Tips for the Road #4 – Fishing

This is the Fourth installment of my ongoing series of Random Survival Information.

Here we are sharing tips involving Fishing;

First up, lets cover a Trotline. A trotline is a sturdy line with multiple smaller lines trailing hooks off of it. This is a passive way to fish. Start with a sturdy line, like say paracord. String that across the stream to two trees or other firm ends.

Next, you tie multiple pre cut lines with hooks so that the dangle off the main line but also go into the water somewhere above the bottom but below the surface. Bait all of these smaller lines. Set them about 12 inches apart.

Now go do something else. This should catch some fish when you come back to check on it. Bait the hooks with  grubs, bugs, or worms. This same technique can be used in a lake but you will need to secure the other end to something in the water, a floating buoys or heavy object.

You can make a fishing hook out of just about anything;

Pieces of bone, thorns, scrap metal, use your imagination, it just has to be able to snag and hold a fish.

Next up is a fish Trap;

The principle is simple, the execution is varied. Find a place in the body of water where the water is moving. The fish will move naturally with this flow. Design a wall out of natural things lying around to direct the fish to a certain spot. Then TRAP them. They will not likely go against the flow of water, so you can outsmart them fairly easily. Here are some photos of different methods.

There are even fish snares;

The first one is for ice fishing, the second one for banks when trees are present.


Also Modified spears for active fishing;

The ‘point’ being that you want to design something that will be harder for the fish to wiggle off. Spear fishing from land is difficult to master. Keep in mind that the angle the sunlight hits the water will refract and the real position of the fish is slightly different from what you think. Practice makes perfect.

Having the correct gear will make fishing much easier. These tips are for plans B, C, and D.

Preparing and Cooking Fish

This is all from ecosnippets, why reinvent the wheel when preparing and cooking is explained perfectly here;

There is a hole about 2 inches from the tail on just about every fish on the planet, though you may have to look harder on some species to find it. Insert your knife tip and slit the fish lengthwise up to the rear edge of its gills.

The guts are usually contained completely in the area you have just exposed and can be pulled out with one scooping motion of your hand. Use the guts to attract other animals in snares and traps, or use to bait for meat-eating fish (catfish for example). At sea, these guts may come in handy as bait as well, although use them sparingly to avoid attracting large sharks to you. Clean the inside cavity of the fish with fresh water and cook one of many ways:

  • Impale a stick and roast the fish by hand or over a fire.
  • Cut up into chunks and use a metal cup (or a similar device) to cook the fish in a soup.
  • Pack the fish into clay (an inch thick surrounding the fish) and heat until the clay cooks off. Break of any remaining clay and open up your fish.
  • Wrap in big leaves and cook underground or at the edge of the coals
  • Wash a flat, thin rock and heat it in your fire. Use it like a griddle to cook a couple halves of fish.
  • Dry the fish by the smoke of the fire (thin strips skewered by wet, thin, sapling branches)

When it’s abundant, preserve some of it by drying by smoke or solar power. This way, you have food to eat when it isn’t so abundant.

Always try to use movements and motions that originate at the fish’s head and moves towards the tail to avoid getting stuck with scales. Also, some fish have teeth, so use caution.

Catching fish isn’t particularly difficult, but being smart about resources in a survival situation can be, so use your brain.

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2 thoughts on “Tips for the Road #4 – Fishing

  1. Interesting stuff, but I have to make a correction to your terminology. As a guy who has run trotlines in the Mississippi back waters and Arkansas lakes there is no such thing as a trout line, it is a trotline. Nobody knows what a trot is or why the fishing system is called trotlining but it is. It is used almost exclusively to catch catfish in the South.

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