Survival Fishing

People end up in a survival situation for various reasons. A hike that began as just a few miles can turn into days, leaving you lost and wandering in search of water and food. Your camping trip can turn into a nightmare because of a flash flood or another extreme weather event. Anything can happen at any time. The unfortunate part is that people are rarely prepared for survival. People tend to look for the unexpected instead of preparing for the expected. Survival experts will tell you it is never a matter of if, only a matter of when.

Regardless of your survival gear and any other equipment you may or may not have, you can still survive. Your priorities are shelter, water and food. Without food, you soon deplete your body’s energy. You cannot build a shelter, or collect safe drinking water without calories. One of the more simple ways of obtaining food is by fishing. You can fish with what you find in the woods.

They are numerous ways to catch fish you can, spear, catch by hand, trap or use the more traditional way by using a line and baited hook. What happens when you are stranded without any fishing line, or hook? Nature can provide you with the basic essentials for fishing.

Immediately begin surveying your surroundings, you will need fishing line. Plants and trees can provide you with line and hooks. Begin by searching for small downed limbs that are somewhat seasoned but not rotted. What you are looking for is the inner layer of bark that lies just under the first layer of bark. This inner layer is called Cambium. Once you have peeled, the outer layer off the wood becomes stringy and strands can be peeled off. Remove as many strands as you can intact. Place three strands together, tie off on one end, and begin braiding the hair like fibers using the over under braiding technique. Soon the strands will start to look like crude string.

Many plants also can be harvested for their fibers that can be weaved into string to include milkweed, dogbane, saw grass, yucca plants, certain cacti and flax plants. Cedar and spruce are ideal woods for making line because of their fibrous nature. If you are, using cedar to make line you will have to remove several layers to reach the fibrous material. Once you get a rhythm down you soon realize you can fish with what you can find in the woods.

Pick plants that are dead if possible because, this makes separating the fibers easier. Keep in mind certain thistle and milkweed plants can provoke an allergic reaction in some people. The sap and thistles from the plants can be a skin irritant. However, if the plant is dead the sap is likely dried up. Braid short lines and tie together. Working with shorter pieces is easier and provides a tighter line.

Hooks can be made from wood and one hook that has been around for thousands of years is called the gorge hook. It is slender two-inch piece of wood sharpened on both ends and a groove cut in the middle. The groove is where the line is connected and the sharpened ends are for securing your bait. You want the hook small enough so the fish engulfs the entire hook and yet not so small, where the fish can literally spit it out. If you know the species and size of fish, you can adapt the hook size.

wooden fish hooks

You can tie your line off and leave overnight, or trim a small sapling down and use as a pole. Additional hooks can be made by finding small twigs with knots or curvature in the end that can be sharpened into a fishhook shape. Crickets, worms, grubs, food scrapes and even brightly colored cloth can be used for bait. Use crickets or grasshoppers as flies if stream fishing for trout. You can make a spoon out of anything that is shiny; belt buckle discarded serving spoon and so forth. Bobbers can be made from Styrofoam or empty water or soda bottles with the cap on so it floats. You can make sinkers or weights out of virtually anything. Force a few small pebbles between the strands of your fiber string to act as weights.

Fish can be trapped and then caught by hand or speared. Find an area close to the bank where the water flow is reduced. Take some stakes and drive them into the stream in a semi-circle from the bank out making a small corral next the bank. Leave an opening for the fish to enter, devise a way to close off the opening once a number of fish have entered. Use a flat rock to cover the opening or drive more stakes in. Capture by hand or by spearing with a small seasoned pole. Splinter the end of the pole somewhat to provide more than one point. Blunt spears do not penetrate well and when they do, they tend to destroy edible parts of the fish. You can also drive fish into your corral by going downstream from your trap and wading up the middle of the stream toward your trap. Fish will attempt to get away from all the noise and splashing, so they will move in the direction of your corral.

You can fish with what you can find in the woods, but it requires a little work and patience. You must think through each move and plan carefully. People become frustrated when they do not catch a fish the first few minutes. You will catch fish if you follow the few simple tips however, it will take some time. Learn to manage your expectations. Many survival experts make it look easy on television. It looks easy because they have years of training, and experience. You can learn you just have to concentrate, practice and above all always be prepared.
most of our kits come with fishing gear: