If you happen to get stranded near a river, creek, pond or any water body with fish, and you have at least a day before help arrives, then you’ve got to make good with the materials around you to stay alive and kicking.
Chances are you may have no fishing gear with you. But if you are a seasoned angler, you may have one or two things with you. How then do you make do with these to catch food as you wait for rescue or find your way out of your predicament?
Here are some of the methods you can adopt to catch fish in survival mode, to supplement your meal of wild fruits and berries:
How to Catch a Fish Without a Fishing Pole
In hand fishing, you will have to wade through the water as you look for hideouts for the fish. It is usually used for catching catfish. For bait, you will have to use your hand as bait and let the fish clamp on it.
You can also hold a hook in your hand to make the catching easier. This method can be both painful and exhilarating at the same time. It is not for the faint of heart. Lucky for you, there are other safer and tamer techniques that you can use to catch the fish in survival mode.
Use a Handheld Line
This method involves the use of your hand as the fishing pole. You can use improvised threads from clothing, shoelaces, long, healthy grass, etc., as your fishing line. Attach a hook to it; which can be fashioned from a can tab.
As for the bait to use, you can pick from, using worms from the ground to using small insects e.g. crickets. Look for prime hiding places for the fish such as below rocks, overhangs of the bank, in dark areas, etc. Hold the coils of line in your hands and cast then retrieve once you get a bite.
Related reading: Preserving fish for long-term survival
Make a Basket Trap for the fish
A basket trap is a trap that has a funnel-shaped entrance. It is easy for the fish to get in but not out. You need to consider which size of fish you want to catch and what are its habits? Build the trap to that specification.
For catfish, you can make wooden slat traps. They are typically a yard long and have an entrance shaped like a funnel. If you want to catch minnows, you can use a bottle. Cut the top off and place it inside the bottle while inverted.
This technique can be very useful especially when fishing at night. You can also use it during the day. Since you most definitely do not have a spear, how do you make one?
You can make a spear by fastening a sharp object to a pole of wood. You can use sturdy twigs from trees as the pole. If you have a pocket knife with you, it is possible only to use it, or you can also tie it to the pole.
Collect sharp edged scrap metal, hard plastics, etc., that you will find lying around you. Use shoelaces or twigs to fasten the sharp tip to a pole. Otherwise, you can just sharpen the edge of the pole.
When spearing the fish, it is not about striking the fish at the point where you see it. Refraction of light takes place in water and therefore where you ‘see’ the fish isn’t its exact location. Practice by trying to stab other objects in the water such as rocks as you will only get one chance to strike the fish
It will help you understand how much; you will need to alter the direction of your attack to be able to hit ‘gold.’ You will also need a spotlight to draw the fish towards the light when fishing at night.
Getting stranded far away from civilization isn’t the end of the road, you can keep going by improvising and adapting to the situation as you wait for rescue or find your way out. If there is a water body that has fish nearby, you can also get supplements for your meal of wild berries.
Catch the fish by wading in the water and grab them with your hands. You will have to use your hand as bait. If you don’t have a fishing pole, you can still catch the fish by hook and line by using your hands as the fishing pole.
You can make improvised lures by using dead insects or digging out worms from below rocks. Use your shoelaces or sturdy, long grass as your fishing line. This method is, however, energy consuming, and in survival mode, you need to conserve as much energy as you possibly can.
Take your pick from the above choices if you do not have a fishing pole and are stranded.
Article written by Lisa Johnson for Prepper’s Will.
I’m Lisa. I have a strong understanding and passion for all things related to fishing. When I am not out wetting a line, I am sharing a range of tips and tricks on Fall For Fishing – to help others to snag their big catch!
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