With every day that passes, food is becoming more scarce as inflation increases to depression-era levels. With that, the cost of living has increased exponentially within the last four years. More and more people from the city are moving to the country and are also taking up hobbies such as fishing and hunting as a means to harvest food. While preserving a livelihood for your family is a great idea, fishing local waterways is going to be very hard unless you have a modern way to catch fish in your bug-out bag. In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to build a compact diy survival fishing kit with all of the essentials you need to harvest food in a disastrous food shortage.
Why Is Survival Fishing Popular
Survival fishing is certainly popular with the masses, preppers, and survivalists. Even so, a certain method of fishing does not have to be limited to just those people or even today. People have fished for survival for millions of years already using things like spears, fish traps, nets, and even arrows shot from a bow. The point of modern survival fishing is to ensure a way to harvest food when food is hard to come by. Unless you have a fish allergy, a survival fishing kit makes a welcome addition to any bug-out bag.
The best ones are generally cheap to put together, efficient, and very portable. You can get premade fishing kits on places like Amazon but if you don’t have Prime and don’t want to pay for shipping, you don’t have to. The supplies needed to put one together yourself can be obtained at any store or retailer that sells fishing supplies.
What Are The Reasons for it
At first glance, the idea of always having a way of getting fish in your arsenal sounds great and looks great on paper. Even so, there are a few things that you need to consider beforehand. Fishing with a small diy fishing kit only provides the absolute necessities for the sport. It is going to be next to impossible to harvest anything other than basic catches. While making or carrying a kit with hooks or lures is not itself impractical, you need to consider the level of disaster one must be in to want to bring one out.
I say this because there are a lot of factors out of your control during situations. You can bring all the fishing gear you want and never be able to even use it if certain criteria are true. Like hunting, catching fish, or harvesting an animal is only the start of eating. Once you catch a fish or harvest a deer, it must be cleaned, cooked, and cannot be contaminated. Those activities take valuable resources and something else you don’t have. Time. Fishing is a waiting game and you need to decide if you are better off hunting, foraging, or trapping.
- Fishing is a sport using time which is something you don’t have in a survival situation
- You also need to cook the fish so making the fire takes more time
- Fish may be in short supply where you are at
- Contamination is a big factor because even if you catch one, you cannot eat it
- Catching fish next to a body of water increases the chances of attack from bears or animals
- Fish can be used as bait for more fish that you can catch or as lure to shoot a predator
What is in a Survival Fishing Kit
1. Fishing line
The line is extremely important to have. I suggest around 50 feet of fishing line for any one kit. Choose a monofilament fishing line that is around 10 to 20 pounds in the test. This will provide enough strength to hook into a bigger fish if you need to but it will also let you catch smaller fish like panfish because they are generally not line shy. They sell small spools of fishing lines that you can use for this very purpose if you want to. They can be fit into a mint tin or similar container.
You will certainly need hooks of many sizes to make sure you have all your basis covered. You will need very small hooks as well as bigger ones depending on which fish you expect to catch. Pretty much all modern fishing hooks are suitable for the task they were designed for so you can worry less about the brand and more about how many sizes and number of hooks you can hold. You can get the cheap hooks if you prefer. They are always plenty sharp enough and hold up to the task.
Bobbers are a modern necessity that I believe should always be in any fishing kit, survival or not. They allow you to see when your bait is being bitten or nibbled on which can be the difference in you catching or missing fish. Opt for colored bobbers that are very easy to see such as chartreuse and bright orange. Packing a couple of bobbers is always going to be an upgrade to any kit you want to put together in the fishing game. If you cannot use bobbers though, you can use cork or anything else that floats.
Sinkers will need to get your bait down to the right level as well as to make some bobbers sit right. It is always going to benefit you to have sinkers on hand because a lot of the baits you will be using don’t weigh very much at all. This is also going to help with adding weight to the fishing line so you can cast further. Most sinkers are made of lead though and this can be dangerous in a survival situation. Instead, opt for the more expensive tungsten sinkers that weigh more but are completely lead-free.
5. Fishing Lures
If time is of the essence and it is, you cannot just stare at a bobber all day while you may be hungry. That means lure fishing is usually the way to go. That means you want to pack fishing lures that catch everything, can cover water quickly, and are not huge to pack. Lures like spinners, miniature crankbaits, and flies fit this very well. Aside from that, having the right lures in your possession at the right time is essential. You should add these lures to your kit because it is a disadvantage not to. They sometimes produce better than bait.
6. Pocket Knife
It is impossible to overstate the need for a knife. Ideally, you should always have at least a hunting knife or machete on anyway but having another one provides insurance. You can use a good knife to fillet your fish or skin your kill. You can also use it for cutting vines, and ropes, and for self-defense from people or predators like coyotes and snakes. A good knife sharpener will also be a small investment to make sure your blade holds and keeps an edge.
7. Medical Kit
Playing with fire, hooks, knives, fish scales, fins, thorns, and the elements, will eventually cause some sort of injury. You need to be well stocked with first aid supplies that can treat basic cuts, scrapes, lesions, stings, and bites. This should go without saying. You need one of these anyway. Make sure you pack bandages, fresh water, alcohol pads, cotton balls, and wraps.
Packing a few non-perishable baits such as salmon eggs is a great bait choice for taking most species. You can get salmon, trout, panfish, and even perch to bite them. Versatile baits also include dead wax worms and maggots. You can pack these if you get creative enough. They do sell wax worms for bird feed and you can put them in a little baggie before taking it with you. Maggots are also very easy to get. All you have to do is get a piece of rotting meat or fruit, sit it outside, and wait for flies to lay eggs inside. Let the maggots dry out and store them.
9. Way Of Making Fire
It is no good to catch fish unless you can make a fire quickly and efficiently to cook it on. While it is tempting to just throw in a cheap butane lighter, you will also need to make sure that it can be made in the rain. I prefer flint and steel. Butane and lighters in general can get broken easily and the fuel can leak out. Packing a flint and steel or something else that can make fire easily is the best option.
10. Fish Biology Manual
One thing that I think is hugely overlooked in any fishing kit is a manual on fish biology. Much as you want a book to tell you what type of plants to stay away from in unfamiliar territory such as poison ivy, having a small book related to the biology of common fish species, their diets, and their habits is ideal. Having a manual that can tell you what species of fish you have is essential as well as what baits to throw where. This will help you identify species and help you catch more fish by locating them.
Survival Fishing Kits – Summary
The cold hard truth is that survival fishing will always be relevant. They are generally lightweight, easy to use, and are an excellent addition to your other survival equipment. These don’t cost a lot to make and the benefits you can get out of them are high. That said, it should be in addition to your other sources of food, not instead of. As the old saying goes, putting all your eggs in one basket is not what you want to accomplish when calories count. To summarize, it’s best to have the essentials needed to catch fish but you should still study how to forage, how to hunt, how to make traps, and so on. After all, this is a cheap and functional addition to the rest of your survival skills. It does occasionally provide valuable fish to eat.
What are your thoughts? Do you have anything that could make this better? Drop a reply in a comment below so we can hear what you have to say!