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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serves its function very well. but needs a lanyard...
John P. Hoover is THE MAN when it comes to identifying Hawaiian sea creatures. The serious diver and snorkeler really need to have his other reference books, Hawaii's Fishes and Hawaii's Sea Creatures, and his book on Hanauma Bay is a great resource for those visiting that famed location.

This small booklet is not meant to replace any of these. It is meant to...
Published on March 20, 2010 by R S Cobblestone

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars: Generally Useful Pocket Guide to Hawaiian Marine Fish, But 15-20% of Photos Aren't Sufficiently Clear
I was a bit disappointed with this pocket guide to the marine fish of Hawaii and am surprised that more people have not pointed out its main problem, namely too many photos that do not clearly depict the fish.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:

This is a small (6" x 4.75"), relatively pocketable, waterproof guide to the marine fish of Hawaii that one is likely to...
Published 10 months ago by Not my real name guy


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serves its function very well. but needs a lanyard..., March 20, 2010
By 
This review is from: Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide (Paperback)
John P. Hoover is THE MAN when it comes to identifying Hawaiian sea creatures. The serious diver and snorkeler really need to have his other reference books, Hawaii's Fishes and Hawaii's Sea Creatures, and his book on Hanauma Bay is a great resource for those visiting that famed location.

This small booklet is not meant to replace any of these. It is meant to replace those maddening plastic "fish ID" cards that you can pick up everywhere, that either are limited to 20 or so "common" fish (disputable), or, quite frankly, aren't that good at depicting the key identification characteristics of some fish with the illustrations used.

This booklet has Hoover's characteristic terrific photos. How does he have the patience to wait for most fish to slowly turn toward him so that he can capture both a lateral and anterior view? With room for about 150 species, Hoover couldn't include photos of the various juvenile or sex-specific forms or color patterns, so you won't see, say, a photo of a juvenile rockmover wrasse. And apparently I need to be looking more closely for the Indo-Pacific sergeant, instead of assuming that they are all the Hawaiian variety.

My one complaint is the nature of this book, which is meant to be used in the water. How do you hold onto it? I needed to punch a hole through the book, then attach a wrist lanyard. Divers need to keep everything attached to their BCD, and snorkelers can't/won't keep this in their hand while swimming. I do understand that a lanyard, or rubber band, or whatever you want to use to attach this booklet to your BCD or wrist may be awkward in a bookstore setting, but I would guess that Joe and Jane Snorkeler do not have access to a nice hole punch that would allow them to jury-rig some attachment device. And a hole is needed to keep this booklet from floating off.

Even with this "holey" comment, I'd recommend this booklet over every one of the similarly-priced plastic ID guides. Make your visit to Hawaiian waters a memorable one, and learn the fishes!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great LITTLE book., July 14, 2009
By 
Nancy S. (Evergreen, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide (Paperback)
This handy, LITTLE book is indeed handy, has great authentic photos and yet it is smaller than I had envisioned. As it turns out, it suits my purposes very well. When at the beach, it does not take up any room in the bag and yet provides great reference photos for my snorkeling sessions. It will be a must-take on every trip where I will get to see these amazing and wonderfilled creatures again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but small, November 10, 2006
By 
C. Miner (Indianapolis, IN, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide (Paperback)
I was surprised when I got this book to see how small and flimsy it was. I was expecting something a bit sturdier. It is more of a pamphlet than a book. But it is made of waterproof paper, and has good information on the fish of Hawaii.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome underwater!, June 1, 2009
By 
L. McLellan (Cleveland, OH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide (Paperback)
This waterproof guide completely fulfilled my expectations. It was easy to use while snorkeling, and dried out easily. I easily identified fish in the Oahu reefs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hoover is the MAN if you want to learn Hawaiian Reef FIsh, December 1, 2009
This review is from: Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide (Paperback)
If you want to know about Hawaii's reef fish, buy a book by Hoover! This little Pocket Guide is a handy reference that you can take to the beach with you. The waterproof pages are nice, so your book doesn't get ruined when you can't wait to dry off before looking up that fish you saw snorkeling or diving. Hoover's books always include great color photos. His books are also great for academic research projects (I always use his books as references for my projects!) I also like his other booksThe Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes: Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Whales, and SealsHawaii's Sea Creatures, a Guide to Hawaii's Marine InvertebratesHawaii's Fishes : A Guide for Snorkelers, Divers, and Aquarists
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars: Generally Useful Pocket Guide to Hawaiian Marine Fish, But 15-20% of Photos Aren't Sufficiently Clear, January 30, 2014
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This review is from: Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide (Paperback)
I was a bit disappointed with this pocket guide to the marine fish of Hawaii and am surprised that more people have not pointed out its main problem, namely too many photos that do not clearly depict the fish.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:

This is a small (6" x 4.75"), relatively pocketable, waterproof guide to the marine fish of Hawaii that one is likely to encounter while snorkeling or scuba diving. It contains 154 color 1.25" x 2.0" photos of fish on about 26 plasticized pages, along with a 4-8 word description of the fish as well as the fishes' size.

PROS:

- Water proof and sufficiently compact that one could easily shove it in the pocket of one's swim trunks. One could also use a hole punch about 1/4" to 1/3" in from the top left corner of the book, which won't interfere with any fish photos and attach a lanyard to it (an old camera lanyard or strap, preferably one with a cinch on it that can be tightened or even a girl's thin hairband from a dollar store would work).

- The majority of photos are clear, they colorfully depict the various species of fish and the inclusion of typical lengths of the different species, along with a comment or two on appearance, helps to identify the fish.

- With photos of 154 different fish, this guide seems pretty comprehensive and likely to depict most of the fish one typically would encounter out on Hawaii's reefs.

CONS:

- The only real con is that about 20 photos in the booklet aren't very good at all and show some vaguely and non-distinct silvery fish against a blueish or black background that do not show the details and colors of the fish well (e.g. barracudas, Hawaiian Flagtail, milkfish, plus several goatfish, jacks, mullets and snappers). I saw several schools of 6-10" silvery fish off Lahaina, but have no idea what they were because the photos of possible suspects in this book are not sufficiently clear to make an ID. Additionally, maybe 10 other fish photos have too faded of colors to be as helpful as they should be (e.g. several chromis, the parrotfish - none of which were close to as colorful as the brilliantly blue, turquoise, yellow and pink parrotfish we saw at Lanai - and several of the darker tangs). Now granted fish tend not to pose patiently for photographers, but given that the author of this book is supposedly an expert on Hawaiian fish and the fish in the book are supposedly commonly found in the reefs of Hawaii, I would have expected him to have obtained better photos of those 30 or so fish, so that all of the photos in the book were at the same high level. It almost seemed as if 80% of the photos in this book were taken while the author was scuba diving, when he had plenty of time to approach and compose the photos to obtain maximum clarity, and the other 20% were taken while snorkeling, when the author had only a few seconds worth of air in his lungs to take the shot and couldn't be picky.

CONCLUSION:

Overall, I recommend buying this book if you're planning on doing some snorkeling or diving in Hawaii, as it can easily be stuffed in one's gear bag, it can even be taken underwater while snorkeling or diving, and most of the time it has good photos and good information for IDing fish. Ultimately, I decided not to take this into the water with me, as I figured I'd be too busy taking photos of fish with my waterproof camera to have the booklet strapped to my other wrist or be able to pull it out of a pocket; in retrospect, I have no regrets not bringing the book with me while snorkeling. Given the fact that I ultimately didn't need it to be waterproof, I think I might have been happier with one of the author's more comprehensive books instead of the booklet. I took a star and a half off this book's rating because it has too many mediocre photos to deserve a 5/5 rating, just as a student getting only 16 out of 20 right on a basic arithmetic quiz doesn't deserve an A grade. I hope that John Hoover, as more than a few authors do, checks out the reviews of his works here on Amazon, sees this one, takes this advice as constructive, and works on replacing the one-out-of-five photos that aren't up to the quality levels of the average photo in the book, for the next edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource!, December 1, 2013
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This review is from: Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide (Paperback)
Oh, what a wonderful little book. My wife and I love to snorkel. Following the time in the water, this will be a great resource to ID what we saw. Probably will not take in the water - but the waterproof construction is a great plus. Nice piece, great price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little booklet!, June 17, 2013
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This review is from: Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide (Paperback)
Excellent photos. Good color. The booklet is small and easy to take along. It has a great selection of fish, but of course it can't have everything. I love having it to try and identify fish as we see them or review fish we've seen on previous trips. Just fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quick guide, June 15, 2013
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This review is from: Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide (Paperback)
Small and easy to use. Excellent photos. Bring it to the beach, put in in your snorkel bag. A great companion to a more detailed fish guide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book., May 31, 2013
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This review is from: Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide (Paperback)
This little book is very user friendly. It was a gift for a friend and the recipient was thrilled with it.
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Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide
Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide by John P. Hoover (Paperback - April 1, 2006)
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