When it comes to survival, catching fish can be the difference between making it out alive and starving to death, as fish are a reliable and plentiful food source found in a variety of large bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, ponds, and seas. Other options include foraging for edible plants, roots and berries, but these are not going to sustain you for a long time. However, fish meals can sustain you for a significant amount of time, so knowing how to fish is crucial.
The first step of survival is preparation, and when venturing into the wilderness, it’s a good idea to pack many fishing hooks of different sizes and plenty of fishing line. This is because fish at higher elevations might be smaller, while fish at lower elevations can be larger, so you want to carry fish hooks in a variety of sizes to catch fish of all sizes.
One of the most effective ways to catch fish in an emergency is to set multiple lines with baited hooks by hanging them from a low lying tree branch or other foundation. This allows you to have several chances to catch fish at once as compared to just having one fishing line.
Another option to consider in cases of extreme emergencies is to carry a drift net for catching fish. Generally, these are not allowed by fishing regulations, but in cases of true emergencies, exceptions can be made. These drift nets can catch large amounts of fish and can help when you run into serious trouble.
One good technique for finding fish is to look for grass, weeds and lily pads growing in and around the water. This is because many types of fish are attracted to these types of vegetation for cover. They feel secure and will often hang out in these areas. However, it is difficult to do traditional fishing in these areas, as your line can get snagged by all kinds of debris. That’s why it can be a good idea to hang your line vertically to catch fish so the line doesn’t get snagged. You can hang the line on an overhanging tree branch, let it settle, and wait for the fish to bite. You can also use a swivel and bullet weight to help catch fish.
Balloons can be an excellent fishing device, as you can use them as cover and an anchor to hang vertical lines off of. Just tie the line to the balloon and let it settle in the water and wait for the fish to bite. In cases where the balloon might float away or be carried away by the fish, you can tie another line to the balloon and anchor it on the shore.
Another thing to keep handy is bait, such as live worms, which works on most types of fish. However, if you don’t want to carry around live worms, you can use a bottle of salmon eggs. Other options include plastic worms with small bottles of fish attractants, such as garlic oil or crayfish scent, which you can coat the plastic worms with. However, live worms are the best bet for catching fish. If you didn’t pack any bait, you can always scavenge for bait in your current environment. Other live bait options include all kinds of insects, snails, crayfish, maggots, caterpillars, centipedes, grasshoppers, ants, and flies.
Some very effective types of live bait are minnows and leeches, because when attached to the hook, they create swimming motions that can attract fish. You can catch minnows by creating traps on the shore with rocks and other objects or holes in the ground. You can also spread out a piece of material on the edge of the water and bury it in the sand with rocks and pull it up like a net when minnow swim over them. You can also uses pieces of fish you have already caught to bait other fish.
Once you’ve got the bait, you can run several different fishing lines and vary the types of bait on each line while also varying the depth levels of each line. So you can run lines to the bottom of the water for bottom-feeding fish, and also run lines closer to the surface for fish that feed on insects and bait near the surface.
One thing to consider when catching fish is the time of year. Generally, fish try to avoid waters that are too hot because of low oxygen levels, so they appear more in the mornings and evenings. If the water is too hot, they may migrate to deeper waters, where you will need a boat to catch them. In the spring, fish may be more active because they are returning from the winter. And in the fall, they can also be more active as they are preparing for winter.
There are also many weather and environmental factors that impact fishing strategies. For example, when casting your line, you should cast the line into the wind, because most fish face into the wind or current, and you want to cast the line in front of the fish. Windy and cloudy days can also be good for fishing because the fish cannot see you as easily and won’t get spooked as much. So basically, the best conditions for fishing are when the fish can’t see you easily but can spot the bait, when the water is overall cool but not too cold, and when fish are active from their need to feed.