Must Know Tips On Survival Fishing

In any wilderness survival situation, priorities are hydration, shelter/warmth and food. In this article, I want to concentrate on fish as a food source. All survival activities drain your body of strength and energy. Finding a source of water, building a warm dry shelter and fire making are a few of the things that burn lots of calories in the process.

survival fishing tips

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A person is limited in the amount of food that can be carried in a pack and often, people that are caught in a survival situation, had not planned on being caught out in the wilderness overnight. So many times folks think they are out for just a short day hike and they find themselves having to survive for days before rescue.

While hunting elk during Colorado’s archery season, I found myself in need of a warm meal. The weather in September was raining and 40 to 50 degrees and even though I had a tent, I shivered through the night. The next morning, I fashioned a fishing pole and managed to catch a few brook trout for breakfast. The warm meal gave me the energy and encouragement I needed and helped ward off hypothermia that can set in during these conditions.

I have always tried to be prepared for emergencies and as part of my preparations, I carry a small survival kit with me wherever I go. My wife has gotten used to that but sometimes others think I’m crazy. In my kit, I always have what I need to catch fresh fish.

fishing survivial kit


I normally carry two fly fishing tippets. Tippets are tapered monofilament leaders that are normally attached to a fly line. The tapering allows you to tie a fly or hook to the end and helps with a natural presentation to the fish.

I use a 7-1/2 ft, 2 lb test tippet. Next I have several black ant and mosquito imitation flies in my kit. Most fish will hit insects that fall on the top of water. Trout out west love these and bream and sunfish in the eastern parts of the U.S. will eat them as well. Have a few small hooks that you can use for live bait like worms, grubs, grasshoppers or crickets. It is also good to have on hand a few small lead weights that you can squeeze on your line for deeper fishing. You can make bobbers out of reeds, light pieces of wood, or bamboo.

Use willow, bamboo or a straight, flexible wooden pole for your fishing pole. In moving streams, try to fish from downstream. Fish feed facing upstream waiting for bugs and food to come by them. If you fish from downstream it is harder for them to see you and you can present your bait naturally from upstream.

Try to avoid letting your bait drag in the water because it looks unnatural to the fish. Always approach your fishing area low to avoid being seen by the fish. When fishing in still water like ponds, fish around structures that hold fish. The structure can be a fallen tree, rocks, or lily pads.


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Now that you have caught your fish, you can use a boot lace, 550 cord or a cut stick with a fork to transport it back to camp. Your fish should be cooked to avoid any parasites it may be carrying.

Fish can be cooked on a forked green stick, a flat rock or split and hung over the fire on a spit. The fish is done when the meat is white and flaky. Fish is high in essential oils and protein making it a great survival meal.

This small fishing kit is great insurance for your survival and I never leave home without it. Don’t just survive, thrive!


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