In some areas, fishing will be the most reliable means of obtaining meat in the wilderness. It can be done with little, and even no specialized gear. Here are some tips for success while survival fishing.
- Set passive traps whenever possible. This way you can spend your time and energy on other essentials like gathering firewood, building shelter, or signaling for rescue. Some traps to consider are pipe traps that you could improve using trash bottles that are often found in and around the water, the trigger snare fish trap, and the funnel trap or “Indian fish trap”.
- Paracord, or 550 cord, can be stripped down, and the thin, white, inner bands can be used as fishing line.
- Search the area around the water as much as possible for items that you can use to your benefit, you can use plastic bottles to catch bait fish, metal cans to make lures, and potentially even find line or a hook in areas that see higher traffic.
- Don’t waste any food you might have on you using it as bait if it can be avoided. Instead, search for bugs and worms in the area that the fish are going to be familiar with and more likely to bite.
- When cleaning the fish, retain the entrails, eggs, and head. These can be used as chum, or as bait in a modified funnel trap to catch crayfish or mud bugs.
- Look in the fish’s stomach to see what else it ate to get a better idea of what you can use as bait.
- Cook the fish near the water instead of at your campsite, this will reduce the smell of fish at your camp and keep scavengers and even bears from coming by looking for a meal and finding you.
Fishing is a great skill to have in your knowledge pack for survival, and a small emergency fishing kit is a good idea to include in your wilderness survival gear.
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