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Luke Bagley

No Rod and Reel? Try these Survival Fishing Techniques

No Rod and Reel? Try these Survival Fishing Techniques

Survival fishing is one of the best skills to hold in an emergency. Whether you find yourself lost in nature or recovering after a catastrophe, knowing how to fish without a rod and reel can save your life.

Almost everyone knows how to catch fish with standard fishing equipment, but few possess the surviving fishing techniques to feed themselves in the wilderness. In an emergency, you will want to be one of the later.

If you are keen to learn how to fish a pole and bait, this short guide will help you learn this life-saving skill.

The Crucial Benefits of Survival Fishing

The chances of getting lost in the wild are small, but they are never zero. It could happen to you when you are hiking, trekking, or camping. In such a dire situation, knowing how to acquire food could be essential for your health and your ultimate survival. Simple techniques of survival fishing can keep you well-fed, lucid, and they increase your odds of returning to civilization in one piece.

Catching fish with rudimentary methods can improve your mood significantly. Fishing without a rod and reel can help you keep a full belly, which means you can conserve energy and not tire easily.

In the aftermath of a catastrophe, you can be isolated from civilization for days or even weeks. Survival fishing can help you provide food for you and your family with minimal effort. Furthermore, when you master these techniques, you can catch more fish than just for a quick meal. So, you can avoid hunger and focus on ways of improving your situation.

Survival Fishing Techniques

Now, you know how important it is to possess survival fishing skills. Let's dive deeper and find out how you can bring a meal to the surface and upon the shore in extreme situations!

Here are five ways to catch fish without a rod and reel:

1.     Hand Fishing

You may know this backcountry fishing technique as noodling, graveling, or hogging, and many believe it to be one of the oldest ways humans caught fish.

Hand fishing is most effective in lakes or rivers that abound in catfish. These ray-finned creatures enjoy hunting in dark places like hollow logs, undercut banks, and holes under rocks. Look for these signs on the shore, and if they have two entrances, silently block one of them.

Next, slowly reach inside with your strongest hand. Move your fingers to mimic worms and attract the catfish. When the fish bites you, grab its mouth, hold tightly, and pull it out of the water. These fish are known for their sharp barbells, which might scratch your hands. So, make sure that you release your grip once you carry the catfish in a safe area on the shore.

2.     Spearfishing

Another primitive method of catching fish without a rod and reel is with a spear. Again, this technique applies in exceptional situations, where you are lost in the wilderness with little or no tools at all.

To build a spear, you need to find a strong piece of wood and add a sharp, barb-pointed rock or metal on one of its ends. Next, you position yourself over a clear body of water, but in such a way that you do not cast a shadow over it. Otherwise, you will scare the fish. When you see potential prey swimming by, you have to plunge the spear towards it.

Spearfishing is a difficult technique, and you will need plenty of practice to master it. However, once you get the hang of it, you will learn an essential survival fishing skill.

3.     Fish Traps

If you are looking for a passive way to catch fish, you should try building fish traps. This practice is ideal for survival scenarios in which you are days away from civilization, and you are not pressed by time or hunger to find a source of food.

You can build a fish trap with any container that you can turn into an inverted funnel. This type of survival fishing uses one of the oldest tricks in the fishing book, and you can do it with a plastic bottle or jug. Simply cut its upper part and stick it to the rest of the bottle in such a way that it opens into it.

The idea is to have fish enter the bottle through the small funnel and then can’t get back out. If you only have a small bottle with you, use it to catch fry, which you can later use for bait to catch bigger fish.

The fish trap is a great solution for catching fish passively while you occupy your time with other survival essentials, such as building a shelter or gathering wood for the fire.

4.     Gorge Hooks

 Another effective survival fishing technique implies using gorge hooks. The great part about it is that you can make them out of almost anything. If you have hard pieces of plastic, bones, or even sturdy twigs and a fishing line or something similarly strong, you can easily make them in the wilderness.

You will need to sharpen the hook on both ends and make a notch in the middle where the fishing line will secure the gorge hook. If you have a piece of food or some fry from fish traps, you can attach them to the hook. Lower it gently into the water, and when a fish comes by, slowly pull the line so that the gorge hook turns sideways and lodges in the fish's throat.

5.     Fish Striking

Last but not least, if you are in a situation where you cannot build gorge hooks, spears, or fish traps, and you cannot find any catfish hideouts, you can try striking fish with a heavy club or a big rock.

This survival fishing technique is crude, but it might be your only chance of getting out alive from a sticky situation. It works best in areas where you can see large fish in shallow water, such as salmon or trout. Like spearfishing, it takes plenty of practice and patience to get it right. But once you do, you increase your chances of survival substantially.

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