How To Build A Survival Fishing Kit That You Can Count On

This is a guest post by Edward R

[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win a number of prizes including an 84 serving storage bucket of Wise Food Storage, 500 rounds of 9mm ammo, a NukAlert  a copy of my book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat and a copy of my CD It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – And I Feel Fine . For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]

pic of boy going fishingMany commercial survival kits contain a few small hooks, tiny lead sinkers (weights), and a short length of lightweight fishing line. With some live bait an amateur could use that miniature fishing kit to catch a few pan fish for food. However, pan fish contain very little meat and it would take many of them to make a meal. In the process of catching so many pan fish the inevitable setbacks will occur, such as broken lines and lost hooks. A tiny fishing kit of this type might help catch a few small fish, but it isn’t going to do much good in a real survival situation. Further, most would not know how to use that gear to catch fish when live bait is unavailable. I decided to have another look at fishing kits to explore what items one should really have on hand, as well as different ways to use that equipment in a survival situation.

Commercial fishing line is far superior to any fishing line we could make by hand in nature. Generally speaking, a half-mile of commercial fishing line weighs only about one-quarter of a pound, can be contained on a spool the size of a human fist, and costs less than a typical fast-food lunch. All things considered, it is simply a must-have item for fishing kits. Fishing line is available in many different tensile (aka “test”) strengths and styles. For example, a hooked quarter-pound pan fish tugging on a small 6-pound test monofilament line will probably not cause it to break, but the line will likely snap if you have hooked a twenty-pound catfish.

Abrasion from jagged rocks and underwater obstructions will also weaken a fishing line, as will fishing in extremely cold water. Having a stronger fishing line than you expect to need is desirable, but smaller fish can become “spooked” by a strong large-diameter fishing line. A fluorocarbon line can overcome this problem as it is nearly invisible in the water, but small-diameter fluorocarbon lines can still break when big fish are hooked. In a survival situation a person would want to catch fish of all sizes so a versatile line is needed.

Defining the best all-purpose survival fishing line is a matter of personal opinion, but I would recommend a braided line which generally has 3-5 times the breaking strength of a monofilament or fluorocarbon line. For example, a braided line having a 50-pound breaking strength can have a line diameter equivalent to a 10-pound monofilament or fluorocarbon line. Even with mild abrasion damage, such a strong braided line would continue to be useful for fishing as opposed to most lightweight monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line of equal diameter.

Keep in mind the weakest link in the fishing line can be found at the knot which ties the line to the hook, a fact which is especially true for braided lines. However, 95% of the advertised line strength can be retained if the hook is attached using a Clinch knot or Palomar knot. For those having access to really large fish such as salmon or muskellunge a 100-pound test braided line might be desired. Regardless of which tensile strength is right for you, having a few spools of 50- or 100-pound test braided fishing line should be sufficient for a simple survival fishing kit. Such strong line can also be useful in numerous other applications as well, such as building a snare trap and repairing torn fabric.

Fishing hooks can be crafted by hand from wire, wood, or bone with unpredictable results, but off-the-shelf hooks are far superior in strength, sharpness, design, and function.  Plenty of straight hooks in small and large sizes as well as medium-sized treble hooks are also must-have items for survival fishing kits.  Both modern-day fishing line and hooks are so useful, effective, dependable, and affordable it makes little sense to be without or to make your own. 

From a minimalist perspective strong fishing line and hooks are the two primary items in our fishing kit and they would be content just having that.  However, we can improve our kit without adding much bulk by including the following:

  • Multi-tool containing pliers and a single-edge knife blade (for hook removal, scaling/cleaning fish, and crafting artificial lures)
  • A spool of nylon gardening cord (used to retain fish after catching them as well as material for crafting artificial lures and nets)
  • Container with lid (such as a small tin or margarine tub, used to contain the miscellaneous hardware noted below, also useful to hold live bait when needed)
  • Many large and small paper clips, safety pins, rubber bands; as well as a few strong finishing nails (miscellaneous useful hardware)
  • A fanny pack or soft media case which is typically used to store 8-12 audio cassette tapes, either of which will be useful in storing the entire fishing kit

Of course, a telescoping fishing rod and a reel can be useful too, but they are bulky and can break fairly easily. A minimalist would prefer to wrap 20’ of line around a small hand-held stick (or dowel rod) so the line can be retrieved by hand in the same way as when flying a kite. Cane poles having 20’ of line can also be crafted from saplings and sticks using safety pins as fishing line guides. Adding a small assortment of plastic baits, spinning lures, and other supplies can be helpful in moderation; but don’t go overboard as the kit should be as compact as possible.

There are many ways to catch fish using hooks and line, one of which involves live bait.  Almost anything can be used as bait:  worms, crickets, various bugs of all types, as well as pieces of raw meat.  (Catfish find spoiled raw meat to be especially appealing so retain the entrails of any fish caught for this purpose.)  Small fish can be used as bait to catch larger fish.  Food such as fruit, bread, and kernels of corn can attract fish.  Simply attach the bait to a hook which is tied to a line and cast the baited hook into the water.  Don’t expect instant results as several hours might pass before you catch a fish, if at all.  Use a short length of nylon cord to retain captured fish by feeding one end of it into the mouth of the fish and working it out through the gills.  Allow the captured fish to remain in the water while securing both ends of the nylon cord on the shoreline so the fish do not swim away.    

Using baited hooks one can catch pan fish and trout, as well as small bass and catfish.  If weight is needed to keep the bait on the bottom of the water then rocks can come in handy for this purpose.  Using a separate three-foot strand of nylon cord, repeatedly wrap and tie the rock into a cocoon of sorts which can easily be tied to a baited fishing line.  This method is especially useful for catching catfish and walleye.  Floats are not usually needed to catch fish, but when necessary they can be fashioned from nearly any piece of buoyant material.  The small paper clips and safety pins can help serve as attachment points for weights and floats while the large paper clips can be used to create artificial lures.

There are two main types of artificial lures we can easily craft using common and natural materials.  One is a weighted jig we can bounce on the bottom of the lake to imitate the actions of a frog or crawdad.  A lure is not live bait, but with some practice we can convince predatory fish that it is alive.  Using a large straight hook and a rubber band, tightly bind a pea-sized rock near the eye of the hook.  Within the many folds of that same rubber band attach several 2” pieces of nylon cord and fray the ends to create multiple separate strands of loose fiber. 

These loose string tips will mimic hair or phalanges and add a bit of realism to our artificial lure when it is in the water.  Attach the lure to the fishing line, cast it into the water a fair distance from shore, and allow it to descend to the bottom.  Lightly tug on the fishing line every few seconds so the jig rises up from the bottom about 6-12” and then allow it to fall back to the bottom again.  Repeat this fairly slow process until you have fully retrieved the lure, then cast it back out into the water and repeat the retrieval process again. 

During the retrieval process, keep your eye focused on the fishing line at the point where it touches the surface of the water.  If the fishing line appears to be moving quickly in an unexpected direction chances are you have hooked a fish, so tug hard on the line to set the hook.  A jig is especially effective in places having lily pads or lots of underwater grass where larger fish (e.g. bass) might be hiding.  From my own personal experience using this technique, I have hooked several largemouth bass (12”-19”) in 24 inches of water or less with some hooks being set when the jig was mere inches from the shoreline. 

Another type of artificial lure we can craft is a plug which appears to swim in the water rather than bounce on the bottom.  Slide a treble hook onto a large paper clip, tightly wrap a rubber band around the paper clip several times so the hook won’t slide off, and fasten the other end of the paper clip to the fishing line.  Although small and very simple in appearance, fish can be enticed to believe this lure would make a good snack.  Additional bulk material and weight can be added as desired. 

Just about anything can serve as a plug, even an old metal bottle cap.  In that example, fold the bottle cap in half using pliers (printed side out), use the nail with a “rock as a hammer” to create a hole on each pointed end of the folded cap, affix one end to a treble hook while the other end is tied to the fishing line.  This kind of lure works better in streams and rivers as the moving water will help keep the lure in a near-constant swimming motion which can attract fish.  

This simple fishing kit can offer numerous other fishing possibilities, especially when combined with objects found in our surroundings.  For example, the nylon gardening cord could be loosely tied to a Y-shaped stick to craft a hand-held fishing net.  The nylon cord could also be used with several rock weights to craft a casting net.  When used with a support structure made of various materials the nylon cord can also be used to build a fish trap similar to a lobster cage (aka “crab pot”).  With a little creativity one could even craft spinner-type fishing lures, as well as spoon lures using discarded heavy-duty plastic or metal spoons.  

Having so many hooks, strong line, and nylon cord one could also create a trot line having many baited hooks.  Bait a dozen hooks, tie them to 12-inch lengths of fishing line, and tie each of those pieces of fishing line to a 15-foot length of nylon cord at one-foot intervals.  Secured in the water using a stake at each end, a nylon cord trot line can capture multiple fish even when it is left unattended for several hours.

A decent and useful survival fishing kit need not be large or expensive, but it should be better than one which can fit inside the handle of a survival knife.  In the least, acquire a good supply of strong  fishing line and hooks as crafting these items by hand would be unnecessarily frustrating and time-consuming in a survival situation.

Do you have a survival fishing kit – please let us know what’s in it in the comments below…

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Spook45 says:

    I have a kit that came out of an nam era airmans survival vest and it is awsome! Its the most comprehensive kit I have ever seen in that small a box. They are sort of hard to find but you can find one from time to time on Ebay.

  2. robert in mid michigan says:

    i have a basic fishing box with rubber worms and such but since starting to read this blog i have been thinking about updating the kit a bit. throwing in a couple extra spools of line, lots of hooks towards the end of the season they get real cheap. you can pick up the zebco 202 and 404 kits for around 20.00 at wall mart. they are not heavy duty rigs and wont last forever but i do have a couple that are close to 20 years old that were my kids first poles and only the oldest ever bought a better pole. add a couple of these who knows what you may come up with. i would also look into ice fishing tip ups for those that live where that is possible trapping for fish almost.

    besides what better weekend is thier than camping on the lakeshore eating bluegill and eggs for breakfast. chip vacation and you get to practice the skills.

  3. Quite a bunch of years ago, Kraft sold their individual cheese slices in a little plastic container- 4″x4 1/4″x2 1/2″ dimensions. Pretty much just a tupperware kind’a container, really.
    When I was looking for something to hold my ice fishing tackle, I uncovered this ‘box’ in my junk drawer and it served many years as my ice tackle box, holding hooks and sinkers and lures and bobbers. As I was putting together my GHB I needed a fishing kit. Ouella!
    Now this cheese box, barely larger than two sandwiches, holds all but the rod.
    I’ve put in a bait cast ice fishing reel filled with 20 pound test braided dacron (ultra thin), several steel core leaders, two small bobbers, four assorted dare-devil type lures, a dozen size six (IMO, the best all-around size hook) hooks, and a small bag of sinkers, both split-shot and rubber-core. This is in a pocket on the pack- a sturdy, typical school book bag. As a rod I carry a 16″ long ice fishing rod- matched to the reel, actually. I also carry a similar set-up in the kayak boot for when I feel the urge for fresh food while kayaking.
    There was a time I carried a take-down fishing rod- had tried a collapsing rod once, but it was worthless for durability- and went with the five piece rod. Too cumbersome putting together on the kayak so I dropped it as well and went with the ice fishing rod. Seems to be nearly perfect- though if I could I’d carry one a bit longer, about four feet.
    In a pinch, it’d be easy to whittle a sapling down to rod size, but that’d be an emergency set-up, for sure, when such a small, lightweight rod as the ice fishing tackle is available.
    To keep the fish in my posession, can’t beat dropping it between your knees in the kayak and enjoying the thrashing around, but I do have a nylon stringer with clips to keep it fresh.
    In a SHTF scenario, I’d still opt to carry my UglyStik and good bait casting reel and my typical tackle box. But for emergencies and Getting Home Bag carry, I think I’ve come across a near perfect example for size-weight compatibility.
    For which knot to use, tests have shown the Palomar is one of the strongest, retaining 100% line strength, for both braid and mono lines, and easiest to tie. I forgot which knot is equal, but it was a rectal pain for me to tie.
    For simplicity sake, a manual fly fishing reel with braided line and a short rod may be a great survival setup as well. Functional, sturdy, no moving parts to fail- other than the axle.
    Good food for thought post. Thanks for writing it.
    Shy III

  4. I am always so glad to read here. I had not thought of a fishing kit. I better get busy on one.

  5. Yes, the Palomar knot is not only very strong but also quick and easy to tie, even in dark conditions. An example of how to tie it can be found here:

    A short ice fishing rod is a good idea. Also, if you can find a sectional fishing rod that has at least one line guide mounted on the same section as the handle then the handle alone could serve as a fishing rod. Although it will lack sensitivity, it will secure the reel, keep the line where it needs to be, and casting far distances will still be possible. Given the handle is the thickest and strongest section of the rod it can be quite durable too.

    Hooks can be purchased in bulk packs with 50 of them costing about $4 and 1000 going for about $40. Some have a lead weight molded around them (jig heads), but be careful to mind the total weight of the fishing kit. It only takes sixteen 1/8-ounce jig heads to equal a pound whereas it would take hundreds of plain hooks to reach that same weight.

    The method of “snagging” fish could be used in a survival situation. This method involves casting a large treble hook far into the water (without bait), pulling the rod back quickly and forcefully for a distance of about 3-4 feet, reeling in the line to make it taut again, repeat until it is time to recast the hook. This method can be done by hand as well when no rod is available, but it takes much more physical effort. The idea is to retrieve the hook so fast and with enough force that it embeds itself into the side of an unwary fish. Although illegal in some states, this method is actually encouraged in the Midwest for invasive species such as Asian Carp which can grow up to 100 pounds.

  6. Muddy Fork says:

    When I was a kid my uncle and I used trot lines and “YO-YOs” to catch more than enough catfish in one night to have a major fish fry. One was well over 20 lbs and the average was around 4-5 lbs. The yo-yo is a mechanical spring loaded spool with heavy nylon string and a large hook. After pulling the string out to the desired length/depth a locking lever set to hold the line at that level. When the string is pulled and set it is putting a load on the internal spring giving it the power to set the hook itself. When the fish takes the bait and tugs hard enough to unlatch the locking lever the spring is sprung thus setting the hook. The spring keeps tension on the line reducing the chance of the fish getting off the hook. These may not be legal in every state but they work great for bass, crappie and catfish. They can be tied to docks, tree limbs, or stumps. They also work great as snares. I recently saw them being sold by the dozen at a Wal-Mart in Arkansas but your state may not allow them. I’m you can get them off eBay as well. Yo-yos will be a part of my kit along with a trot line, jugs and fish traps; I prefer to multi task.

  7. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Great topic. Thanks for writing it.

    My go-to / can’t fail artificials are small spoon (single hook for less trash fouling), black / chartruese 1/8 oz. jig (about 1 1/4″ long) and two crankbaits, a short minnow Rapala or Rebel (can be fished underwater if moved quickly or topwater is cranked in slowly) and the Rebel crawfish (I forget the name). Some small long shanked bait hooks and one ginormous shark hook to tie on pole and snag them.

    Those baits work pretty well where I live. My problem – not many places close by to use them, south Texas has very few streams or rivers, the most famous the border with Mexico where you may get shot at for your trouble. Irrigation canals abound, but authorities caution about eating fish from them – contaminants from land.

    Not easy being cheesy down here is all I ‘m saying.

  8. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Back in the mid-1950s when I was a boy and trout were still plentiful in the coastal streams, all we used for fishing was a willow stick cut right from a tree on the streambank and about 8′ of fish line (I don’t think we had momfilament back then) with a #12 hook. We’d catch grasshoppers or turn over rocks for helgremites and they would be our bait. Man, those were the days! Sometimes we used a small splitshot, but most of the time the weight of the bait would finally get the hook deep enough for the trout to notice it. They weren’t big, but the limit was 15 and we caught enough for dinner and slept right on the beach.

    This guest post has sure brought back fond memories of those days. As as far as a fishing kit, well there just aren’t that many fish around anymore. I think it would be much faster to get fish by damming up a small length of streambed and then using crushed soap root to anesthetize (sp?) them. My mom grew up in the boonies and taught us lots of things about surviving off the land.

    • What are helgremites Lint?
      I always used night crawlers to fish for trout, bullheads and bass.
      According to my nieces fishing is still good in Upstate, N.Y.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Sorry, Judith, I misspelled the word. It’s actually Hellgramite. They are insect larvae that attach themselves to the lower portions of submerged rocks in clear streams until they hatch out and fly away. Trout love them.

        We generally call any insect larvae which we use for fishing “hellgramites” although that a generalization and not strictly accurate.

  9. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    I keep a fishing kit in the BOB but not the GMHB. The GMHB I will be moving to fast. I have a assortment of hooks but as a general rule I keep them small. Small hooks can catch big fish but big hooks cant catch small fish. I keep a few lures but no rubber, it degrades too quickly. I keep feather jigs and roadrunners and rooster tails. Small fish such as perch are easier to catch IMHO.

    On the fish hooks I can mash down the barb and use it as a sewing needle as well.

    On the bugin I also keep trotline stuff not only for trotlining but for small game applications but only after rule of law is gone. Hang pieces of corn etc at knee to ankle high and catch the small game and birds then dispatch them as you would when trapping. Don’t go breaking game laws using this method now! Hang that same line at a greater height or across brushy trails for security but only after everything goes down. No law breaking now!

    I also have a perch trap and a sein net for smaller fish, snakes, turtle etc and bait and we all bowfish too. I am reduced to a few species now but after SHTF that will greatly open up. Again no law breaking for now folks.

    • Trotlining for small game… Never thought of that one… This is why I love this blog. Great tip Matt!

      • Matt in Oklahoma says:

        Yep the fellow that taught me that got in a pinch with the law “catching” turkey at knee level with corn.

        One other comment folks, practice! Don’t buy stuff and think you got it licked. It’s like anything else you either “know” it works or you dont. SHTF aint the time to dust stuff off and “think” when you should know. In this case fishing is fun and good times for families. Don’t tell them your “preparing” your just fishin!

  10. My husband was telling me a story from a fella from work. It seems they were out doing something called under the bank fishing. There was a tall lean guy and a shorter guy. First the short guy went in and he had told the tall guy that when he wiggeled his left foot to pull him out, the tall guy kept pulling the short guy out too soon before he could grab any fish. So they switched places. The short guy was having trouble pushing the tall guy in by the feet so he moved up to his bottom. He said he sure hoped no one came by cause it didnt look too good.
    Just a laugh for today….made me sorta think about MD’s troll…he he

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Zombie Sodomite Fishermen?? What next??????????

      • See? This is why I come to this blog exclusively! How many other blogs could you garner the type of info available here. Plus,leave with a headache from laughing so hard. Now if there was a Buffett and a bathroom here,I’d never have to leave!!!

  11. Teresa Miller says:

    I went to K mart and bought some line, sinkers,bobbers, hooks,rubber minnows. I plan to head up to the mountains and fish at Rainbow Lake or up by Cuttingham falls stream. All I need is a stick pole or, if I get some funds, and go by me a small fold up pole. I kow how to clean my fish. Im almost set.

  12. We’ve been buying fishing gear on & off for a couple of years now. I’ve been pressuring my husband to make sure our set up is complete. Especially since it gets used a couple of times a month.

    I just forwarded this article to him. Thanks!

  13. “Small hooks can catch big fish but big hooks cant catch small fish.”

    Very true! I’m amazing some people catch huge salmon on flies having tiny little hooks. I guess it’s true, it’s not the size but how you use it! LOL

    The same can be said of fishing line too. Thick strong line might spook some small fish, but it can handle a small lure and (sometimes) even catch those small fish. However, a thin weak line can’t handle either large lures or fish.

    I absolutely love rooster tails (spinning lure) as they can catch just about anything. Along with plenty of hooks I included a couple of rooster tails, a few plastic worms with bullet-shaped weights, and a few feathered jig heads.

    Adding another thought to this topic, I recently read instructions on how to make a bait fish trap from a disposable plastic water bottle. Bottles having a wide mouth will work best, but 2-liter bottles will work too. Remove the cap and cut off the top third of the plastic bottle. Flip it over and reinsert it (neck first) into the bottom-part of the bottle. If cut in the right place it will secure itself with pressure alone, but tape, staples, or string lacing can also be helpful here too. Drop a bit of live bait into the bottle, tie it to a string secured to the bank, fill it with water, and throw it into the pond. It will sink to the bottom where fish will swim into the bottle to get the bait, but they won’t be able to swim back out. Retrieve it using the string to find small crawdads, minnows, and other useful bait fish.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      That 2-liter pop bottle trap sounds way easy – thanks for the info.

    • blindshooter says:

      I like the pop bottle trap! I have a small one made from hardware cloth but you can have one anywhere with the pop bottle idea, thanks for that one!

  14. Buckshot has those fishing yo-yo’s 3 for $10.99 also a whole kit.

  15. Eric Lindbom says:

    Hi everyone
    Great article
    Keep within the Law, as a survival mean only, for certain practices
    are illegal in most country, we are talking SURVIVAL here.

    The kit I use here in Australia is also very simple but is also versatile
    I found that fishing is a time consuming business and they are many things to do around Camp and securing other good food source.
    Fishing is a relaxing pass time and can settle the nerves, but in a survival situation you will have too many things to do.

    Here I use the following
    1: assorted small spools of braided (dynema) lines 50lb, 150lb OD green used to fish with , set trip line for snares, sawing repairs, bindings,etc…
    2: 45lb stranded stainless steel trolling wire for fish with nasty teeth
    and uses also as snare loop for traps
    3: various size fish hooks, for fishing ( can be used for trapping as well)
    4: Length of Parachute cord ( you know what to do)
    5: 3 x Speed hook
    for set line fishing so I can do other things around camp.
    ( can be used for traps as well)
    6: a small bottle of Aniseed liqueur for bait scenting
    Fish will eat anything with that stuff on it
    ( can also be used for medicinal purpose…Get a bigger bottle…)
    and a small bottle of tuna oil ( Warning do not drink that one)
    7: a small packet of fisherman’s friend lollies ( if you drank the last mentioned bottle)
    I found that this kit will get me the fish and give me time to do other
    In good spirit…
    Best regards from Down Under

    • Good advice to keep within the law , right now anyway. Nothing worse to be set upon when you are fishing by the Gestapo (Adirondack Park Authority) and not have your caught fish within the limit or to not have a license.

  16. I’ve never been referred to as a fisherman. I have however been called a bait assassin. Great article. It’s one of the prep areas I’m slowly improving on. Brad

  17. blindshooter says:

    Survival in place fishing for me would be gill nets, trot lines and traps. A siebiki (sp?) rig can help catch bait fish with a light. Like others have said, all this might not be legal now. I have thought a lot about fishing for survival and methods that work without you showing yourself so much could come in handy.

    Good post and good reply’s, I never heard of the “yo-yo” until reading here.

    • Hypothetically, if you take a few pieces of hardware cloth or chicken wire perhaps 2 x 4 feet in size, place one on either side of a stream or small pond, connect wires from your generator (120 or 240) to each screen, and energize for a few seconds, you could possibly have an abundance of small stunned fish, floating on the surface. Although you could also use AC line power, the generator method is isolated and marginally safer.
      Remember that this is only hypothetical and that you should disconnect or otherwise turn off the power before wading in to select the ones you want to keep.

  18. RepairMama says:

    Do ya remember the pocket fisherman.I had one and still looking for anpther one to keep in the truck.

    • K Fields says:

      Ronco still sells them – $29.95. Also I’ve seen plenty of the early 1970 originals on EBay selling for about $20.

    • Ronco!! Popiel pocket fisherman!! I had that and the spray paint for bald guys. those things worth bucks on eBay. If I had only know. Me and both my brothers had the popiel pocket fisherman. They worked. I caught alot of fish with that thing.

      • RepairMama says:

        take up very little room too. i have a plastic case with a telescopic rod and small reel under seat of truck with a little tackle so we can fish when we can (like a dock or bank at a job site on lunch break)
        this might be a firing offense if we were not self employeed.

  19. I haven’t been fishing in a few years, but has “spider wire” become passe’? I used to use it a lot and it was super strong for its size. Or is this what is called ‘braided line” now!

  20. Eric Lindbom says:

    In addition to my above reply,
    I carry and use in my kit a steel 4 prongs spear fishing head on a pole cut from the bush.
    This is also used by the local Aborigine in sea and fresh water fishing as well as hunting small games like frogs and snakes.
    From Spring to Autumn I use a Sweep net ( small butterfly net) in the long grass, this will catch all sort of insects for live bait.
    also look under rotten logs there is always something there (watch out for snakes) digging for worms is not energy efficient, and can be exhausting in 40 degrees Celsius heat.
    A small strip of any kind of meat on a hook is also good for bait,
    ( leave some fur on it for crank bait)
    I always carry a Swiss Army Fisherman model knife in the kit and it is only use for fishing choirs.
    Yo-yo are illegal import in Australia so we make do without them
    and in Australia we DO NOT use Dynamite for fishing,
    ( Hollywood style Crocodile Dundee Bull S..t) it
    is not efficient and too noisy (90% of the fish stay at the bottom and do not float to the top) and in a SHTF scenario, why should you give your location away.

    in good Spirit…

  21. ThatAway says:

    Hello all
    Back in the in the days (man I am starting to sound Like Lint Pick)
    Lake Erie was a giant. lake of acid oil and who knows what other stuff.
    Almost all that was in there was carp, sheep heads, some suckers and HUGE orange carp.. They say people used to flush em down the toilet??
    Anyways we had bow fishing rods. special arrows and a real on the rod.
    Man the were fun they wanted the carp gone no limit.
    You were not supposed to eat the fish but the gulls liked em..
    I would like to have a bow/reel arrow.
    You could go alone the break walls. And they would highlight being
    when you here up high.. and the fish would sick out.
    Use to snag a lot where permitted. still have lots of the weighted treble
    hooks about 3 inches tall…sharp big barbs..
    fun to catch..

    Also used
    You could

    • Bow Fishing sure is fun, and you can still get the reels, in more varieties now than you ever imagined. Some have gone so far as to copy the ‘self-winding’ fly fishing reels. Haven’t tried those since the old Bear reel is still serviceable, having been used to shoot many carp. Our technique is to stand on a bridge or rail trestle and shoot them as they loiter beneath it on hot days.
      One of the great things about carp and sucker is they taste great, especially in the spring. Fileted out, they have a few bones you can chew around, or, as I do with most, grind them to a patty and freeze in one pound bags.
      You could throw them in the garden in the fall, too, and have fertilized fields in the spring. Or put a pile of them in the woods near your bear stand and have natural bait all summer long. Of course, you could use them as seagull bait, as well. (Kidding. Just a pile of fishy tasteing feathers there.)
      Shy III

  22. ThatAway says:

    whops on the also used and You could not sure on those thoughts……


  23. Eric Lindbom says:

    Hi Everett
    Spider wire is still been used but is expensive.
    Have a look on E-bay (worldwide option) for Dyneema fishing line
    I get mine from China (free shipping) in Green, Black, OD, Yellow etc..
    300ft of 50lb is about $15, you may have to wait 3 weeks but it is
    cheap and good quality. Goes from 8lb to 300Lb/ 100ft to a 1000ft
    take your pick.

    Cheer from Down Under

  24. Charlie says:

    You can over-think anything. I’ve been fishing for over 40 years using 10 lb monofilament line for pan fish (2-3 can make a meal) and larger catfish. Some of my reels have had the same line for 20 years and still work fine. As far as having live bait, look under a rock, grab a bug etc. Corn works on trout. I’ve caught more pan fish with crickets and worms than artificial lures but then the latter are small and don’t weight much if you want to take some along. Any brands of telescoping rods (Including Ronco) and an an old Zebco 33 is all you need with number 8 hooks for pan fish. Larger set hooks off a branch or dock with something old and smelly will attract big cats. Heavy string works better than regular fishing line. Lay it on the bottom near the shore.

  25. brimsxj says:

    Cheaper than Dirt use to sell the fishing yo yo’s in a 12 pack for about 30 bucks.

  26. SrvivlSally says:

    Thank you for the wonderfully-written article about fishing kits and it was interesting to learn what to do to catch some species that I have never had the opportunity to fish for. In my area, the general types of fish that are available are Salmon and Trout in the streams and creeks. Although there are Catfish in some lakes, I refrain from visiting them because of the number of boaters and fishermen that utilize those waters. After roasting Giant Marshmallows at our very quiet local country park today, we stood off a bridge and saw little Salmon babies hanging out, wagging their tails as they practiced going against the current. Years ago, when the fish were large enough to catch, my uncle would spend a few hours with a pole there and he always went home with enough to feed his family for a few days. I do not want a large or heavy kit so I have included only the basic amount of supplies that I will need. I have over 200 hundred feet of 250+ lb. (t.s.) line, a few hooks of various sizes which have barbs, paper clips, a few differently-sized safety pins for making into hooks if I loose or break what I have, a pair of needle-nosed pliers for working with hook removal or manufacturing a hook when necessary from safety pins, a small knife and a piece of sharp flint rock for scraping scales and cutting up a fish to prepare it. My brother and I used to fish local streams and he taught me to use cheddar cheese, bread, worms, guts and meats as attractants. Being poor children, we collected sticks for our poles, attached lines and hooks and if he had sinkers and floats with him, which he did not usually have an abundance of, we would add them when needed, bait and set our lines. I owe it to him for showing me how to do nearly everything except for removing a hook from a fish’s mouth which I later learned after watching a very experienced fisherman.

  27. Good article . I have a decent kit . It consists of the basics centered around a telescopic rod . I have it for road trips , so I can pull over and fish if I feel like it . In southern arizona , my chances of needing fishing gear are slim to none . I have it for trips through more hospitable states .

  28. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    You can also convert a two piece fishing rod to use only with bottom half. Cut off metal female receptor, replace with a rod tip. Add one more ferule about half way between tip and rod seat – you’re done. You end up with a more or less 3′ single piece fishing rod, perfect for behind the truck seat or trunk kit. As mentioned above, old Zebco spin cast reels like 202, 404 or 33 are fairly bulletproof and were built to take it.
    good rod case – folding chair bag, can even been carried together when bank fishing.

    One caution – casting one of these puts your hook when casting in close proximity of your face / shoulders so take care when casting.

  29. Christine says:

    A lot of freshwater fish like bread and doughballs.
    In my fishing kit, i keep a bag of instant pizza dough mix (44 cents at Walmart). Just a little pinch of it in your hand mixed with a drop of water or even spit, you can make a little doughball that will stay on a hook. My son and I have caught many panfish without having to stop to buy or find bait. It takes a little practice to make good doughballs, not too wet. Have something to wipe your hands on.
    Great article!

  30. Incredible post. Thank You. The detail of information has surely changed my success in fishing should I need it in a survival situation. I saved Your post in my Favorites.

  31. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    One of the other fishing skills I, my family and friends have is noodling. Little to no equipment needed other than skill and guts. It helps to have gloves and a good line to run thru their gills one you “catch” them. Truth is they catch you. You run your hand in the catfishes mouth and let them clamp on then you grab hold inside and get them up. You can catch an impresive amount of fish in a short time with the right area!

  32. lol catfish are not very picky about what they eat , you could almost use a booger .

  33. GoneWithTheWind says:

    My hints are:
    Buy a couple or more of the largest treble hooks you can find and a couple of larger weights (auto wheel weights work well). When you use it for snagging you pot the weight on the end of the line and the treble hook upline a foot or more away from the weight. The weight allows you to pull the line and the treble hook up off the bottom without the hook simply drifting either with the current or closer to the rod tip. This makes it easier to line up the treble hook with the fish before you yank on the line.

    Use the very small egg hooks with 4 lb or lighter line to catch small fish which might be skittish with a more visible rig.

    Sharpen your hooks. They should be sharp as a needle. Sharp hooks will catch more fish especially nibblers.

    Crawfish will latch on to a piece of bait and hold it for about 3-5 seconds after you pull them out of the water. Have a can or something to put them in and pull them up allowing the bait to dangle over the open container and they will drop off right into your bucket.

    A simple tin can can catch small minnows. Or even better cut the neck off a plastic bottle. Place them in a pond or stream out a few feet where you can easily reach them with the opening facing shore. Walk away, the minnows come into the shallows. Walk back the minnows swim out a few feet and some get in the can/bottle and are confused. Quickly but carefully pick up the can and the minnow(s) are still inside. Great bait for larger fish.

  34. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    One more thing (I promise :^)) check into that slingshot bow developed by Dave Canterbury, that has some possibilities if you have access to a boat or at least clear shoreline.

  35. Papabear says:

    Good article. The fishing gear is something that has been put off. Number 2 son cleaned out most of what was in the tackle box when he was building his own, took my good rod and left his broken one in its place. I don’t hold it against him as he does more fishing. Just another area to work on.

  36. Judy Williams says:

    As times get more tense and troubled,I saw my needs as preparing my homestead for times when travel will be near impossible.I walked properties looking for land with water fish and fowl.Found it bought it.Then I installed a catfish pond.So I have 2 close sources for fish.I learned hoe to make a pole from the woods and I also learned how to fish with a safety pin on my line.Those catfish are more stupid then the sleeping sheep walking the cities. I love the freedom of having everything simple,like they did in the old days lol

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