Survival Fishing: Ultimate Guide

Ultimate Guide To Survival Fishing

Humans have been into fishing for ages – probably since the start of human civilization.

And this is no wonder that fish is one of the most nutritious and delicious food sources. Moreover, they are available in plenty, and mostly all are edible. The best thing is you can find them on any water coast.

While you spend a lot of money purchasing top-of-the-line fishing gear, you do not require most of them – like the whistles and bells.

In dire situations, you will be able to find most of the things right on the forest ground or on a city street.

Also, as we already said, fishing is one of the perfect ways to feed your body with the required protein in a situation when you are looking for survival.

And this is a fast and easy process for those who know the technique of fishing.

Good for you as the fundamentals of survival fishing are easy to learn and, here, we will take you through the process of survival fishing and how you can make it an endless source of protein.

The Problem Of Food Shortages In Emergency

Food Shortage

Insecurity regarding transitory food is linked with the shocks and risks that create a temporary sharp fall in the population’s potential to produce and buy food and various other required essentials.

Sudden dramatic fall of the food availability, utilization, or access may result in permanent issues like death for the ones going through such shocks, even when the underlying disruption or hamper is short term.

Food aid has been indispensable in catering basic nutritional requirements to the shock-impacted people, thereby saving numerous lives over the past half-century or even more.

Most exposed members of the shock-impacted population – women and children, particularly – suffer disproportionately from the food consumption fallouts in the course of transitory food insecurity and even suffer when other family members in the household get the potential to cushion themselves from such shocks.

Food aid, mainly, can be useful in mitigating such vulnerable groups’ requirements.

Equally crucial, timely delivery of the food to extremely food insecure individuals relieve pressure to redeem scarce productive assets, allowing recipients to progress towards completely secure livelihood after the shock passes.

Thus, knowing the need for survival fishing can help the shock impacted people to overcome their situation.

Fishing can also help you survive through an emergency, such as getting lost or in the course of a long run SHTF scenario.

Before anything, finding food must be your priority, followed by the shelter, fire building, and figuring out water sources.

Figuring out food sources will provide you with adding the calories you require to keep your energy level high & not give away to fatigue.

What is more, having a full belly increases your attitude, which infers many survival scenarios.

When you know survival fishing, you can cater to yourself and your family. A successful fishing trip provides adequate room for two or more meals.

Even in urban surroundings, survival fishing can help keep good food on the table.

The best advantage of survival fishing is performing it with minimum effort. At times, it may even come across as a passive way to get food.

Why Should You Fish For Food During Emergency Situation

Catching fish is one of the fastest ways to have an easy meal.

The nutritional value of fish helps your body stay fit even during an emergency.

Live fish thrive in numerous large water bodies, involving ponds, lakes, and rivers. Knowing how you can catch fish in distress can save lives.

Few survival fishing procedures are illegal; however, survival surely comes first when your life is on the line in exigency situations.

Any event can occur in a backcountry that separates individuals from their gear. Many backcountry people have sufficient knowledge of not getting lost, but there are times when this happens.

What if you are far away from civilization or have a sustained injury such as a bruised knee or a sprained ankle, which makes it difficult for you to hobble around.

Keeping yourself warm is the first step towards staying in a wilderness emergency. But at some point, you would require to eat.

While foraging for berries and roots and various other edible plants can cater for a few daily calories but not adequate for individuals who are not a professional at foraging.

Owing to the nutritional value present in fish, survival fishing is one of the prudent ideas to follow in an emergency.

A virtually unlimited supply of fish in water bodies can make your survival fishing technique successful.

Methods of Fishing & Equipment Needed for Fishing

On a typical survival fishing occasion, you may require top-quality survival gear.

You would need to have the right kind of pole, reel, comfy boots, tackle box stocked up with the correct equipment and supplies.

Here, we will list some survival equipment needed for fishing.

Survival Fishing Pole

Fishing Rod

There are various variables in figuring the prudent fishing pole, which even involves where you are situated, the kind of water bodies available, and the year’s time.

An excellent telescopic fishing rod can accommodate nearly any fisherman’s requirements.

Here, we recommend having a telescopic fishing rod as you must opt for a pole that is compact adequately and does not take much space.

However, it should be large enough to manage a normal-sized fish. Versatility, along with durability, is qualities you should look for in a fishing pole.

Survival Fishing Reel

There is as much variance as with the fishing poles when it is about survival fishing reels.

The most crucial aspects of a survival fishing reel are compactness; thus, you can carry it easily, yet dependable that you can rely on when you require your next meal.

Talking about dependability requires a reel that would fit your hands well. This means you are required to fish with it and also get the feel of the same. Do not just purchase one to add to your bag; never use it again.

Familiarity with the survival fishing equipment is crucial, and particularly your reel can make you understand the difference between sleeping with an empty stomach and a full belly.

Survival Fishing Hooks

Perhaps the most crucial thing about a survival fishing hook is to have a reliable set. If you require dinner and cannot set hooks that you threw haphazardly in your fishing kit, guess who will sleep hungry.

Also, you require a strong hook that can efficiently withstand the examination of repeated fishing.

After all, such hooks will not be simple to replace; thus, you will require to ensure they are durable to the extent possible.

And irrespective of what the style of fishing hook is, you can decide on buying other sizes as well. If it is a true TEOTWAWKI scene, you might end up fishing on distinct locations and even various fish species.

Survival Fishing Kit

fishing set

Let us take a moment and discuss the survival fishing kit. There are three distinct situations when it is about survival fishing. First is when you have already prepared a home base.

Second, when you are on a continuous move & functioning out of a bug-out bag. The third is when you are stuck in an emergency scenario, and you do not have anything except for a few things in your pocket.

Fishing Survival Kit: At Home

If your survival scene enables you to stay at home, you will want various survival gear involving fishing. Such items are not required in the case of survival fishing; however, they do make your experience simpler and easier.

At home, keep the listed items on hand:

  • Over shoulder fishing backpack or bag
  • Small tackle box with jigs, hooks, sinkers, grubs, spinners, lure, and rubber worms.
  • Salmon eggs jars
  • Multitool with pliers
  • Fillet knife
  • Fillet board
  • Hand net
  • Gillnet
  • At least 1 rod that breaks down for a simple carry
  • Ice fishing supplies
  • Numerous braided 10-pound fishing line

While a braided fishing line is more costly, it is definitely worth the investment.

Line of monofilament (what you get in a store when you purchase a survival fishing kit) becomes worse over time and even weaker. In real survival events, you might have to repeatedly utilize your line and rely on the same to remain strong.

Bag Fishing Kit – Bug Out

You must also keep a fishing kit with the needed essentials. In it, you can simply contain all you will require, which can also be something as tiny as an Altoid tin.

Your small survival kit must include the following:

  • 40 to 50 hooks between the size 12 and 8
  • Braided pound test line for fishing, which should be 10 pounds
  • Few swivels and sinkers
  • Few artificial rubber worms and lures

This list generally assumes you contain a completely packed prepper bag with a multitool, knife, and paracord.

You should also never avoid the importance of carrying survival medicine if your bug-out bag is kept in the vehicle, including in a collapsible survival fishing pole.

Survival Fishing With Zero Equipment

Hunting Fish With Spear

When it is about survival fishing, you must know what you can do when you do not have any of the equipment listed above.

However, if you lack a fishing kit, come across a river, and want to catch fish to survive, here is what you must do.

Prepare a fishing hand line from what you have. It can either be a thread of clothing, fabric strips, pieces of plastic, or shoelaces. You can even choose to pick twisted bark, sinew from deer’s leg, or braided foliage.

Ensure to utilize whatever you have & whatever you can get around. Also, you can fashion out a survival fishing hook from whatever is available.

You can use paper clips, safety pins, or needles. Again, you can try finding something from nature, which may be a sharp stick, small bone, thorn. You can even cut a fishing hook from a soda can if required.

After SHTF, Find A Bait

Mostly in all cases, you must be able to figure out something to utilize for a bait in or around where you are fishing. Though it is nice to carry premade lures and artificial bait, natural, live bait works the best.

When it is about bait, you would want to find food that fishes generally eat. This can include bugs, worms, mussels, tadpoles, or crawfish.

You may even try fish eggs, small fish, larvae, grubs, minnows, leeches, or young fish. Also, you can try out your specific food scrap.

When you put a bigger bait on the hook, the probability of catching a larger fish increases, it is crucial to note that when you are fishing somewhere and the fish available are small, ensure your bait is not very big to catch what is available.

Remember, smaller fish can still fill up an empty stomach.

Begin looking around the fishing spot. Areas such as under rotten logs & in high grass are good places to find healthy live bait. Do not be scared of trying different baits, as fish can be fussy/picky.

Also, you can try crafting a fish lure. You can make lures from feathers, bright clothing scraps, and fuzzy seed pods. To make it extra attractive, you can try your luck on fashioning a little bit of reflective metal as a lure.

Dangers of Fishing

Danger Zone

While fishing as a survival strategy is essential, new or just beginners have higher chances of getting injured.

Most fishing injuries are due to piercing or cutting objects or even falls.

Fishing rods and hooks can be very dangerous if improperly handled. There is a risk of even lead poisoning for the anglers who create their lead sinkers.

Accidents and drowning are a risk when surf fishing, boat fishing, rock and ledge fishing. Also, if you are in a colder climate, there may be freezing while fishing.

Thus, when fishing for survival, ensure carefully and not commit any of those above mistakes; as for your rescue, there would be no one if you are alone.

How to Prepare Fish

Let us be completely honest; one of the biggest satisfactions is to cook them on the spot nicely when you catch a fish. However, before you cook the fish, cleaning it is essential.

Cleaning the Fish

This is primarily one of the unpleasant steps in the cooking procedure. When you catch a fish, it means you should kill it even before you begin the washing process.

Figure out a compassionate way to do so. You may hit the head of the fish too hard to the extent possible. By doing so, the death of the fish will happen almost instantly.

Crucial steps involved in a fish cleaning process are:

  • Gut the fish well by inserting the tip of your knife into its belly near its tail. Then shallow cut it through the head. However, when doing the process, ensure not to hurt its intestines; otherwise, the fish will have a bitter and awful taste.
  • Open the body of the fish and get its intestines out. Cut its anus out. If there exists a black spot near its backbone, take it out as it must be its kidney.
  • Find clean, running water and rinse the fish.
  • Cut the fins off. Based on your preference, you can leave its head and tail. Fins require to be cut off as they are unnecessary and sharp.
  • Scraping its scales is probably a tiring task but very important. Do so with the help of your knife.

Start The Fire

Starting The Fire

Firstly, find a few dry branches, leaves and put them all in one place.

These will be the basis for you to begin with your fire process. Larger logs and branches are the meat.

These go in as you lit the fire up. However, fire requires some mass; thus, including some wood and allowing it to burn for a while is essential. Once they are reduced to coal, you can start cooking.

Wrapped Fish Process

  • Figure out large leaves, which are broad and fit in your catch. The leaf must be big enough to fit in around your fish without opening on by itself.
  • Go for green and fresh leaves always. Depending on the leaf’s thickness, wrap it in multiple layers to preserve the meat well. This way, you can ensure that your food will be cooked evenly.
  • Place the fish onto the hot coal. There must not be flames at all & in case the temperature is very high, you have to wait for a little. If you place the fish in hot temperature, then it will most likely get scorched in no time.
  • Flip the wrap after a few minutes so that even the other side can get a similar level of crispiness.
  • Once your fish is tender, you can have it.

Generally, it takes nearly 10 minutes for the fish, which is an inch thick to cook. In case the fish is small, ensure to have it with your hands.

In this way, it will be easier to find small bones as it can be dangerous if you swallow the bones.

Wrapping Up

The primary lesson is to look for water, as you may find the best protein source there.

With proper fishing gear, boat, and bait, you and your family can have one of the healthiest food supplies & excel in survival fishing.

However, those lacking the necessary equipment can also make full use of the natural goods available around to form their survival base.


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