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THE SIMPLEST OF THESE IS: the ancient GORGE used for centuries by many Indians tribes & primitives societies in all parts of the world.

The gorge's size depends on the size of fish you intend to land, since the whole thing MUST fit inside a fish's mouth, yet not small enough to spit out once he takes the bait.

Simple gorge, cut a small twig 1 1/2" to 2" in length. Cut a notch around the middle of the twig and taper each end to a point.

If no knife, break a twig the length decided and sharpen the point on a rock. A sharp edge rock will make a crude yet effective carving knife.

Once the gorge has been smoothed sufficiently bait is impaled on each end and the line perhaps weighted by a rock tied onto it and tossed out in hopes that the right-size fish will happen along.

Having several of these in the water would create more opportunities to catch several sizes fishes providing you vary the size of the gorges or hooks of course.

Any briar brush or vine offers another alternative to this simple device in the form of a bend in the branch where two thorns are almost opposite each other on the stem.

Cutting or breaking the vine off below the 2 thorns gives a ready-made and somewhat more flexible variation of the gorge.

Your line is tied at the middle of the bend preferably in a carved notch to keep it from slipping. Bait is added and the result is hopefully cast upon the waters.

You MUST tend the line carefully when using a gorge and be ready to pull back sharply at the first sign of nibble thus forcing the gorge sideways in the struggling fish's mouth so the fish cannot spit it out or work it loose before you can haul him to shore.


The impatient or injured camper who can not tend his fish lines uses any limber tree limb that he finds growing out over the water.

Attaching his line and bait to this type of improvised pole gives you the tree line approach that works best if left overnight and its catch taken in for the first meal of the day. The flexible limb will keep the necessary tension on the line to set the gorge.


A little luck and a lot of patience you can shape out a normal hook from the crotch or bend where a small branch joins a limb. Cut one fork about half the length of the other and make this the pointed end of the wooden hook.

Notch the longer end after getting the hook smoothed off and tie the nylon fish line in this notch to prevent it from slipping off when JAWS strikes.

Cut a "V" notch on the inside of the straight part of the hook, near the line notch. Take a separate twig and fashion a point on one end, then cut the other end off at the same angle as the "V" notch.

Fit this end of the second point into the "V" notch and bind tightly with nylon line with the second point resting just inside the hook and pointing down.

When the fish takes the bait impaled on the hook, the second point act as a barb, in safety pin fashion-to hold the fish on the hook while you pull it to shore. With a tree line this type of hook will hold the fish till ready for your breakfast.


They can be improvised in many ways. One method is to unravel a piece of fabric and to knot lengths of 4 or so threads together at frequent intervals. Another is to cut around and around a section of leather forming a continuous lace.

Line can be more scientifically made after cutting or ravelling any fabric or fibre that is available so as to procure a number of long strands.

Take four of these threads and fasten or tie them at one end. Hold two threads in each hand.

Roll and twist each strand clockwise between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, while turning those held in the right hand counter-clockwise around those secured in the left.

This twisting and winding MUST be done tautly, so that the completed line will not unravel. Depending of the lengths of thread, end each of the 4 strands about 2 inches apart so as to make the splicing on of fresh strand easier.

About an inch before any thread stops, twist on a new strand to replace the one just ending. This procedure can be continued, so long as material holds out to make a line of any length.

The same operation that will provide a small cord for ordinary fishing can be used with a dozen or more strands to make a fish line capable of landing a tuna or trout.


A button is often successful as a lure. Spoon is any small bright bit of metal. In its Emergency kit the Hudson Bay Cie includes a tablespoon with a hole drilled in it so that a hook can be wired in place for trolling or jigging.


Jigging is illegal in many localities is the practice of catching fish by hooking them anywhere in the body. An Eskimo method is to dangle a long smooth hook above which are suspended bits of bone that shine and flutter in the water.

When a fish appears to investigate, the line is suddenly jerked up the intervening 2 or 3 inches with a good chance of being driven into the prey which is at once hauled up before it has a chance to work loose. Jigging is often resorted to in waters where fish can be seen but not really induced to bite.


Various insects and even fuzzy seeds resembling these will catch fish. Widely efficacious are grasshoppers, which when available can themselves be gathered with particular ease at night with a torch or a flashlight.

Experiment with baits advises the Hudson Bay Cie to any of its employees who may be in distress.

Look for bait in water for this the source of most fish for food. Insects, crayfish, worms, wood- grubs, minnows and fish eggs are all good, butterflies also.

After catching your first fish examine the stomach and intestines. See what it was feeding on and try to duplicate it. If its crayfish (form of fresh water crab) turn over the rocks in the stream until you get one.

If you succeed in finding many crayfish incidentally there is your meal, for once they are cooked by being dropped into boiling water the lower portion is easily sucked free of the shell.

One way to catch these is by driving a school into a restricted pool and dipping them out with a net made either:

1) By tightly interlacing foliage to a frame consisting of a bent green sapling.

2) By attaching some porous article of clothing to such a loop.


Often when you can fish them, you can wad around the boulders of a river and find the fish wedged among the rocks ready for you. Another method is by feeling carefully among the nooks & cavities in stream banks.


You can even catch fish strange to say by forming a sort of cave with your cupped hands held motionless against a bank.

Trout in particular will investigate, whereupon by the acquired art of closing the hand quickly enough but not too hurriedly you will catch them.


Splashing up shallow brooks, driving any fish ahead of him. When those are cornered into a pool, one can if he MUST block their retreat with piled stones and go in and kill them with a club. Small streams can often be diverted so as to strand fish in pools.

In beaver country it is occasionally possible to strand a life sustaining catch by prying an opening in a beaver dam.

ANOTHER TECHNIQUE IS to wade in rolling with the feet the mud that gathers behind such a dam and catching with bare hand the temporarily mud-blinded fishes.


Fish can be trapped with considerable success in cases of emergency.


One such Basic Trap recommended by the Hudson Bay Cie, for use under survival conditions can be made by driving sticks and branches into the bottom so that their tops protrude above the water.

The trap as the drawing shows consist of a narrow-mouthed enclosure into which the fish are led by a wide funnel like V.

Attracted by some such bait as spoiled fish or decomposed meats the prey guided into the pen through the slit at the apex are in enough cases unable to find their way out.

Materials used in making such a trap vary. Stretching a net around stakes will if the former is available conserve considerable energy. Stones can be used perhaps leading into a natural freshwater or tidal pool.


Make spear by sharpening a long dry stick for your purpose and hardening this point over the embers of a campfire, then let it cool off then start again a few times till real hard.

Or fashion a barbed spear by whittling the point in this instance at the joint of an inverted crotch, an inch or 2 of whose angle you have slivered into a sharply restraining projection.

You may also test the efficacy of barbs and tips of bone, metal, or stone that you have lashed into place.


One way is to thrust the spear very slowly through the water toward the target often within inches of the fish before making the final jab.

With the tip of a light possibly a torch of flaming birch bark or a burning pine knot you can many times spot a fish at night lying practically motionless in shallow water.

By advancing the spear cautiously aim low enough to counteract deceptive refraction, it becomes increasingly easy with practice to pin a majority of such fish against the bottom.


Crush the leaves and stalks of the *Mullein or Fish Weed, Croton Setigerus. These are dropped into a still pool or temporarily damned brook.

The fish in is momentarily narcotized and will float to the surface where you pick them up immediately.

Also can be used the bulbous root of the so called Soap plant or Cholorogalum Pomdeidianum* can also be used.

So can the seeds of the Southern Buckeye or Aesculus Pavia*. Fish caught by these means are good to eat without problem to your health.


In a small plastic bag you put saw dust, when you need to pick up some worms, first put fingers in the saw dust it will be less slippery and you get a better hold.


The best all around line for all kind of fish /birds is 150lbs test nylon 300 feet and the best all hook is the mackerel #14 and its smaller one #10, take 6 of each at least.


Nothing is more upsetting than to ALWAYS dig in your lure box to change the bait from a Mepps to a Daredevil or Shoehorn or Glow-worm.

The rain ends up wetting a box that you forgot to close and either a trout or a boot dumps the box off etc.

To AVOID all these problems simply stuck a few pieces of cork about 1/2 inch thick to the side of your canoe where it will not get in the way of the oars.

Use glue or a 1 inch nail to hold this cork which then can be used as a perfect bait, lure holder. To keep your lures and hooks from rusting dip them in Vaseline.


NEW METHOD from our Southern Friends, they throw out up to a hundred plastic bottles or blocks of wood each with its own line and baited hook.

These drift downstream, spreading as they go. The boat drifts among them and when the fisherman sees actions at a float they retrieve it with the caught fish. VERY EFFICIENT.


Are attracted by small noise, rubbing your fingers together or try a string or 2 pebbles that you hit, it draws the fish to you then just spear them or concuss them with big bang. (Grenade?)


It is tied to a stake by a short length of line. When the bird takes the bait it is hooked and held for killing.

Also the cord from the fish hook can be tied to a heavy stone that dislodged when the bird takes the bait fall into the water & drowns it.


A discarded blind roller is fixed width its bracket to either pole or the convenient branch of the tree.

The fishing line is secured to the roller, and then, with the roller pawl engaged, the line is pulled so that it touches the water or until the tension on the line is considered to be adequate.

The roller is removed from the brackets and re wounded by hand. This will give tension to the line to play? the fish. The baited hook is lowered into the water, MAKING SURE that the pawls are engaged.

When the fish strikes it will disengage the paws, and the tension of the wound up roller will play the fish unless a shark or whale size of trout, finally bringing it to the surface of the water. The lazy? fisherman, simply has to unhooked his catch then go for it once more.

In general it is better to set the bind roller on to a pole that can be set horizontally above the water and lashed to a convenient tree or stake than to set the roller onto the branch.

It is easier to remove the catch and reset also the pole (not Polish) with the roller bling can be move anywhere.




Choose a site on an estuary, mouth or sheltered cove where the beach slope fairly evenly.

At this site run a fence of wire netting out at low tide

so that the top of the fence will be a few inches above high water level and the lower end will have a

foot to 18 inches of water at low tide

From the low water end of the fence run back two wing fences each at an angle of about 45 degrees.

These 2 wing fences should come halfway up to the high level water mark and from the shore end of these two short fences parallel to the beach and stopping with a turn back to the arrowhead about 2 yards short of the centre fence.

The fish come in to the beach on the rising tide and feed swimming along the beach. They come to the central fence and turn along it to the deep water, reach the corner at the deep water end and are turned by the wind fence and again by the fence parallel to the beach.

You can clear trap at low tide taking from it only those fish that you need. This trap catching the fish of good size and not killing anything that you don't need for food.

There will ALWAYS be fish left in the pool at low water and some of these are bound to find their way out to deep water at the next rise of tide.


Chose a site where there are a number of rock pools well covered at high tide and barely dry at low tide.

Once such a rock pool is chosen and heavily baited with such food as crushed up shell fish small portions of freshly killed fish, crushed up crabs and the like.

Across the normal opening of the rock pool a wall of rocks is built so that the top of the wall will be a few inches below the water at high tide. This should be done at a time when there is a low tide at dawn and dusk.

The fish feeding at night on the rising tide come to the rock pool drawn there by the lures and baits lying on the bottom.

With the fall of the tide they are trapped until next full tide and if the rock pool you have chosen is not too large at low tide you can easily collect you catch with a scoop net. (Neat no?)


Make a circular wire hoop then sew a piece of net or thin wire bagging around the edges so that there is a foot or so of sag. To the wire hoop tie 3 or 4 short lengths of rope and join these about 3 feet above the hoop.

These cords from the hoop are tied to the hoisting rope, which can then be lowered to catch the crabs MAKE SURE that the bottom of the net is well supplied with bait to attract the crabs, once they go in just raise the net. Bingo!


The fact that fishes cannot swim backward is made use of in this hollow log trap. A hollow log not too large in diameter is covered at one end with a piece of wire netting or other material that will allow a free flow of water.

A sling is made in such a manner that when the rope is pulled to lift the trap to the surface it will tilt the hollow log so that the wired-in end is lowest.

The bait is put in a few inches from this closed end and the trap lowered into a convenient pool or off a rock ledge.

The fish swimming about in the stream will scent the bait and eventually find their way into the hollow log by means of the open end.

If the hollow in the log is not too large the fish will be unable to turn around to swim thus becomes trapped.

The open end of the hollow log should ALWAYS be upstream otherwise the current may wash the fish free.

A similar method of catching smaller fish is possible with an open-necked pickle bottle. The bait such as a piece of dough or other food is stuck at the lower end of the bottle.

The bottle is place in a shallow water, taking care to see that all air is first removed before setting the bottle in position. Small fish such as Sand Mullet Whitting* etc. will swim into the bottle and cannot return. It's a good way to catch small fish for bait.


To see the fish in the water, a simply made tool is by cutting the bottom out of a tin and simply looking through the hole the tin provides.

This will protect the water within the thin from surface ripple. Or better still, you can put a glass bottom to the thin and secure it with scotch tape.


When fishing from a boat spear as nearly vertical as possible. In spearing for fish move slowly and quietly and allow for the angle of distortion of the water.

REMEMBER that fishes have a natural protective colouring and at first they will be difficult to see. They are easiest to detect when they move or by their shadow against sea bottom.

Fish spear should be multi-pronged for greater efficiency and if made of wire they are more certain if they are barbed.


Clear water is required for spearing. To make a spear a 1/2 inch green pole is split for 18 inches. Tie at the end of the split and sharpen to a point. Cut the teeth as shown* ***spread the tips apart with a thin twig.

This is the trigger end and when release the teeth come together. When not in use the twig MUST be released to retain the spring.

This makes an excellent spear. Along the Arctic coast the arctic fish can be attracted within spear range by bobbing shiny object up and down.


The stick is about 12 to 14 inches long by 1 inch diameter. Surface fish may be snared by means of a noose set on the underside of a weighted stick.

The stick should have on one side a small chip of stone secure to it either by tying or by splitting the stick and driving the chip of stone into the split.

A noose of gut, horsehair or other thin material is tied so that the noose is on the same side as the stone chip. A number of these nooses are made and thrown into the sea from a rocky promontory.

Surface feeding fish such as Long Toms & Garfish* take cover beneath any debris floating on the surface of the sea. This is their protection against sea birds from above and other big fishes from deeper water.

They will hide under the noose stick and in time either their bills or tails will become caught in the noose. Their struggle against the noose tires them out & the wash of the surf takes them to the beach.

A couple hours after you have thrown the noose sticks into the sea they will have drifted in to the wash at the beach and you can recover your sticks and the fish as well.


An effective method of fishing with float sticks in fairly calm water or off beaches where there is a set inshore to the beach is possible by constructing a number of float sticks to which a stout short length of fishing line is attached with either a baited hook or a boomerang shaped piece of bone or shell baited as for a hook.

These float sticks are made about 2 feet long and on one end a fairly heavy stone is attached by means of a couple of straps of bark strips of cane enclosing the stone or a cloth's pocket and then bound to the stick.

This weight will make the stick stand upright in the water. To the top end of the stick the line is attached and this should be about 2 to 3 yards in length.

The farthest end of the cord carries the baited hook or piece of bone. These sticks are thrown into the water and allowed to drift.

The fish taking the bait is hooked either by the hook or by the boomerang and struggling against the drag of the bait stick exhausts itself so that the drift of current takes it in its course.

It is necessary if you are using this method of fishing to watch the direction of drift or current and know whereabouts to look for the sticks some hours after you have cast them into the water.


A gun shot in the water will stun the fish for you to pick up just as if you throw a grenade in the water it will do the same.

We heard that a can or bottle 9/10 full of #chaux vive# which a small hole allowing the water to seep through will do the same trick since it will create an implosion then explosion.


Gill netting is most effective in still water near the inlet or an outlet to a stream. Nets can be made using the inner cords of parachute shroud lines.

The floats on the top and weight on the bottom of the net keep it vertical. When the lake is covered with ice, the fish stay in deeper area. A mesh of 2 1/2" is a good standard size.


Winter setting of the net needs the cutting of 3 holes in the ice on a lake.

MAKE CERTAIN that the net is several inches below the ice to prevent it from freezing, by using a pole slightly longer than the distances between the holes attach a line to one end.

Starting at hole A float the pole to B then to C* and remove from the water at C.* Then attach the net to the end of the line and pule the pole through a until it is set as shown.* Ensure that the line is tied at both ends of the net to assist in checking & resetting.


REMEMBER when cutting ice for fishing, cut evenly and not too deep to AVOID water seeping into your hole and getting wet, cut around till ready to break off then use a stick to break the remaining ice and free your hole.


The best time to fish can not be determine since fishes according to their species eat at different time yet well scheduled before dawn or sunset.

As a general rule better to fish before dawn or just after the sunset, also before a storm or when the moon is full or at its decline. If you see fish jumping and making circle this tells you that fishes are voracious.


As a general rule leave lines out overnight and check them just before the first light. Some fish feed at night during a full moon. If a storm is imminent fish before it breaks. Fishing is poor in a river after a heavy rain.


Choose the best place according to the waters and time of day. In a fast stream and during full heat of the day try the deep pound located at the bottom of rapids.

At the coming of sunset or early morning, tend your bait near submerged logs, under bank, and shrugs overhanging the water surface.

On lakes during heat of summer, fish in depth. During hot season at night and early morning fish in shallow water.


Fish choose the places in the water where they are most comfortable and where they most easily find their prey. This will be affected by the temperature of the day.

If it is hot and the water is low, fish in the shaded water and where there are deep pools. In a lake fish retreat to the coolness of deep water in hot weather.

In cold weather choose a shallow place where the sun warms the water. Lake fish tend to keep to the edges which are warmer.

If the river is in flood, fish where the water is slack on the outside of a bend for example or in a small tributary feeding the mainstream if its flow is different- quite possible for the flood may not be due to local rainfall. Fish like to shelter under banks and below rocks and submerged logs.


Signs that fishes are feeding and therefore likely to take a bait are when they jump out of the water or you see frequent clear ring ripples breaking out where fish are taking flies on the surface.

Where lots of little fish are darting about they may well be being pursued by a larger predatory fish.


Water refracts light so that the fish see things above the water at a slightly different angle and can probably see more of the bank than you think.

It is ALWAYS better to fish from a sitting or kneeling position than standing up so that you are less likely to be in vision. Keep back from the edge.

ALWAYS try to keep your shadow off the water you are fishing.


Generally fishes bite to baits found in surrounding water. Near the shore search water insects (bugs) or minnows.

When you catch a fish open it to see what its stomach contains and choose baits of the same nature.

If they prove to be ineffective use the eyes and intestines from the fish caught. If you use worms as bait, they MUST cover the tip of the hook so as to better lure the fish.

If you use minnows keep them alive and attach them by the back the tail or the jaws. When your baits are not alive don't cram them too tight in the hook.

You can make artificial bait using rag of bright colours, feathers or shiny metallic pieces imitating wounded minnows.

REMEMBER that even the best bait & most sophisticated equipment sometimes fails, just try again later.


Very efficient for the lazy or if you don't have time to stick around all day to fish. At the end of line, attach several hooks using dead weight to keep the line down.

Bait the hooks and attach the line to a low and flexible pole which will bend but not break when the fish gets caught.

As long as you stay in the area keep this line in the water and check it regularly to pick the fish caught and rebait the line.

Something is fishy here, maybe the hooks should be fixed at 6 inches interval rather than at the end of the line. **??***


The pin makes an excellent hook for deep line fishing. It is simply a wooden or bony bait at which centre the line will be attached and when the fish swallow this baited pin, it will tip up and get stuck inside the stomach.


Using a pole from 2.5 to 3m long, a bait, a piece of shiny metal and a fish line about 25cm long?*.

Fish near tall grass, MAKING SURE that the bait is under water and that you move the pole to attract the fish. It is more effective at night and especially if you use a torch near by to attract the fishes.


Excellent fishing method on the shore of small streams or in small pounds left by the sea as it draws back. Dip your hands and move them slowly at the bottom while moving your fingers slightly.

When you touch a fish, pass your hand along its stomach till you reach the gills then grab it strongly and bring it out.

In rapids especially in the North of USA where the salmon is abundant one can literally hit them with the hand, which is what the bear does anyway.


Pounds made by river lowering down are filled with small fishes. Stir the bottom of these pounds and you will see the fishes coming up to clearer surface water, it will then be easy to catch them or throw them out of water or to hit them with a stick.


ALWAYS use gloves or cloth over your hands to protect them from severe cut from fishing line. FAT is usually a Very Good Bait & all red and bright colour.

Best all around fish hook is Mackerel #14 and also the smaller one #10 lets say 6 of each.

The best fish line for all kind of fish is 150 lbs test nylon 300 feet long.

Sea fishes come closer to shore at high tide whereas in lakes in river it is the morning and at night.

So at sea shore it is at high tide that you choose where to put your traps and you install them at low tide.

On sandy beach you construct a low wall made of stones or sticks which go in deeper water and form an angle with the shore, force the fishes toward this angle and you catch many.



Take a potato cooked in grease or fat, mix with bread to which you add 1/2 glass of #Anis# that you mix well & roll into a ball then you take pieces of that mixture & use it as a bait, the fishes will go nuts for it.


Fish are a valuable food source, containing protein, vitamins and fats.


Keep clear of Electric Eels, Freshwater Stingrays and the Piranha of South American rivers.

It takes skill to catch fish by conventional angling methods but by considering their feeding habits and following the simple methods given here you can be successful.

Fish range from tiny toddlers to some of prodigious size such as the Nile Perch of the Tropics.

They differ widely in their eating habits and diet. Different kinds feed at different times and at different level in the water.

Some prey on other fish, others eat worms / insects, but they can all be attracted & hooked with appropriate bait.

If you are an experience angler you can apply your skills, especially if you have plenty of time on your hands and will probably gain a lot of pleasure but if you are fishing for survival the sporting angler's techniques are not the most effective.



Fishing with a hook and line is the popular way of fishing though others are usually more effective and they are part of your survival kit.

Hooks can be improvised from wire, pins, bones, wood and even thorns. Large hooks will catch large fish but small ones will catch both large and small.

Near the end of the line you will probably need to attach another short length with a weight to take the hook down and stop the line being carried along the surface of the water, especially if fishing deep.

If it is a long line you also need another length with a float that will be pulled down when you get a bite.

A rod is not essential you can fish effectively with a hand-line, but makes it easier to land fish and to cast away from the bank.

You can improve hooks from all kinds of materials. From left to right a pin, a thorn, a bunch or thorns, nails, bone and wood have been used.*


Along the line attach a small floating object, easily visible from the bank, and you will be able to see when you have a bite. Its position will help control where the line descends.

Small weights between the float and the hook will stop the line from trailing along the water or at too near the surface in a current, staving the hook itself in movement.

You MAY have small split lead shot in your survival kit. Slip the groove along the line and squeeze it in to fit closely. A deeper hook position can be ensured by extending the line to a weight below the hook.


You don't even have to use a hook to fish with a line. To catch Eels and Catfish tie a blob of worms on a line (*A). These fish swallow without biting so swallow the bait with line attached.

Pull them out as soon as the bait is taken. Instead of a hook use a small sharp piece of wood tied on the end of the line and held flat along it by the bait (*B).

When the bait is swallowed the wood will open out & lodge across the gullet of the fish.


Bait native to the fishes' own water is most likely to be taken: berries that overhang it, insects that breed in and near it. Scavenger fish will take pieces of meat, raw fish, ants and other insects.

Once you have a catch examine the stomach contents of the fish and eliminate guess work as to diet. If one bait is unsuccessful, change to another.


Bait scattered in the area you want to fish, will attract fish to it. A termites' or ants' nest suspended over a river is one excellent method.

As the insects fall into the river the fish will take them. Bait your hook with them as well and success is sure.

Any suitable bait, scattered on the water can be used to draw fish but it is ALWAYS best to put the same bait on your hook.


Curious fish will attack a shiny object drawn through the water; try coins, buttons, pieces of tin can, buckles, anything that glitters! (Diamond?)

Make a propeller shape to thread on to a piece of wire and it will spin with the current. Attach a hook to the end of the spindle. **Pix need


Can be made from brightly coloured cloth, feathers, shiny materials, Try to make them look like real bait.

A few feathers tied to a hook with thread can simulate a fly or carve a small fish out of the wood and decorate it with colour or glitter, if you make it, it will move naturally.

Try to make lures move in the water like live bait. Hazel wood has a soft path and can be easily be threaded through so that you can link segments that will wiggle in the water.


Worms maggots, insects and small fish can be used as live bait. Cover the hook completely with the bait.

You can place the hook through the meaty part of the small fish without killing them or through the body of a grasshopper.

Their distressed movement in the water will attract the fish. Toddlers are easy to catch so you can use a sprat to catch a mackerel.


Weight one end of a length of line and attach hooks at intervals along it. Bait them with worms.

Lowered into the water this gives you the chance of catching surface-mid and bottom feeders. Anchor the free end secure on the bank.

You can put this out at night and leave it until the morning- use it in daytime too but change the worms at intervals, even if you have not gotten a catch, because fresh wiggling worms will attract more attention.

OTTER BOARD: (Not utter bore!)

To fish far from the bank, farther than you can cast a line in a lake for instance, where fish are feeding in the centre.

Make a board with a moveable pivoted rudder. Set a bar at the front end of the rudder to which two control lines can be attached. Beneath it suspend baited hooks. Float the board out into the lake.

If winds are favourable you could mount sail, but then a stabilising keel will also be needed to stop it blowing over.

Gouge holes to fix dowel supports, in water the dowels will expand to make a tight fit and tie on a flat stone. A big keel might conflict with the rudder. Undue movement of the board will indicate a bite.


This is the art of hooking a fish anywhere on its body. It is a good method to use when you can see the fish but they are not taking the bait.

Tie a number of hooks on to a pole and lower it into the water. Suspend a bight object about 20cm. (8in) above the pole and when fish go to inspect the glitter, pull the hooks up sharply so that they catch on the fish.


You can make a variety of traps from ones across an entire stream which you can drive fish into, to a bottle trap to capture toddlers in. Arrows indicate current.* In shallow streams build a channel of sticks or rocks that fish can swim into but not turn around in.


If you have a plastic bottle you can make an efficient trap for small fish by cutting it off just below the neck and then inverting the neck inside the bottle. Fishes swim in but cannot find they way out again. Bait the trap to entice them in.

You can make a similar trap for larger fish using a hollow log. Make a lattice cone of twigs fro the entrance and block the other end of the log.


Use young Hazel or other pliant twigs, bamboo bends better if you warm it.

To make a trap into which fish can swim but from which they can find no way out.

A wickerwork trap allows the current flow through it and since it is made of natural materials may seem like a tangle of reeds or stream bottom debris.

The torpedo shape is made from wicker woven and tied in position. Place the opening downstream against the current.

The entrance starts quite wide, making it easier to enter but inside the angle of the struts makes escape difficult except for the Rambo fish. (The one that always gets awayyy!)

The lobster pot trap utilizes holes in a circle of board to make it easier to shape but could be made without the board.

This trap sits on the bottom. Bait will attract Eels, Crayfish and similar creatures like the Monster of Loch Ness maybe?


Large fish such as Pikes, which lay alongside weeds, can be caught in a noose. Fix a noose line to the end of a pole, or pass it down the inside of a length of bamboo.

Pass it over the fish from the tail end and pull it sharply so that the noose traps the fish even an occasional Whale?


Tie fresh surplus offal or a dead animal inside a sack or cloth bag, (plastic bag will not do) together with a quantity of straw like vegetation or bracken.

Tie a line and a weight to the end of the bag and allow it to sink. Leave it overnight and pull it out in the morning.

If there are eels in the water they will chew their way into the bag to get at the offal and will still be wriggling in the straw when you get the bag landed.


Build a dam across a stream, diverting the flow to one side and with rock create a small shallow pool downstream where fish swimming upstream will be trapped. Fix a net below the race at the side of the dam to catch any fish that are carried over it from upstream.


Make a net with a mesh size of abut 4cm (1 1/2 in) between knots, set floats at the top and weight the bottom, then stretch it across a river. Fish swimming into it get caught by the gills.

It is lethal and will soon empty a stretch of water so should not be used for long in an area where you intend to stay or in a non-survival situation. If the ends of the net are tied to the banks at both top and bottom, weights and floats will not be needed.

A gill net can be anchored on each bank (supported by weights and floats) *A or tied to a fixed post. If it's angled across the line of the current *B there is less likelihood of driftwood building up against it.



TICKLING: (Tickled to death?)

This is an old poacher's technique that takes patience but is effective where fish shelters below the undercut banks of fairly shallow streams.

Lie along the bank and lower your hands gently into the water so that they can adjust to the water temperature.

Keeping your hands as close to the bottom as possible, reach under the bank, moving the fingers slightly, until you touch a fish.

Work the hand gently along its belly (fish usually swim against the current when feeding) until you reach the fills. Then grasp the fish firmly and pull out.


At night a torch or firebrand held above the water will attract fish. Nets can then be drawn around the area to trap the fish that can be speared or clubbed.

A mirror or other shiny material placed on the river-bed will reflect either the sun or moonlight and attract fish.


If you have a fire arm and plenty of ammunition it is worth trying to shoot fish with a gun but NEVER FIRE with the barrel actually in the water or it will explode.

The water seals the end of the barrel and instead of the bullet rushing outwards the force of the detonation blows back at you.

It is not just dangerous, it is potentially lethal. MAKE VERY SURE that the barrel is clear of the water.

Sharpen a long stick to make a spear, adding barbs to make it more effective. If you have multiple points, like Neptune's trident you give yourself a wider margin of errors since it covers a larger area. Try to get above the fish & strike down swiftly.

MAKE SURE that you are not casting a shadow over the fish you are trying to catch. Aim slightly below the fish to allow for the refraction of its image at the surface.

If you are a good shot use a bow and arrow to shoot fish, the wooden shaft will float and help to bring your prey to the surface, though most dead fish will float anyway.


Receding flood water leaves isolated pools which are often abundant in fish. Stir up the mud at the bottom of these pools with a stick or by stamping in them. If there are any fish they will try to reach clearer water. Scoop them out.


They can be used in the water. They will the nearest fish but by liberating the oxygen in the water will also cause those farther away to surface.


In many parts of the world fishermen use local plants to poison or stupefy the fish to make them come to the surface, where they can easily be collected. (Stoned out?!)

This works best in a deep pool where one end can be dammed to contain the fish, but the method can be effective in any slack water.

Some plants daze or narcotize the fish but most have the effect of taking oxygen from the water so that the fish come to the surface in search of aerated water.

Various parts of plants are used but in many cases they are simply crushed and thrown into the water.

Although the effects are catastrophic for the fish they are not long lasting, the water soon regenerates itself.

Most of these narcotics take effect more quickly in warmer waters and they are most widely used in tropical countries.

If these methods are used in closed pools you will have cleared out the fish supply and removed a future source of food.

When a river or coastal pool is reopened to the main water, however, new fish will move in to restock it.

If seashells, snail-shells or coral burned over a very hot fire they will produce lime which can be thrown into still water to poison fish which will still be safe for human consumption.


Dead fish floating on the surface-unless you have caused them to be there-may look like an easy meal but they may be diseased and if they have been there some time they will not be fit to eat.

When released in water these poisons are toxic only to cold-blooded animals but this does not mean that they are edible. They are not. Parts of some of these plants are Very Dangerous, if eaten raw.

Use them on fish, not yourself, then eat the fish. Many plants are used. The following are effective and common in their areas.


Derris are found (*A) from South-East Asia to Australia. They are woody, climbing vine-like plants, usually with small oval leaflets in pairs opposite each other, purple flowers and seed pods.

Powder the roots and throw them into the water. Stupefied fish will rise to the surface not long afterwards.


These trees are found in the same areas as Derris, across to Polynesia and often near the coast. Crush the seeds inside their urn-shaped pods and throw them into the water.


Adenium (*C) Found in tropical and southern Africa & in parts of ARABIA, are shrubs sometimes small trees with thick fleshly leaves.


Obesum illustrated from East Africa, has spirals of bluntly oval leaves and clusters of tubular pinkish flowers. Used crushed stems and roots which contain a highly toxic sap.


Amole Chlorogalum Pomeridianum, grows in dry open or scrubby country in Western North America. It has narrow, grass like leaves and white star like flowers. Crush the bulbous root & throw into pools


Tephrosia Virginia grows on open ground North America. Its surface slightly airy, it has many narrow leaflets and long flat seed pods. Used the crushed stems or the very poisonous roots.


On frozen arctic seas fish are likely to be the most accessible food.


Even in summer it is safer to fish through the ice than to fish from the edge of a flow which may break up beneath you.

The techniques involved are equally effective on any frozen lake or river where the ice is thick enough to bear your weight with ease but not so solid that it can not be broken through.

First you need to gain access to the water, which means smashing a hole in the ice. If you have an ice saw, use that to cut neat holes which will still leave you with firm edges.

If you have to smash the ice there is a risk that it may fracture back into the area where you are standing. Approach the operation carefully.


Bait the hook the usual way. If the line is being carried back up against the underside of the ice you will have to weight it below the hook.

There is no point in trying out your angling skills at only one hole- far better to set up multiple angling points.

In order to cover them effectively, however you will need an easy way of knowing when you have a bite.

Make a pennant from a piece of cloth, paper or card, preferably of a bright colour so that you will see it easily against the snow and ice and attach it to a light stick.

Lash this firmly at right angles to another stick which MUST extend beyond the maximum diameter of your hole by at least 30%.

Now attach the line to the lower end of the flag pole and rest the flag on the side of the hole with the line at its centre.

When a fish takes your bait the cross piece will be pulled over the hole and the flagpole jerked upright.

Keep your eye on the markers so you can pull your catch up quickly. The wriggling fish is an easy meal for a passing seal.



P/S Clean the fish and leave it to freeze on the ice, then you eat it raw and it is very nutritious and tasty even more so than if it was cooked and GIVES YOU MUCH MORE LONG LASTING WARMTH THAN A COOKED ONE. Eskimos did this for thousand of years and have survived well all along.


Although fish do not hibernate their metabolism slows down to cope with the reduce winter temperatures. They consequently eat much less, making them less likely to take bait.


Net through the ice. A net lowered from the edge of a hole would probably end up frozen to the floe and handling it would be risky operation.

Instead make several holes in the ice about 40cm. (16in) wide and about twice that distance apart.

Attach retaining loops to the top edge of your net at 80cm (32in) to match the holes and weight the bottom.

Put the retaining loop at one end around a stick or rod of some kind, wider than your holes, and lower one of the net into the hole at one end of your row.

With a hooked pole that you can improvise you now have to fish for the net and haul it through the next hole where you can secure the next retaining loop with another retaining stick and so on until the whole net is suspended.

If the ice is thin enough, feed all the retaining loops into the hooked pole and lower the entire net through the first hole, anchoring the first loop with a retaining stick.

Then carefully holding the loops, reached the hooked pole through the next hole and slip the remaining loops onto it.

Pull the net along and anchor the next retaining loop. Continue until the net is fully extended. To check your net, pull it up with the hooked pole.

If you leave your net for too long in polar regions you may find that your catch has been for the benefit of a seal who has stolen most of it. Can't thrust them S.O.B.



Those under 5cm (2in) long need no preparation & can be eaten whole. Larger fish MUST be gutted.

Catfish and eels are smooth skinned but others may be descaled. Catfish have a cartilage skeleton. Most other fish have a mass of bones.


As soon as the fish is caught, cut its throat and allow it to bleed. Cut out the gills.


Make an incision from the anal orifice to where the throat was cut. Remove the offal, you can use it for bait or in an eel bag.

Keep the roe that runs down the side of the fish. It is hard in females, soft in males. It is very nutritious. These preparation helps keep fish longer.


Is not necessary and fish can be cooked with scales, but if there is time, scrape them off. Draw knife from tail to head.


Fish skin has good food value and should be left on and eaten unless food is plentiful.

To skin Eels and Catfish pass a stake through the fish, lodge it across uprights and having cut the skin away just below it, draw it down towards the tail.


When fishing in a pond or a lake, never pass up a half sunken boat or a boat that is tied up offshore. Fish often lie in the shadow of boats.


Fish belonging to the sunfish family -- bass, bluegills and others can be dressed by removing scales and skin with a pair of pliers. Start behind the head and keep pulling of the skin.

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