Tips on how to catch a fish in a survival situation

Survival food

Being trapped in the wilderness with no food doesn’t sound like fun. If you have a little bit of fishing gear in your kit or know how to make gear out in the forest, there is no need to panic.

Catching fish can be a fast way to provide a high protein meal for yourself and other survivors. You can find fish in any large water body including lakes, rivers, and ponds. When your life is on the line knowing how to catch a fish is crucial.

Maybe some of you won’t agree because of ecological reasons, but on the other hand, you want to stay alive.


Here you can learn about some primitive fishing techniques that will help you survive in an emergency situation.


Hand fishing Photo Credit
Hand fishing Photo Credit

Hand fishing

Hand fishing is the most primitive way to catch a fish. You literally grab or hook out the fish with your hands. This activity can be very slippery. Be patient as it takes a lot of skill.

Hand fishing is also known by the names noodling, graveling, hogging, gurgling, grabbling, fish tickling, and stumping.

Gill netting 

Gill net Photo Credit
Gill net Photo Credit

Gill net is hung vertically so that fish get trapped in it by their gills. The best season to do it is when they migrate.

Create a fish wall

Fish wall Photo Credit
Fish wall Photo Credit

By damming the river few feet after a bend, the fish won’t realize that the river flow was obstructed and will keep circling. The fish will swim near the dam so you can just grab it. Or you can set up a corral so that the fish are contained in a smaller area making them easier to get out.

Fish traps 

Fish traps Photo Credit
Fish traps Photo Credit

Fish traps are one more method to catch your survival dinner. Don’t worry if you lost all your equipment because you can make a fish trap by yourself.

Make a fishing basket by lashing some sticks in a funnel shape. Close both sides leaving a hole big enough for the fish to swim in and have the other end too small for them to swim out.

Also, you can trap a fish in a natural pool made of stones or sticks. Leave one side of the pool open and when fish swim in, block the entrance.


All you need to construct this primitive fishing device is two branches stuck into the bottom of the river or a lake. Leave their tops a little bit above the surface and connect them with a cord strung between them. Tie few hooks on the cord that will float between the two branches and wait for your prey.

Some of these fishing methods are illegal across the country and in other countries, but when your life is on the line, it might be more prudent to eat than starve.

Being a survivor means you need to adapt to the new circumstances and face new situations. The easier you accept that you need to do whatever it takes to save your life, the bigger the chances are for you.

In a case of emergency, your life is what matters the most. Follow this rule and do anything possible to stay alive in an extreme survival situation. Good luck!


Fishing Photo Credit
Fishing Photo Credit


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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival