When you are fighting to survive, let Survival Fishing be your savior!

I want you to first take a long deep breath, let it go and relax. Now, inside your mind palace imagine the scenario which I am about to tell you.

You are lost in the deep fathoms of a green and lush forest without any means of communication, without any compass to point your way home, far away from the dirty paws of civilization which now seems to you like the grips of an angel. In fear and anxiety, you have accidentally injured yourself by spraining your ankle and mobility isn’t your best suit now. So the option of running after deer’s or other wild animals to hunt them down to satisfy your appetite is completely thrown off the table! But the big question now is! What can you do? You have to survive until help arrives or until you are healed enough to hike further right!?


Calm your head down now and turn on your logical machine! What you have to now is find the nearest water stream or river. It follows a simple equation here! Water attracts people, and where there are people there is bound to be at least a settlement and glimmers of civilization nearby who might be able to help you. So, hiking upstream is your best bet now. But you cannot hike with an empty stomach now can you? At one point or another food resource is bound to deplete and leave you helpless.

Survival Fishing can be your Salvation

This is the point of your life where you realize that the water streams are swarming with nutritional fish who will be able to sustain provide you with ample supply of energy so that you don’t pass out half way to your destination. The best course of action is usually to catch the fish and store them with you in such a way so that they don’t die on you. Later on when you will require a meal, you will be able to cook out fresh fish’s right out the box! Before we dwell further into the article, be warned that this article is dedicated for the people who want to learn the ways to survive in the wilderness out there! So naturally some fishing techniques might be off the book and might go against the law, so be prepared to get your hands dirty.

And besides, the wilderness doesn’t follow any laws; it’s just you against nature!

What’s in the bag!?


Fishing for food is not as simple as going out in the river and asking the fish to come to you and become freshly cooked lunch. For being a survivor, you are expected to know various forms of tips and tricks to ensure that you are able to acquire the maximum number of fish with as less effort as possible. Preparation is the key here. Now since you have mustered up enough courage to explore the wilderness, you have definitely packed up a basic survival gear kit which includes flashlight, waterproof matches, wire saw, basic sewing kit, compass, emergency whistle etc. But besides all of these, for being properly prepared to fish in emergency situations, you might want to keep these things handy!

  • Fishing Line: At least 50ft of sturdy mono-filament fishing line which you can easily carry by wrapping it around a stick, compare it to kite string! You will get the idea. It is wise to have a string of at least 20lb as to minimize the risk of your string breaking off. While you are out in the wild, the environment is not going to be in your favor and the line will need to endure some rough and jagged abrasions of the rocky surfaces. Strength of the wire is highly essential to be kept in mind here. Alternatively, if it within you budget then you could for braided lines as which around 50 pounds of breaking strength in contrast to mono-filament ones.
  • Bobbers: Any kind of material which you can use as a Bobber such as Styrofoam or wood, but if you are able to fit in actual Bobbers, then even better!
  • Sinkers: You are going to require sinkers for the time when you might want to increase the rate of sink of your line.
  • Hooks: It is essential that you carry with a wide variety of hooks of different shapes and sizes to assure that you have something for every situation. Depending on the elevation at which you are, it is a good point to keep in mind that at higher elevation, the fish size tends to get much smaller than the regular ones. These miniature fish will become a nuisance if trying to catch them with large hooks. So it is advices to keep hooks in a range of medium to small (Size: 4-12). If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you are out of hooks, then you can always improvise and fashion some hooks out of woods, bone, thorn and even pieces of metal wire.


  • Weights/Split Shots: When you in the fight for survival, then having a few different sized weights might do wonders to your casting ability. They take very little but the payoff is immense!
  • Barrel Swivel: 12-14 sized Barrel swivels to make it easier for you to clasp the tie and fishing line ends allowing you to snap off lures easily without the need for making news knots.
  • Fishing Rod: If you are not an enthusiast, then going into the market for fishing rod might leave you completely bewildered. The varieties and types there are endless! So just keep in mind, at the very least you are going to require a Rod which has:

1) Ultra-light to Medium action

2) Should have a length between 5 to 7 feet.

3) Preferred material for the rod would be Graphite or fiberglass.

  • Bait: For baits it is recommended that you carry Powerbaits which is pretty famous amongst the people of the bait community, else you could also look for cans of rainbow and sherbert. And even if you run out of baits, then you can always look under the next wooden log or rock to find worms, grubs or an assorted collection of bugs which are all suitably perfect to be used as baits for you catch.
  • Needle-Nose Pliers with Built in Scissors: These are very effective when it comes to cutting lines or holding hooks.
  • Super Glue- Various brands of superglues can be used here but they will all ultimately bear the same result. If you want to follow in the footsteps of legendary fisherman Steve Kennedy, then packing up super glue might be a wise thing to do. Just a small dab of glue on your hook will always help to keep your baits and works attached to the hook preventing the fish from pulling the worm out when you are reeling in your catch.
  • Salmon Eggs: Yes! You are reading right. Salmon eggs might be unconventional when it comes to be used as bait, but even still their small size means that you will be able to pack a whole lot of them! These eggs are really effective as optional baits which you can keep as backup to your original bait. If you are targeting trout, then these are really great!

Only knowing what you should have in your kit is not going to be enough! You will also need to know where to fish!

A little advice when choosing the fishing spot


Even if you have everything that you require, throwing the hooks in a place where there are no fish will only get your equipment wet! A simple tip for you would to look for the places where there is a dense number of grass, weeds or lily pads. These are generally the congregating places for swarms of fish and it is almost a guarantee that you will snatch something if you go for such locations!

But if you want a little bit more detail, then we have it covered as well! Locations where the fish tend to have their meetings of grave and serious matters of life and death varies from season to season.

Spring: Right after the end of winter, spring comes as glimmering rays of warmth and hope for all. This is the time of the year where the fish will be much more energetic and hyper and as such most of these fish can be found near the shoreline where they will be visiting to lay eggs to bring forth their future generations into the world. You might want to keep the areas which are shaded in cover in your radar. Cloud and rainy days are also fantastic for fishing during the spring season.

Summer: Now when the summer time arrives, then the waters near the shoreline literally turns into lava pits for the fish, so to avoid turning into a grilled salmon the fish tend to swim towards the deeper parts of the water which are usually much cooler. This naturally means that if you want to fish during the summer, your best bet would be to take a raft and fish from that, or alternatively if you can manage a huge fishing line, then that could work as well! The extreme temperatures of summer can act as a negative stimulus to your fishing journeys. What you want to do is look for shallow waters where the temperature might be a bit cooler.

Fall: Similar to the timing of spring, the temperatures are much more soothing than that of summer and thus yet again the fish mostly saddle up and assemble near the shorelines. A thing to point out here is that during the fall season the movements of the fish are much more aggressive as they are trying to prepare for the long winter ahead, so this is a really great time for fishing!

What kind of fish to look for!?

So, you now know how to choose the spots but doing a little homework always helps right? Here’s the deal!

In Cover: If you are looking for fish in areas which are covered, like for example during the spring season then you will want to keep your eyes out for Bass which feed near the bottom and around covers.

Open Area: For when going out to fish on Open Areas, you should be keeping your eye out for trout which are usually hanging around with their buddies in the open. But beware that sometimes schools of trout might be targeted by predator fish like bass which might allure them to come out from the cover.

Now that you know what are the essentials must have for a complete and effective Fishing Survival Kit! And also where to set up your fishing spot! Next up, are the techniques which you need to know that just might save your life during such an excruciating scenario!

Using the power of nature against it: Natural Poisoning

Please be advised that we are not by any means encouraging the use of poisons unless you are absolutely at the bottom of the pit. That being said, poisoning shallow watered pools by the usage of natural poisons which are virtually harmless to humans, but very effecting in making the fish float belly up can help you to bag a large swarm of fish very easily. Some effective natural poisons include: –

  • Large quantities of young nut husks obtained from walnuts.
  • Obtained by incinerating and crushing seashells, Lime is very effective when it comes to water poisoning.
  • Some common plants and herbs can also be used as poisons for your fish, but finding them would require an extensive amount of research from your part. Some of the plants which you might keep in your list includes


  • Anamirta Cocculus
  • Croton Tiglium
  • Barringonia
  • Derris Eliptica
  • Duboisia
  • Tephrosia

When one line isn’t enough, go for 20!

This trick is mostly effective when you are at a stream or even a small pond which is not too shallow. What you want to do here is find two places around the location where you will be able to attach a wire that goes over the pond/stream depending on where you are at. Or you could even do the same thing if you can find a tree branch hanging above the pond. Tie up as many hooks as you can from that string or branch. To encourage a natural movement of the bait to attract more fish, it is essential that you tie up the hook with a swivel and set the line at about 5-6 feet depending on the water depth. 20 should be considered as the minimum number of hooks to be tied. Once the hooks are in position, then all you need to do is start playing the waiting game by yourself until the string starts to vibrate like it is being possessed!


The hooks if used with baits will attract a large number of fish and since there are multiple hooks simultaneously working together! It will feel like 20 anglers are trying to catch the fish at once! This will give you a huge bulk of ration for your survival.

Set up a great wall for the fish!

Be advised that the under current set of governing laws, this technique is highly illegal and if you get caught then you might be thrown into a jail with a very high penalty fine to be paid. But even still! This is perhaps one of the most effective methods. So keep this as your last resort. Use a drift net or gill net and set it down under a stream/pond. A huge number of fish will naturally get caught in the web leaving behind a considerable supply for your stomach!


Not able to find a branch? Balloons are your best friend!

If you find yourself in a tight spot where you are not able set up multiple fishing lines but still want to create the efficient way to catch the fish. Then this technique might help you save your life. Carry with you around 50 or so grey colored balloons. Inflate them and tie up a fishing line with them along a hook at the end using swivels and weights. Then let the inflated balloons float on top of the water. The natural movement of the hook will attract fish towards it and get them hooked (no pun intended). This is a nice way to get a bulk amount of fish as the only limitation here is the number of balloons and hooks which you have with you.

I have fish!! But what am I supposed to do now?

Assuming that one of the many methods mentioned here in this article actually works for you and you succeed in catching a heap load of fish to help you survive through your difficult times! You will now want to know how to prepare these fish so that you don’t end up getting affect by some kind of disease!

First up, before even thinking of preparing a fish for further processing, look for these signs –

  • Sunken Eyes.
  • Unpleasant odor.
  • Normally the color of the gills is supposed to pink and the scales should have a prominent tone of gray. If you find any color abnormalities then it is wise to avoid that.
  • Press the fish with your thumb and check it makes any permanent dent, if yes then it’s time to move on.
  • If the fish has a slimy body rather than moist or wet.
  • Has a very sharp and peppery taste

If any of these signs and symptoms is shown by your catch, then your best bet would be let that fish go and hunt for another! Staying hungry for a little longer is better than turning you into a packet of diseases!

With that being said, let’s have a look at how you are supposed to prepare the good fish for your meal!

Now this might sound a little disturbing for some people at first, but trust me! When you are stranded and injured with no food, then you will want to turn on to your savage mood a little bit to save your-self from turning into fairy dust. The first thing which you want to look for is a hole which is usually about 2 inches from the tail of any fish. At times for some species it might be a little harder, but eventually you will stumble onto it. Take a knife and insert the knife tip through this hole and slit the fish throughout its whole length up to the lower and rear edge of the gills. If you have done things correctly then by now you should’ve exposed all the entrails of the fish. Pull them all out with just a single scooping motion and store them somewhere so that you are able to use them as baits in the future. (Note that these entrails also attract shark! So be careful when using them. We don’t want to recreate any scene from JAWS the movie)  Clean out  the cavities of the fish using fresh water and then it’s up to you now on how you are going to cook your fish!


  • Impale the fish on a stick and cook it over fire
  • Pack into sand near the edge of fire after first burying some hot rocks.
  • Cut the fish into small chunks using a metal cup or a knife and then put them in a bowl to prepare a hot soup. Heat the soup by using clean hot rocks from directly out from the fire to boil it for a few minutes.
  • Wrap up the fish in large leaves and cook the underground.
  • Make a dried fish by smoking them above the fire or hanging them by the sun.

The list doesn’t just end here, these are only but some of the techniques which you can use! If you fall under a survival scenario, common sense is your best friend and tries to be creative in figuring out ways on how to survive.

To Wrap It Up!

That was probably one of the longest reads of your busy life right? But have faith in me when I say this, even though there are still hundreds of methods out there by which you can fish, and hundreds even more to be discovered. The few which are mentioned in this article here should at least help you to stay alive should you fall into a dire situation. After reading this, you have not definitely magically transformed into a professional survivalist! But I can guarantee that you now at least will be able to fend off against the odds of nature to stay alive as long as you get help by not starving to death! Let the fish be your savior!

Find out more about survival fishing at SurvivingEurope.eu.

Would like to hear from anyone who has caught a fish using primitive fishing techniques.

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