returns to explore the evolutionary foundations of fishing, and why so many people are so strongly attracted to this sport. This time the question is simple. Could it be that humans were actually born to fish?

In Darwin's Bass, Quinnett uses the theories of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species" to examine how people have evolved and, in some ways, "de-evolved" from our fishing and evolutionary partner, the bass. While some people may not buy the idea of sharing an evolutionary history with the fishes, Quinnett suspects those who enjoy fishing might relish the thought. "It is easier for me to accept being descended from a fish than from a monkey," he observes.

Darwin's Bass shows how tightly intertwined humans are with the natural world from which we emerged. Few may experience this so fully as those men and women who enjoy fishing. As Quinnett writes, "To arrive at that place where you can with confidence sit on a river bank and study the fish below the veil of moving water and know – and I mean know – that what you see is not an illusion, but the truth, is to arrive in that far and wondrous place where angler and fish become one."

About the author
Paul Quinnett, Ph.D., holds true to his own advice to go fishing often, with frequent excursions to Alaska, Canada, Christmas Island, and his own home waters around eastern Washington and northern Idaho. He is a nationally recognized authority on suicide prevention, about which he has written several books, including "When Self Help Fails" and "Suicide: The Forever Decision." He also created "QPR, CPR for Suicide Prevention," a national program for the prevention of suicide. Click to learn more on his blog, On Suicide. Dr. Quinnett likes to say he’s been a fisherman all his life, but a psychologist for only the last 33 fishing seasons; he uses his frequent outdoor pursuits as grist for a prolific writing avocation that has included publication in hundreds of national magazines, including Gray’s Sporting Journal, Sporting Classics, Field & Stream, Sports Afield, Audubon and others.

Praise for Darwin’s Bass

"Even if a fishing trip is your idea of vacation hell, you’ll still enjoy Darwin’s Bass. It’s a witty, informal guide to the human mind."

Psychology Today

"Darwin’s Bass is destined to be a classic."

The Fisherman

"Darwin’s Bass takes one of the more controversial theories presented to modern science – Darwin’s 'Origin of Species' – and waves it through some float tube philosophy. The result is a highly readable, occasionally provocative and inevitably insightful book about the connection of man, fishing and our place in the natural world."

The Pacific Northwest Inlander

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