Survival Fishing Basics How To Guide



When most of us think about fishing, we think of a relaxing day enjoying the sunshine and indulging in a hobby we love. But there might come a time when this hobby becomes a means of survival. If that happens, are you prepared? Do you know the best techniques to get a fish when it matters most? Do you know the best equipment, such as hooks and compact fishing rods that will help in survival fishing as well as not weigh you down? Or how to successfully fish with little or no equipment? This article will teach you how to be prepared for such a situation. You will be prepared either having the tools needed or having the knowledge on how to create the tools and use the skills needed for survival fishing.

It is important to remember that for survival, you might have to break some laws. There are methods that are illegal when in normal, safe situations. But when you are fighting for your life and need to eat, you have to do what you can to survive.


Be Prepared for Survival Fishing



No one wants to think they will be in a dire situation, but it is best to be prepared. Be sure to have hooks, swivels, line, and compact fishing poles


Hooks for Survival Fishing



You will want to have approximately fifty hooks of various sizes. If you are fishing for survival, you will want to have several lines going at once. Ensure you have different sizes of hooks so you have a chance at any fish, large or small. 





You will also want to carry some bait with you. The most popular choice is live worms, as live worms work with most fish. Salmon eggs are a great choice as you can fit a lot of them in a small bottle. 

Plastic worms also work great as they are light-weight and easy to pack. Include a small bottle of fish attractant to use on the plastic worms. Fish will be more inclined to bite if there is scent to the plastic worms.

And of course, you always want to be sure to have a knife with you for many different uses, such as creating a hook or cutting a fish up to use as bait. 



Improvising when Survival Fishing


But if you are not prepared with supplies, there are ways to get what you need out in nature. 


Improvising Bait


 You can find live bait relatively easy out in nature. Worms are, again, the best kind of bait. If you cannot come by live worms, look under a log for maggots, ants, or flying bugs. 


Improvising a Hook

You can create a hook for many things. Things such as an animal bone, a paper clip, or even a tab from a soda can. If you have the knife that was mentioned as a necessity above, you can whittle out a hook from a piece of wood.


Improvising Fishing Line

To get fishing line, you can use thread from your clothing or a backpack. You can also use floss or wire. Remember to think creatively and improvise. 


Improvising Fishing Lure

For a fishing lure, anything shiny or colorful will do. This can be a piece of clothing or a shiny piece of metal. Something that will catch the attention of a fish. 



Techniques for Survival Fishing


There are many ways to survival fish when you are in need of protein. The important thing is to do what works best for you.


Spear Fishing

You can fashion a spear out of a piece of wood, carving the end to a sharp point. A bone is another item that can be used as a spear. 

Spearing fish takes patience and skill and might not be the easiest way to catch fish unless you are able to trap them into a smaller space. But spearing catches larger fish, so it might be worth the effort.


Using Multiple Lines

As mentioned before, you will want to have several lines going at once. This will increase your chances of catching something. One method if you do not have the portable fishing pole is to tie line across a shallow and narrow part of the water. Tie it to two opposing trees and tie lines with leaders so that the hook falls into the water a couple of inches. You can also tie lines to willow shoots or canes. Stick the shoots into the bank at an angle so they are leaning over the water. 


Survival Fishing by Hand

Another method for catching fish is to catch them by hand. Wade into the water and reach into spaces between rocks or hollow logs, grabbing the fish by its mouth or gills. 


Fish Weir

You can create a fish weir using rocks or sticks, creating a narrow opening that fish can enter. Once inside the weir, you can spear the fish or even grab them, the enclosed space making it easy to catch them. 


Gill Net

You can use a gill net, putting it in vertically. Fish swim into it and get caught by the gills. This is not legal, but again, when you have to eat to survive, you do what you have to.


Stunning Fish

A drastic measure is poisoning the fish. This is considered a last resort when fishing for survival. Crushed green hulls from black walnuts work well for this method. You can also cook lime from sea shells and crush them. Then place them into shallow water. Plants, such as mullein or buckeye, can be crushed and used as well. Again, this should be the last attempt to get fish. 


Cooking Fish



One of the most important factors when survival fishing is cooking the fish you catch. Cut from the hole usually found two inches from the tail to the edge of the gills. Scoop out the guts with one swooping motion, and then wash out the fish with fresh water. You can boil the fish in a makeshift pot. Another method is impaling the fish with a stick and cook over an open fire. You could also smoke the fish by hanging it on branches over the fire. 


Tips for Survival Fishing


There are some tips to remember so you have an edge on survival fishing.

It is best to fish on a cloudy day. There is less light to spook the fish. A light rain is also a good choice for fishing. The rain can push bugs into the water, creating a feeding frenzy. The rain drops falling into the water also make it less likely fish will see you.

On that note, do not fish during especially stormy weather. It is always too dangerous to be near water when there is lightning. And if it is raining too hard, the water becomes muddy. The fish will have a hard time seeing bait. 

Avoid wearing bright clothing. Fish will notice the colors and avoid the area. 

These survival fishing basics will help you through the difficult time. If you are without the a survival fishing rod and other fishing essentials, you can use items found around you in nature. There are many methods to catching fish, so with knowledge and patience, you can survive. 

This article was written by our friends over at




How to Prepare for An Earthquake


Best Budget Survival Knife to Get in 2021