First, what do polarized lenses do, and then we will discuss the benefits to anglers.
When light is reflected from a smooth surface such as water it is what is referred to as “horizontally polarized”, which simply means instead of being scattered in all directions, it is more focused in a horizontal direction, which causes intense and sometimes dangerous glare.
Polarized lenses block this type of glare or reflected light. When wearing polarized lenses, even on cloudy days you will notice the haze or halo is reduced or eliminated as well.Read Full Article
All fresh water fish found in the United States is considered edible, which means there are no known species with poisonous flesh. With that being said however, certain toxins in the water such as mercury can be present in the flesh, which of course, can pose a health risk.
Others things to be concerned with are the needle like barbs on the dorsal fins of catfish/bullhead species. The wound created by the barbs is likened to a bee sting or other insect bites, and they can become infected if not treated.
Certain fresh water fish also have teeth that can cause a rather nasty wound if you are not careful. Any cut or scrape and especially a puncture wound from a barb in a survival situation can lead to infection, which can be deadly.
Come Prepared and Leave Alive
Ideally you would have an emergency kit that included some rudimentary fishing tackle. Tackle such as hooks, bobbers, some weights, fishing line and possibly artificial bait. If you have line and hooks you can fish and be successful with a little patience and very little skill or experience. A pole can be fashioned rather quickly using a small flexible sapling.
First, we will talk about fishing when you have come prepared with some tackle, knives and other various tools and materials. Then we will talk about how do you fish for survival if you show up to the party empty handed.
If you have four or five hooks you can set up a simple trotline. Attach a few inches of line to each hook, then bait and then attach each one to a baseline (trotline) made out of whatever cordage you have available. The baseline will have to be sturdy enough to hold the weight. Paracord would be ideal.
Stretch the baseline tightly across a small section of the river or stream letting the baited hooks dangle a few inches in the water. You may have to add weights to the stringers to keep them from floating with the current.
Anchor the baseline well on both sides. You can drive stakes into the river or stream bed to anchor the baseline, and by doing this you can more easily move your trotline if you are not having any luck. Anchor it well to ensure the current does not carry away your hard earned catch. Double check your work.
Fish like cover so when survival fishing look for pools close to the bank where there is overhead foliage and high grasses growing in or near the water, submerged logs, and debris dams.
2.) Fishing Spears
A fishing spear is easy enough to make if you have a cutting tool. Cut a slender sapling as straight as possible, and it should be long enough so it can be plunged straight down from a standing position, with plenty of sapling left to grip.
Split the end into three barbs (keep separated by small wooden wedges) and sharpen each one to a point. A single blunt spear tip will not penetrate well. It will crush the fish, but not hold it, so you may lose your catch to the current.
If you have a fire you can harden the green sapling points by heating over a flame. Heat until the ends are ash coated but not charred, and let cool and do again. Heating green wood essentially speeds up the seasoning process, by removing most of the moisture, which hardens the material.
You may have watched some survival shows where Dave C., for example, throws a spear from the bank to snag some fish. You would not have much luck doing it this way if you are using a field expedient fishing spear. It will not be balanced or weighted properly, and you simply cannot get enough thrust behind it.
The best method for spear fishing in a survival situation is to wade into a shallow pool and stand still and let the fish begin to swirl around you after the silt has settled. You can do this from the bank if you can stand nearly over the water. A cut bank overhang would be ideal, but be careful it does not collapse on you. Thrust straight down, this ensures you do not lose the spear, and by looking straight down you have better optics, and can judge the positions of the fish for more accuracy.
3.) A Single Line Attached To a Branch
This is a very simple and passive fishing method, and you can hang multiple baited hooks in the water along the shoreline if you have the line and hooks. Use this method for fishing along the banks under cover. Fish like shaded pools in hot weather, and they will gather to cool off, if the current is slow enough.
4.) Hand Fishing (Noodling)
In some states hand fishing is illegal for various reasons. In Missouri, for example, catfish is considered a game fish. Larger more mature catfish are typically caught by Noodling and the state fears that Noodling would dramatically reduce the population of mature egg laying catfish. If a mature fish is taken from the nest after laying eggs, the eggs do not stand much of a chance and they die off.
Catfish are vulnerable during their nesting season usually June thru August. Therefore, hand fishing for catfish can be very successful during this time, because you essentially reach into their nesting spots with your hands.
In a survival situation of course you do what you have to do to survive. However, you can encounter things other than catfish, such as water moccasins, and even alligators in some southern states when reaching into crevices underwater. Not to mention the barbs can give you a nasty sting, which as stated earlier can become infected.
5.) Netting Fish
You can weave a fish net out of cattail fronds, grasses, and supple vines and from cordage you have on you. Clothing can be cut into strips and made into netting, but do not ruin clothing you are wearing. Look for discarded materials first. This process is time consuming however, but is a reliable method in some situations.
You will have to wade into a shallow pool and essentially scoop the fish with your net or make the net big enough to where it is a floating or drift net, which is illegal in many states because of the large number of fish it traps. The drift net you could construct would be small and manageable.
In most situations you would simply want a net that allows you to scoop up fish that have gathered in shallow pools. Salmon, for example can be more easily netted at certain times of the year when they swim up river to spawn.
Making Your Own Tackle
You may have seen Cody set out to make cordage from Yucca, for example, and before you know it he has made rope, carry baskets for gourds and even shoes, and if the show was any longer he may be able to build a house this way. You however, probably will not have as much luck.
You do have fishing line with you though. Your shoelaces, the pull cords on zippers, cordage on your backpack, wiring from a bicycle or vehicle and even plastic garbage bags can be made into fishing line.
You can make field expedient fishing line by braiding green grasses into line and cattail fronds make ideal cordage. Separate the fibers and let dry in the sun for a few hours and then braid together.
Fish hooks can be made from paper clips, or any metal, pop tops, wood, and bone. The simplest of hooks would be the Gorge hook, which resembles a fat toothpick sharpened on both ends. The hook can be one to two inches long. The length depends on the size of fish you expect to catch. If the hook is too long the fish cannot swallow the entire hook and if too short it will not lodge in the in the mouth of the fish.
Sharpen both ends and create a channel in the center so your line can be attached without slipping off either end. Bait both ends and attach a weight so the hook does not float to the top. Let dangle a few feet down and attach a bobber to the line. You can use foam ear plugs for bobbers, a piece of Styrofoam, and even a water bottle that is capped and empty.
Bait can be fuzzy seed pods, scraps of rations, grubs, worms, ants, crickets and other insects. Use pop tops for spoons and lures.
Fish can see shiny objects in the water and can sense light and movement out of the water as well. Light will attract certain fish at night, so if you can get a torch lit you can dangle a line off a pole as you hold the torch above the water.
If you do not have a knife you will have to work with stone and scraps of metal you find along the shoreline to make your fishing tackle. Often times though, you will be able to find tangled line, hooks, and other useful debris near any waterway.
No matter how remote the area may seem someone has probably been there before you, and has fished the waters. Look for discarded line, especially line that has been snagged and is still in the water because it may have the hook, weights, lure, and even the bobber still attached.
Scavenge the area before expending a lot of energy trying to make cordage and hooks, because there is a good chance you will find the fishing tackle you need discarded along the shore. You may even find discarded netting, which can be used as a net, or it can be cut up and used for fishing line and cordage for other uses.
Gain versus Effort
Fishing is typically a passive method of gathering food, so once you have your tackle made and lines put out, you should begin working on other methods of food gathering. Monitor trotlines, floating nets and static lines closely. Leaving fish netted or hooked for very long may mean you can lose the catch. Do not leave the area with the trotlines, static poles, and netting in place.
Hunting for food without adequate weaponry will burn up energy, and it can be very time consuming and dangerous in some cases, if you are not equipped to handle large or dangerous game that can turn on you. Get your fishing methods incorporated before you attempt to hunt or trap game.
Waterways can provide you with more than food and water. Waterways can also lead you to civilization. Follow rivers and streams downriver and fish along the way.Read Full Article
The grid’s been down for months and you have resorted to fishing to feed your family. Unfortunately for you, the fishing has been bad. You finally pull one out of the water and it has a strange cauliflower like growth.Read Full Article
Everyone has those days where the fish just aren’t biting, each cast into the water not finding purchase. As with most things in life, the solution to a problem can be very simple.Read Full Article
For those of you that don’t know, slinky weights are fishing weights that will keep you in the water a lot longer than anglers using other types of weights. They are great for fishing those areas that are normally difficult to fish where snags and boulders are found.Read Full Article
Being able to catch fish while you are doing other chores around your camp can be a great asset in a survival situation. Below is an excellent video by Sigma 3 Survival School that shows you how to weave a primitive basket fish trap that is very effective. These baskets can also be used to carry and even store stuff around your camp. So check out the video below and set some time aside and try to make one your self.Read Full Article
If you spend a lot of time fishing then you know how effective a slip float can be for certain applications. This homemade, DIY slip float is not only just as effective when it comes to catching fish, but a lot cheaper too. So check out the video below by Intense Angler to see how easy it is to make. Also if you never used a slip float before check out the additional video I added to show you how to set up and use a slip float, you can also learn how tie a bobber stop knot here.Read Full Article
I see it all the time, especially when I go fishing for trout. People using a fish hook big enough to catch a marlin, matching your tackle size to the species of fish you want to catch is critical. If you find yourself getting skunked every time you go fishing, you should definitely read this excellent article over at prepperlink.com.
So check out the article below to find out the other 4 reasons why people don’t catch fish when they go fishing. Remember becoming a good fisherman, or fisherwomen takes experience, ask the guys at your local tackle shops for help when selecting your fishing gear and bait, they will be more than willing to help.
Read more at… Top 5 Reasons Why People Do Not Catch FishRead Full Article
A trotline is nothing more than a fishing line with baited hooks attached to it at intervals by means of branch/drop lines. The branch line is a short length of line which is attached to the main line using a swivel, with a hook at the other end. A trotline can be set so it covers the width of a river or stream and can be left unattended. During a survival situation prioritizing your activities will be critical, so If you can place a trotline or make a fish trap you could be catching food while you’re doing other chores. Trotlines are illegal in many states, so make sure you check your local fish and game regulations where you live.
Here is what you will need to make a paracord trotline.
550 Paracord – has an outer nylon shell and seven filaments of nylon thread. Each filament has a tensile strength of about 35 pounds and can easily work as fishing line. The outer shell has a tensile strength of about 250 lbs.
Hooks – Hook size will depend on the type of fish you are going after.
Swivels – Swivels add strength and make it a little easier to attach the hooks to the main line, but they are not needed.
Weight – A weight is needed to attach to one end of the main line, a rock can easily be used for this.
Step 1. Remove the inner strands from the paracord that you are going to use to make the trotline, then singe the ends of the outer nylon shell.
Step 2. Slide your swivels onto the outer nylon shell. I made this one about 3 feet apart from each swivel.
Step 3. Tie an overhand knot on each side of the swivel. This will keep your swivels in place.
Step 4. Make your drop lines. If you want a 1 foot drop line use a 2 foot piece of one of the inner strands, fold the 2 foot piece in half and tie the ends together using an overhand knot. Make sure to singe the ends of your inner strands too.
Step 5. Thread your hook onto the drop line that you just tied off. Once you have a loop like the first picture above pass the knotted end of the drop line through the loop and pull through to secure the hook.
Step 6. Secure the drop line to the swivel using the same method you used for the hook. Slide the knotted end of the drop line through the swivel then pass the hook through the loop. If you don’t have swivels you can tie overhand loops like the picture below and just attach the drop line the same way you did to the swivel.
Step 7. To use the trotline tie one end to a tree and the other end to a weight or rock. You can place the trotline deep pools, river bends and across smaller rivers. Remember this is illegal in many places and should only be used in survival situations.Read Full Article
The gorge hook is one of the easiest types of primitive fishing hooks that you can make. It’s basically a small stick or bone sharpened to a point on each end. The theory behind the hook is when the fish takes the bait, the hook goes into the fish’s mouth straight. So when you tug on the line, the hook turns sideways and lodges in its throat. You want to match the size of the hook to the size of the fish you are going to catch, the larger the fish the larger the hook you are going to want to make.
Step 1: Find a stick that is made out of hard wood. I like to start with a larger stick and whittle it down to the size I need, but thats just me.
Step 2: Sharpen both ends of the stick to desired diameter and length. You can use a knife or sharpen against a stone if you had to.
Step 3: Make a small groove in the center of the hook with your knife. This will help keep your line in place on the hook.
Step 4: Tie on your line, I use a Uni Knot. Next you spear your bait through the hook.
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