Episode 179 S5-16
Dark Days in Denver Ch 16
Whether you are fishing in a lake or a river, fish like to hang out in basically the same areas. They like overhangs and trees that touch down in the water. It is their natural habitat. Fish also like activity on top of the water, like bugs gathering for water. The fish will eat the bugs. In rivers fish will congregate in eddies and then dash out into the faster water. In flatter calmer water, look for structures under the water. They'll be bigger fish there. Rivers usually have salmon and trout all of which travel upstream to breed.
To fish, technically all you need is a stick and a line. Ellen likes to carry a hand reel with line. Check it out here at Amazon. It is a small circular spooler that is very lightweight and compact. It can easily clip to your pack. To cast the line, you just grab the line swing it around and throw it.
Alternatively, they make telescopic rods that collapse into much smaller poles for ease of carrying them. Also, they make rods that break into multiple pieces to make them easier to carry. The also sell a rod that is as small as a pen. The rod choice depends on the size of fish you are trying to catch. Even if you catch small fish that may not be appropriate to clean and eat, you can put a bunch of them into a stew pot and eat them. It is also a good idea to carry a net to catch smaller fish or help you land bigger fish.
The line you use is also important. You want the line to be thin enough that it is not visible to the fish but strong enough that it will not break when the fish is on the line. Fishing line is measured in pounds. For most mid-sized fish a 10-15 pound line should be sufficient. Nylon line is good but it can be abrasive. Braided nylon is stronger but it is easier for fish to see. Use the braided line then put 3-4 feet of single line on the end so it's not visible but still durable. You can use the inside of paracord. Certain types of paracord, like Titan cord, have fishing line included in the inside strands. Really any sort of line will work: tooth floss, cotton, etc.
Lures are another essential for fishing, unless you are lucky enough to attract one with just a hook. In your evacuation (bug-out) bag you should keep an assortment of soft plastic lures, metal slicer lures, and lures with rattles. Look up what attracts fish in your area and plan accordingly. You can also use natural bait: grubs, worms, smaller fish, etc. Powerbait is another popular bait. It is like stinky playdough that is applied to the hook. In your evacuation pack you should also keep an assortment of floats or bobbers. These could be the classic red and white plastic balls that clip to your line. Alternatively, you can get creative and use anything that can attach to your line and float. Use a bobber when the fish are biting in higher water. If not, use a weight to sink your line. If one method isn't working, try another.
Fishing traps that capture large amounts of big fish are illegal in most parts of the world. However if it is a long-term survival situation, finding a way to harvest the fish may save your life. It is legal to use a trap to capture smaller fish or crayfish in most parts of the world. These smaller fish can be used to catch bigger fish or put into a stew. You can also use a trout line to harvest fish while you attend to other necessities. A trout line is a fixed line with other lines attached to it. The hooks on the ends of these lines are baited so many fish can be captured over a period of time. A makeshift smaller fish trap can be made with a clear tube like a soda bottle. You put a whole in the other end and a piece of bread inside. The fish swim in and can't swim out.
You can use any type of netting to create a barrier and catch fish. Use your imagination, you could even use a lace tablecloth. Anything that creates a barrier will do.
Fishing could be a viable long term food supply in a survival scenario. Make sure you look for contaminates in the area. Nuclear plants, chemical factories, sewage treatment facilities are all potential threats. Overfishing may be a big problem as people scramble for survival. If you find other people's set lines, you could cut them.
Make sure you are prepared with your, hooks, line, lures, bobbers and sinkers. You can always make whatever rod suites you. If your method is not catching, change it. Keep the water calm so the fish are not scared.
Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:
"See, you can teach an old dog new tricks."