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Danm

Fishing basics

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Fishing basics

 

When you are fishing for food you have a little…actually a not so little… different focus. I use the start little theory. There are a lot more little fish in any given body of water than there are big fish. I start with the little perch and when I’ve gathered in some of them I take the smallest and in turn use them for bait for bigger fish on limb lines and throw lines while I continue with the catching of the little guys.

 

The little fish only require a fairly long limber stick with a line tied to the middle of it and then looped again on the tip. Put a #8 or #10 light wire hook on the end with a split shot about 3” above that and a float tied on to set the depth. I don’t carry floats because you can use any little twig of wood to do that job. Near water there are usually all sorts of insect life and a little digging will usually find you a worm. Once you’ve caught a little fish you can use its flesh for bait.

 

I usually include several tiny jigs, a couple of really small spoons and a few plastic grubs in my kit and if no bait is available I use these to catch that first fish. As soon as that first fish is caught I change to bait fishing. You can carry a lot of little wire hooks and they will usually straighten and come free if you hang them. The jigs and spoons are precious and you save them for the emergency of catching that first bait fish.

 

Once you have several fish caught take one of them and start setting limb and throw lines. You can use a little fish whole and alive or you can cut it up and bait with larger pieces. Scale the fish and then cut the fillets off the sides. Cut these up and use them. The skin makes the bait stay on your hook but scales can make it hard to get a clean hook st sometimes.

 

Attach your line to something flexible but not weak. This makes it harder for the fish to break the line and will tire it making it easier for you to land it later. Understand, you don’t care WHAT takes your bait. Turtles, gators, gars even a snake will all serve as a meal.

 

I use 8lb mono for my pole lines. It is strong enough to straighten the hooks if they get hung and thin enough to not needlessly alert or alarm your prey. For non-survival fishing I use 4lb and 6lb but you aren’t sport fishing.

 

The set lines on limbs and such get 25lb mono line. This is heavy enough to handle a big fish but small enough to carry a lot of it. You don’t need to catch the biggest fish just to make a meal. Remember, without refrigeration that fish goes bad fairly fast in warm weather. Unless you plan on smoking the fish you only need enough for a couple of really good meals. The best place to store your food is IN your body. Eat and then rest to allow your body to make best use of the protean and calories you have provided.

 

If you are settling in an area remember that you need to look at any near by creek, river or pond as a sort of personal larder. When you kill a rabit feed the leftovers to the fish. Keep YOUR hold well baited and only use it for meals. If you want to stock your larder go at least a mile off, find another hole and take as many as you can from THAT hole. Preserve your hole for easy meals when for some reason you don’t want to travel. If you get hurt you will be real glad that easy pickings are near at hand.

 

I have several hundred wire hooks in a pill bottle. Another has split shot. If you want a heavier weight use a rock. You will also want to have another pack of stronger slightly heavier hooks in the 2/0 to 6/0 sizes. These are your catfish hooks for the set lines. I use trotline hooks for this. They are heavy wire and have big eyes so if you need to you can use pretty heavy line. I use circle hooks for most of my sport fishing. It allows me to catch and release without injury to the fish. In this situation I don’t care about that and so use regular J hooks and Kahle hooks.

 

The last kind of hook that I carry is treble hooks. I have a pill bottle full of #8, #6 and #4 treble hooks. These are for last ditch efforts. If worse comes to worse and the fish just won’t bit tie a bunch of treble hooks on the line and try to snag something by jerking it through the water. You have the weight on the bottom and then put the hooks on above it. You can tie a little bait on top if you wish to attract the fish but you will hook them by yanking your hooks up and through them. It is crude but at times surprisingly effective.

 

If you can afford a little more weight and space in your pack a small rod and reel is a great addition. I have several packable fishing setups and they make a lot of this stuff a little easier. Fishing is a multiuse activity. You are not burning a lot of energy sitting and waiting. I find it relaxing and there is a lot more to surviving and living to see another day.

 

Snares, traps, and fishing will provide me with a decent source of proteins and calories. With various vegetable products nuts and such and various teas I can not just live but stay healthy. Fish are one of the very easiest sources of the fats that you MUST have to stay healthy. You can eat rabbits and squirrels by the dozen and still STARVE to DEATH. Fat is the hardest thing to find in a survival situation. Turtles are especially good for this as well.

 

I will have no problems feeding me and mine because I live in an area that is covered with lakes rivers creeks and ponds. If you can manage it a pond is about the greatest thing in the world to have on your property.

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Great post Dan. Also having the knowledge to make some improvised hooks like the skewer hook will add some depth if you lost your kit (plane/vehicle crash) or run out in a long term event.

Also on the needed fat, I think is why beaver tail was such a sought after dish. I've had it and it was "OK" but I didn't think it would cause me any "cravings".

According to some of the old journals and accounts I have read from the mountainmen, Native Americans and Colonials, the same description was alwaays used when they spoke of eating dog, it was fatty and "sweet". Same thing on beaver tail, "sweet" was used. Was this just a common use adjective or does the fat actually taste "sweet" when your body requires it? The same is said about salt, that if you taste it and it tastes sweet, then your body needs it, but if it has the "bitter" taste (which I was told is "normal"), then you have enough sodium. Small tidbits of info that I can't prove but the wording of old writings and directions given by people who work the fields have said and seem to add credence to each other.

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That is a great post Dan one thing that I think you may look into is yoyo reels. These are a spring loaded reel that you tie onto a solid anchor and then through out the line, when the fish takes the bait the spring sets the hook so a fish can't sit there and strip you bait. I have a doz. of these in my bob, and I use them when I go fishing regularly and really like them, they open up a few more opportunities IMO anyway. They are about 2.5 inches by .5 so they don't take up much space and they are very light.

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Dan if I read you right you bring up a good point about the unedible parts of your hunts, if you drop them in a regular spot then catfish will start hanging out there, when I worked in a beef packing plant we had a few guys that would buy buckets of blood from the kill floor, first I had to ask why they had to BUY bucket of blood ( it seems there is a market ) and for what. They would take two buckets drill small holes in one than put it in the other, drop in some old clothes and fill with blood then put the lid on and let it "rot", when they would go fishing they would tie a rope to the bail of the blood bucket pull it out of the other bucket and drop it in the water to attract cat fish. This would apparent work for weeks drawing catfish for them to sit there and catch. This is ILLEGAL in my state and I believe others it is called chumming and it's illegal because it works, in a SHTF event it would serve well but you can kill a pond by over harvesting the catfish and poisoning the water for other fish if your chum is to nasty and large

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one of the damdist things ive done when fishin.

 

I was out with a older family friend in the swamps around Kentucky Lake, Crappy fishin

he was a legend in our circle o friends for fishin skill. So he took me out one weekend, i was about 15.

We started early before dawn, got the boat in the water just at day break, using your basic lil crappy tubes n jigs along the banks. We were doing very well. Come noon, i firgued we'd go in for a while, eat lunch etc. during the really hot of the day. but now, he brought our lunch. We fished straight through the hot of the day. He's like naw... now's the BEST time, u just gotta know where to find em.

 

So summer , 1pm, summer day hotter than SIn, he just drove us to the middle of the lake, and started fishin the deeper cooler water. Same Crappy jigs, but with 1 little added punch. For lunch we had simple Balogna and Chesse sandwichs... with Honey Mustard. THe honey Mustard was important. He'd take his jig out of the water and spit on it. I didnt do this immediately just to do like he was. I thought his brain was gettin cooked. But once he had pulled in 5 to my 0, i had to give it a try. We finished the day with roughly 120 keepers, roughly 60lb of raw fish.

 

Oh.. and my fav, DEEP FRIED TROUT TAIL.. OMG!!

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Well I'm going to try something new next week I hope. I like rods and reals a lot anyway so I talked myself into a new one for back pack and survival. It is called an Emmrod and the pole part is short, stainless steel and according to several write ups that I've read it casts like a regular rod but is only 2' long handle and all. At the base, near the grip it has coils. The more coils it has the lighter the action. This thing looks as close to indestructible as possible and when broken down is only about 13" long. They even make a freaking flyrod that is only a little longer. You can buy rods for the handles in either casting or spinning set ups with 8,7,6,or 4 coils and there ia another one that is made with two rods that is for salt water fish up to about 50 lbs. I ordered the 7 coil. It is supposed to be good to about 10 lb fish and that is all I need for survival.

 

The down side to these things is that they are pretty pricy! Like in the area of 70 dollars without the real. I've got reals running out my ears though. I'm going to put a Zebco 33 Platinum on it and see how it works. With 8lb Cajun Advantage co-polymer line it casts like a dream and is tough as nails. I've even caught rat reds (small Red Drum under 10lbs) on them up to about 7 lbs with no problems. I've spent a small fortune on fishing reels over the years so my wife didn't freak over this new one. When I was tournament fishing some of my rod and real set ups ran to over 300 bucks. Some of the reals other people used were more than that and then would be put on 200 dollar rods! I remember one guy spending a just embarrassing amount on a Boron rod. You don't see them anymore...they were wildly sensitive but wouldn't last through a single season. When they aged a little they got brittle!

 

If it works well I may try a Zebco 11 Platinum on it with 4 or 6 lb line and even try one of the heavier poles with 15 lb line on a heavier reel. I love to fish and this time of year I go at least once a week...more if I can manage it. Right now the White Bass are running and the cats are moving into the shallows to spawn so I try to fish both days every weekend. I'll let y'all know how it works out. If I like it I'll probably order another rod or two. Just the rod is about 20 dollars. I'll even try and take a picture of it.

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Ok, preliminary report...I got it in and put a reel on it. Instead of the Zebco 33 platinum I went with a Zebco Omega 3 which is just an upgraded all machined 33 with 5 or 6 bearings and a reciprocating spool a little like a spinning real.

 

At first I wasn't very impressed. You do not cast it like you would a regular rod and until you get the hang it is about as castable as the Ronco Pocket Fisherman... not much! After about ten minutes it started to come together for me. You flick it with more wrist action than arm action. As I got more comfortable with this the distance just kept growing as did my accuracy. I'm now casting a 1/4 oz plug just about as far as I would with a 5 1/2' regular rod with even better accuracy. I mean it ZIPS out there with very little arc in the cast compared to a more normal casting motion.

 

It also works pretty well as a slingshot caster. You pull the lure back and just let it fly without any casting motion. For fishing in areas with lots of overhead stuff and brush it will be just totally awesome.

 

Disassembled and ready for transport it is an unbreakable little 13" package and assembled it is not quite 2' long. LOL, I haven't got it into the water yet but I have tried the casting and it is better than adequate. I also drafted my Yorkie into the testing and it had no problem controlling her and reeling her in. She bucked and fought it after running out to fetch her ball and I'm convinced that any fish under ten pounds will be in trouble and no problem.

 

The rod itself is made of spring stainless and the handle is cast aluminum with inserts that actually git is a pretty nice grip. As a survival tool it should be nearly perfect. It is tough, dependable, moderately light and casts well. The Zebco 33 class of reals has a long record of dependability and the one I've got on it now is nearly as indestructible as the rod with a machined aluminum body instead of pressed sheet metal.

 

If you are in an area where fishing will only be a sort of backup method of food harvesting it might be too pricy but in a place like where I am fish will be my number one protean source so it is worthwhile. I wanted something that was able to allow me to fish in any sort of jungle pool and this is it. I went with the Omega because it had spare spools and easy change more like a spinning reel than a spin-cast or casting reel.

 

They offer this thing in spinning, casting and fly fishing configurations so you can tailor it to your preferred methods. It is available in ultra light, light, medium, medium heavy, heavy, and holy crud saltwater 100 plus category. I went for medium but for 20 bucks I can add another rod. For this area medium is plenty. If you want to put Musky, pike or big salmon on the list you can move up in rod weight. If you are after Brookies in small creaks the fly rod or ultra light rod would be hard to beat.

 

I will be mostly in medium sized rivers and lakes in the south East Texas region and so I won't be persuading bigger fish for survival food.

 

This thing is like the 150 and up knives. You can have a perfectly good and serviceable knife for a LOT less but there is something just so satisfying about a well made custom knife with the type of steel and handles that YOU prefer. You don't really NEED it to have something that will do the job well but it sure is nice to pamper yourself sometimes with something that you just want. It isn't bad when something is expensive if it delivers and my first impression is that this is the real thing and not just a gimmick.

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Ok, after a little practice and a little fishing I have a little more to report. So far I've caught small bass (1lb), Perch and a catfish that weighed about 2lbs. At no point have I felt even close to undergunned and am looking forward to testing it on something with more pull.

 

The casting motion is a little different, more of a wrist snap than anything else, but once you get used to it it casts about as well as a medium weight graphite rod in the 5 1/2' to 6' range. With lighter jigs it is a little harder but the same would be true of graphite. Casting distance and feel is about as good as any rod I've used.

 

The only time that I've really missed the longer rod is in the hook set. You have to wait until you have your line tight before you set because the shorter rod doesn't pick up the lose line as well. On the cat it made no difference because I use circle hooks and on moving lures it isn't an issue. I had problems with it though when I was trying to use plastic worms. The same sort of problem arose with bait fished under a float. You have to make sure that the slack is taken in before you set or you will miss the fish.

 

It truly IS almost indestructible! The rod itself is stainless steel spring steel just a little smaller than a pencil. I don't think you could break it with a hammer. The handle is heavy cast aluminum and seems sturdy as heck. Together it is under 2' long and in transport mode it is 13".

 

Truthfully the only downside that I've found is that it IS a little pricy but I've paid more for rods than 70 bucks before and this one will last a lifetime. So far I've tried it with several different Zebco reels ranging from a 11 through an Omega 3 and it liked them all. The Omega 3 was too heavy though so I decided to go just regular 33. I have also tried it with assorted Ambassador reels and it worked fine after I adapted to the casting motion.

 

I'm going to carry it in my truck for a while and try it in different places. I have put a 33 with 10lb line, a 11 with 6lb line and an Ambassador 1750 with 20lb braid in the bag. That way I can match the reel to the fish that I'm looking at. For survival or backpacking I'll just carry the Zebco 33.

 

I have the 7 coil medium weight rod and am thinking about ordering the light weight rod for the little fish and white bass. I may ad the 4 coil medium heavy one for catfish and such up to about 20 lbs.

 

No, it isn't as nice as my All Star Rod with the high tech Ambassador reel on it for bass fishing. It isn't as goo0d as my Penn or larger Ambassador 6500s for catfish and it definitely isn't as much fun as either my Dad's split Bamboo fly-rod or my ultra lite 4lb class spinning rod and Shimano reel for perch. What it IS though is better than any of those setups as a do it all sort of rig. I can cast it standing waist deep in brush, with a limb right over my head and a tree on each side of me with no problems. If I fall on it, step on it or close the trunk lid on it, it is going to be most likely no worse for the wear.

 

I actually like it a lot more than I expected too. I was thinking of it as a bug out tool but instead it is going to get a lot more use than just that.

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Unless you expect to be fishing for BIG fish I highly recommenced the 7 coil medium rod. When I order the light weight/ top water rod I'll do a write up on it. I wish that I had the money to try the fly rod. I love fly fishing for perch and bass! I may try the 4 coil though if the 7 coil is too light for the catfish that I fish for the most.

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Always up for some fishing. I have assembled auxillary kits for our bug-out bags. In these kits I have collapsable fishing poles with small kits of assorted hooks, weights, lures, jigs, flies, line and even a small sealed container of stink bait. These kits are actually small tool bags designed for speacial tools. I attach them to the exterior of my bug out bag with a caribiner, and weigh very little.

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