Back when humans still lived in caves, we’d catch fish with our bare hands. Fish were a staple part of our diet, and would give us the energy we needed to get through the day.
As a species, we still enjoy fish – but they’re generally caught on a mass scale. However, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to catch a fish in order to survive.
Luckily, fish thrive in most lakes, rivers, ponds and the ocean – so wherever you are on the globe, you’re probably going to be able to catch some dinner.
Knowing how to fish can be the difference between life and death, so keep reading for a guide on how you can catch fish for survival, without a fishing rod.
One fish could sustain you for a whole day, spread across as many as three meals.
Fish is a generally low fat food, rich in omega-3 fatty acids which is great for your body and your brain.
Fish are also full of protein, which is the building block of our bones, muscles, skin, and blood. Protein is a necessity if you’re hoping to survive in the wild. Protein promotes muscle growth, and helps maintain muscle mass.
On average, one fish provides around 19.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, which is almost as high as the amount of protein found in steak per 100 grams.
If you’re near the ocean, then you’re in luck – as you can eat most ocean fish raw. This is great, especially if you don’t have any fire-lighting equipment.
Fish can be difficult to catch at the best of times, even with the most hi-tech equipment and gadgets.
In a survival situation, the key is to keep your head on your shoulders and stay calm. Remember these fishing tips, and you should be able to catch fish with little-to-no equipment.
Hand fishing is just about as primitive as fishing gets, and can be a life saving action if you have no supplies whatsoever with you.
If you’re desperate for food, you may be tempted to wade into the water and try to grab a fish yourself.
This sounds like an ideal solution when you can almost taste the fish, but it’s a bad idea. You could get hypothermia from standing in the cold and wet clothes for hours. You’re far safer keeping dry.
Lie down with your arm in the water, and wait. That’s all there is to it. You must stay as still as possible and let your arm adjust to the water temperature. Fish will sense that your arm is warmer than the surroundings, so keep your arm submerged until it cools down and stops radiating heat.
When your arm has cooled down, nearby fish will most likely assume its a rock or vegetation, and swim near it without caution.
Then you should do a “come hither” motion with your finger, and chances are, the fish will mistake your finger for a struggling worm or insect.
Try to fight your instinct to just grab the fish by the torso, and instead, grab the fish from under the gills. The hard cartilage and bone there make it the perfect area to get a strong grip of the fish.
Once you’ve got a good hold of it, throw it onto the shore/ river bank – you’ve caught your dinner and you’ll live to see another day.
Spearfishing can be a difficult task, and has a relatively low success rate due to lack of technique. It requires patience and concentration, so be sure that your head is in the game before you submerge yourself.
The best place to spear a fish is in a shallow and enclosed body of water, like a pool or pond – where the fish can’t really get away from you. Shallow water is also a perfect location as it means your body won’t be fully submerged, which means less chance of getting hypothermia.
The good thing about spear fishing is that you can do it with virtually no equipment – even a stick could impale a fish.
Once you’ve spotted the fish, aim for the skull – where the spine connects. This is the most humane way to kill a fish, as it kills the fish instantly and is virtually painless.
Creating a small wall will block the fish and prevent them from escaping your grasp. This works best in a river – you dam the river a few feet after a bend, so the fish won’t even realize that the river flow has been obstructed.
You can create this wall with either stones, rocks, or sticks. The fish will keep circling, swimming near the dam – so you can successfully grab the fish with your hands, or spear it with whatever sharp object you have to hand.
You can successfully catch fish with no equipment – if humans could do it thousands of years ago, why can’t we do it today?
Learning how to catch fish is the key to surviving in the wilderness – it’s possible to survive off fish alone.
Hopefully you won’t ever need to use these tips, but if you do, they could save your life.