5 Tips and Tricks for Catching Fish for Survival

This article may be old hat for some but for those that are not familiar with fishing here are some tips and tricks for catching fish in a survival situation. 

Please note that some of the following advice is for informational purposes and should only be used in a true survival situation. Doing so outside of a survival situation could be against some local and state laws. With that in mind lets discuss a few helpful hints for landing your next meal.

Check out out guide on fishing survival kits as well.

Catching Fish for Survival

Fish Around Obstacles

Fish are like any other creature in that they generally do like to be out in the open. They like to hide under outcrops, rocks, fallen trees, Lilly pads, etc.

When the fish are not biting, these are areas you should concentrate your efforts. But be careful not to snag your line! 

No Tackle, No Problem!

Just because you do not have a line and hook doesn’t mean you cannot fish. Many fish have been caught with woven fish basket traps or by driving fish into shallow waters to be taken by other means. 

If you are forced to go truly “old school,” a large rock or stick can even be thrown at a fish. Even if the object doesn’t hit the fish directly, with enough force a concussive wave can be created that will temporarily stun the fish. You should know that with this method you may have little time to react in retrieving the fish before it comes to, so be ready. 

No Bait, No Problem!

The lack of bait is no excuse not to fish. Sunlight will catch the metal surface of a hook and cause it to shimmer, possibly resembling a baitfish. This little bit of light can be enough to pique a fish’s curiosity into biting the hook. 

From personal experience, I can tell you that I have probably caught just as much if not more fish on plain hooks as I have with bait. So throw your line in the water because you just never know!

Use Natural Bait

If you are not getting bites with artificial lures try switching to natural bait that can be foraged from the surroundings. This could be worms, grubs, insects, or even small fruits from overhanging trees.

These items are what the fish is most accustomed to eating so it only makes sense that they would be attracted to them. After all, would you rather eat a plastic cheeseburger or a real one? 

Choose the Right Time

To catch a fish you first kind of have to think like a fish. In many areas fish are most active in the early morning and in the evening which are typically thought of as the best times for fishing.

This is because at those times deeper water is cooler and shallow waters are warmer. So in the morning fish move to shallow waters to warm up and as the day goes on they move to deeper waters to cool off. 

This is certainly something that I have noticed in my years of fishing. In the cool parts of the day, fish could be seen all along the shoreline. Then as the day warmed they began to disappear. This doesn’t mean they can’t be caught in deeper water, it just means you may have to change your tactics. But watch the fish in your area and keep track of their activity throughout the day. 

Reeling it all in, I hope that you enjoyed these few tricks that will hopefully help you to reel in a meal when you need it. Sound off in the comments below and let us know some of your favorite fishing tips. Thanks for reading!


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