Fishing for Survival

Fishing for Survival

( – Fish is one of the best survival foods, because you don’t need a firearm or have to worry about trying to skin and store a large quantity of meat. This means you can also take advantage of having a constant food source when you’re on the go. And the tools for fishing for survival are about as basic as it gets.


This is actually probably one of the hardest ways to fish, because it requires patience and a bit of finesse. Essentially, you just reach in and pull the fish from the water. The problem is, they aren’t exactly going to be cooperative… and they’re slimy. We suggest using gloves with some sort of grip on them, while someone else holds a basket to catch the fish as you toss them in. (Note the trick here is to not really try to grab the fish, but to sort of boost it out of the water and into the basket.)

Basket or Net Fishing

This is a great way to get more than one fish at a time. When you see an area where multiple fish are gathered (probably to feed), use a basket or net to scoop up a few of them. It’s important to use something that allows the water to drain out as you pull the fish up. Otherwise, your fish might flow right out the top of the device.

Hook Line Fishing

You really don’t even need a pole for this, but it can be helpful. Put some bait on your hook, throw one end of the line in the water and wait for a fish to swallow the bait. The tug of a current can fool you into thinking you have a fish on the line, so it can be helpful to use a bobber. Anything that floats on the surface will do, even a small stick. Tie a short line to your fishing line. Now tie your bobber to the short line. When the bobber goes under, it means a fish has taken ahold of the bait. Tug the line so that the hook secures itself in the fish, and pull the fish out of the water.

Gorge Line Fishing

When you use a hook, you wait until the fish has taken the bait, then give it a tug, and hopefully the hook snags on the inside of the fish. Gorge fishing is different. You aren’t using a hook, but it also gives you more freedom to use just about anything with a barb on it, like a thorn. Use the same technique as line fishing… Until you feel that tug or see your bobber go under. Now, you wait it out until the fish has actually swallowed the barb and allowed it to get caught up on its insides. Then you gently pull the fish to you and out of the water.

Funnel Fishing

This method works for just about any sort of trapping scenario. The key is to make the trap an entrance only device, so things (fish, in this case) can get in, but they can’t get out.

You’re always going to have an easier time catching fish if you have something to entice them. It could be food bait or an area that looks like a feeding or nesting area. For example, you might place a basket in the water. Now, attach reeds to the basket in such a way as to aim them inward. You can use twine or long grass to make a weave around the outside of the baskets to hold the reeds in place. Because they aim inward, they make it easy for the fish to get inside. Once inside, the inward reeds won’t allow them to escape.

You can also go one step further by making this on a large scale. You create a sort of woven damn barrier that lets water through, but not fish. Then, you make your funnel so it appears to be the only potential exit from the area.


Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you don’t have a line or anything else to fish with, (or you just don’t have the time to wait out the process) you can always bludgeon fish with a club of some sort.

The more you get to know your environment, the easier it is to hunt and trap. By observing and interacting with the world around you, you become more a fixture of it, and seem less threatening to the things that live in it. This allows you to monitor life around you and note patterns, so that you can replicate them and use them to catch the things you need to keep yourself alive.

Have you ever tried fishing in an unconventional way? Know anyone who has? Reply to your email and share your stories, we would love to hear from you!

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