Whether it is for leisure and adventure, preparing for brutal wilderness areas or steeling yourself for TEOTWAWKI, an appropriate survival kit may mean the difference between life and death. The basic stuff usually come in handy in emergency scenarios, especially if it is in dire situations. You may have warmth, safety and direction but without food, these items don’t mean much if you cannot fend for yourself. If and when your food supply runs out, fishing gear such as fish hooks, lures, and split shot leads will go a long way in keep you alive and healthy.
The best way to acquire the necessary survival skills is to appreciate Murphy’s Law that “anything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong“.
Real expertise comes from knowing how to use each item in the kit and learning all there is to know about fish and fishing. Most people know how to use a hook with live bait; but the conventional miniature kit usually catches few small fish that may not make a sufficient meal. Only strong reliable yet lightweight fishing equipment will help in an actual survival situation.
A superior line catches sizeable fish without breaking or losing hooks. An 800-meter line weighs about 200 grams and reels up to the size of a tennis ball. Before you compromise on quality, you should know that strength is the essence of the line. A single-thread line cannot hold bass or catfish without snapping, whereas smaller fish are startled by thick lines. Fluorocarbon lines with 20-plus breaking strength form a multipurpose alternative because they are virtually obscured in water. A braided line is tougher and supports more weight than fluorocarbon with constant abrasion.
Survival kits contain excellent fishing hooks with diverse strength, styles, sharpness, and applicability. Straight and treble hooks are extremely effective and reliable. If you find yourself without a hook, handcraft a few from wood, wire or bone. In a future post, I’ll explain how to make primitive but reliable hooks.
Most commercial kits are complete with fish hooks, lures, and split shot leads but very few people know how to use lures or how to improvise if you have none. Enticing prey towards the snare has excellent bonuses; fish are no different.
Without worms, bugs or raw meat for bait, proper use of artificial lures can efficiently fool fish. Using nylon with frayed edges at the hook and constantly tugging the line usually resembles several fish delicacies. Also, paperclips are very effective lures. Learning how to pitch the lure now when your life does not depend on it, is a sure way to survive when the tables are turned.
Split shot leads for fishing in survival situations are invaluable when there is no raft. Sinkers have multiple uses, mostly renowned for providing weight to the end of a trot line being tossed into the water.
A substantial length of a strong line tied to a tree on the bank and securely fastened hooks with bait or lure, sank into the water catches fish in no time. It is not only easy but also allows you to complete other tasks as food streams in.
You may have an all-inclusive fishing kit but if you haven’t got the first clue how to use it, you are certainly a sitting duck. Nothing can be more precious than understanding fish behavior, practical experience in using fish hooks, lures, and split shot leads, and more importantly how to improvise if need be.