5 Survival Fishing Methods That Are Proven To Work

Survival fishing is a great skill to hold in an emergency situation. No matter if you are lost amidst the wild or recovering after any calamity. Fishing is one of the promising ways to get the much-needed nutrients in a survival situation.



Trotlines are highly effective when you have to catch any kind of catfish. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot just catch any other species of fish with trotlines. Constructing a trotline can be very simple and you can start building them with a few basic supplies such as swivels, baited hooks, and a paracord for the mainline. When you are in a survival situation, you can make use of anything you have at your disposal.


You will have to practice the useful knots before you will need them. Also, you will need a heavyweight or a rock for the end which can go towards the deep end. Next, you would have to tie several non-sliding loop knots along the mainline.

You can bait the trotline and remove the fish as per the requirement. If you fail to catch anything, then chances could be that there are no fish or the fishes simply don’t accept the bait. You will have to experiment with different kinds of baits to find the most efficient one. As you come across a productive spot, you should stay with it so that your fishing efforts are quick and effective.


George hooks

The gorge hooks are one of the most primitive and useful fishing hooks that can be made in a survival situation. In simple terms, it is actually a small bone or sharp stick pointed at both ends. The reason behind the popularity of gorge hooks is that as the fish takes the bait, the hook sharply goes to the mouth of the fish.

This means when you are tugging on the line, the hook will turn sideways and lodge into the mouth of the fish. It’s important to match up the size of the hook according to the fish side. For larger fish, the gorge hooks should be larger.


There are three variants of gorge hooks, and they can be fished in the same procedure. The first one is the single-point hook which can be made with wood splinters or bone shards with a single point. You will have to position the gorge in such a way that it can make a V shape concerning the fishing line. This positioning allows it to work as a hook.


The next is a double-point hook which is made from bone shards that are typically sharp on both ends. The V shape in this hook will hook into the innards of the fish and hang in the same manner. Having a two-inch gorge can fetch you a fish of up to 5 pounds.


Composite hooks are a close resemblance to a modern fishing hook. As thorns, bone and damp woods are not quite sharp enough for piercing through scales or jaws of the fish, these hooks have to be swallowed like other gorge hooks.



Survival fishing with the help of nets is an important life-saving skill for all sorts of situations and it often remains overlooked amongst the vast range of tools used for prepping. The upper edge of the fishing nets remains attached to a rope known as a floatline or cork line. The headlines hold the floats for providing buoyancy. On the flip side, the bottom side of the net is joined with a hanging twine to a rope known as footrope or leadline.


The size of the mesh of the net decides the kind of fish it is most useful in capturing. If the fish is very small, it can easily pass through the mesh. But if the fishes are of quite a large size, it won’t be possible for them to fit their heads through the mesh. In survival situations, nets can be used for capturing a steady supply of fish which can help in providing enough calories when you select a substantial location.



Spearfishing has always been a part of human civilization and it was practiced once for survival. Keeping the advancement of technology aside, spearfishing has not changed much in the last few decades. But spearfishing successfully is not an easy task, particularly if you wish to sharpen your skills in this sport. There are three crucial aspects of spearfishing: equipment, technique, and most importantly, safety.


When it comes to spearfishing gear, you will only require a few items. Mask and snorkel, fins, and spearfishing wetsuits. It’s very important to choose a mask with the right visibility and fit. You should try out various masks to get the best one that sticks firmly on your face. Fins are considered important tools for conserving energy underwater. Regardless of the type of material you opt for the fins, you will require something between the fins and the bare feet. It’s also suggested that you invest in a pair of a sturdy and flexible wetsuits with gloves.


Depending on the depth of the water, there are three kinds of spearfishing that you can try. When we talk of spearfishing in general, the most common method that comes to our minds is the freediving variant which is not only the most difficult but also the truest means of spearfishing.


Bow fishing

Bow fishing is not just a fun recreational activity, it’s a remarkable way of catching large fish in survival scenarios. Even though you can bowfish at any waterbody, it doesn’t imply that you can take a bow and start throwing it at any water body.

There are legal regulations that you should be aware of. If you are fishing for survival purposes, there should not be any regulations and you can fish as much of carps, bowfin, suckers, and gar as you want. Buffalo fish is similar to carp in terms of its natural habitat and characteristics. Bowfins are aggressive predators and they feed on crayfish or other small fishes.


Finding good spots

The first thing that you need to do for finding the best spots for fishing, is to tap into the local knowledge which can help you get across the local resources. There are tons of applications, Sounders, and fish finders that can also help you select the best spots for fishing.

You can use online maps for finding your best targets along with their natural habitat. For instance, if you are targeting fishes that prefer bottom structures like grouper or rockfish, you will have to use your fish finder for tracing reef, hump, or wreck for the same.



Lures are highly useful when you are fishing in any of the catch and release fisheries. They work well in clear water where the weather is warm and for catching predatory fish. Most fishers say lures are fun and effective to use and they are extremely satisfying. As they help in covering a large expanse of water, lure fishing keeps you engaged for long. You can use lures for hooking fish in the mouth or jaws which facilitate easy and safe catch.


While many people get confused about whether they should opt for lures or baits in survival fishing, there is no particular winner in this contest. Each of these approaches has its own pros and cons and it’s better to be equipped with both these gears when you are going for survival fishing. Being a successful and competent angler, it’s suggested that you should go for both lures and baits.


Tools and gear

As you have taken care of various aspects of fishing, you can move forward to arranging for a survival kit. The first thing to carry is a few lines along with a couple of steel traces for getting predatory fishes. Then comes the hooks, bait, floats, and fishing rods.


You could be in a situation where you are not able to construct spears, gorge hooks, or fish traps or cannot find catfish hideouts, you may have to opt for striking fish with something heavy.

Even though this technique of survival is crude, it could be your last hope of surviving in a demanding situation. Quite similar to spearfishing, fish striking also takes a lot of practice and persistence, but once you are able to get through, it surges the chances of your survival to a great extent.


Even though it may not be true survival fishing, still you can enjoy practicing survival skills like all other recreational outdoor activities.

And it’s effortless to fish if you know your ways. Even though it doesn’t take much to fish using a standard rod and reel, few people can use the techniques to feed themselves in a catastrophe.