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#169474 - 03/16/09 03:28 PM Re: Questions From a Non-Fisherman [Re: Andrew_S]
billvann Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 780
Loc: NE Illinois, USA (42:19:08N 08...
I'm not an avid fisherman so that's why I added fishing knots to my PSK Cheat Sheet . I figured it would by one of the bits of information I would really need if I was ever in a long term survival situation.

I also agree with most others that fishing gear add very little weight and space to your ket. And most folks can figure out how to fish, unlike setting snares for game which requires tracking skills and would be a bit harder. And the the items do double duty for other tasks. Hopefully, I'll never put myself in a situation where I'll be lost long enough to need food (proper trip plan, STOP, etc.) But if circumstances beyond my control ever do, I'll be prepared.

At worse, I'll at least have something to do while I wait for the SAR folks to show up! :-)
Willie Vannerson
McHenry, IL

#169476 - 03/16/09 03:43 PM Re: Questions From a Non-Fisherman [Re: billvann]
airballrad Offline
Gear Junkie

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 245
Loc: Gulf Coast Florida, USA
I have only gotten into fishing in the last couple years (barring childhood trips where I just held the rod until there was something for my grandfather to reel in). As such, I do not have as much experience, but perhaps I have some of the newbie stuff still fresher in my head. A couple things from my perspective:

-You don't HAVE to find grubs/worms/whatever for bait. Often a broken rubber band or a piece of shiny metal can attract a fish. There is no exact science to it, but fish will swallow most things that get their attention in the right way.

-A pole just gives you leverage to maximize the strength of your line. If you don't need this, you just need something to hold the line so it won't cut your fingers when the fish is fighting you. I have seen neat kits using a Nalgene bottle for storage and leverage. You can even set that up to unreel the line when you cast it.

-In small creeks, Native Americans would often dam up a portion of the flow and make a narrow channel. When the fish were restricted to this smaller channel they were easier to spot and spear. A stick split twice, with twine and a pebble to separate the sharpened tines, gives you 4 chances to spear the fish instead of one. A net in this situation would work very well too, of course.

Echoing the other replies, the gear is lightweight, takes up little space, and is good for many chores. Add a needle and you can repair gear with the line, for instance.

Finally, sometimes sitting still and keeping calm is the best way to get yourself rescued. Fishing is good for this.

#169480 - 03/16/09 04:10 PM Re: Questions From a Non-Fisherman [Re: airballrad]
Andrew_S Offline

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 59
One other point: one problem with small hooks is that they don't hook well. Because of the small gap, they may fail to bite properly, and either not hook the fish or tear loose easily. To help prevent this, use pliers to offset the point or open the hook gap slightly. With very small hooks, offsetting the point is better imo than opening the gap.

I do this with every hook I use. There's no doubt you get fewer missed strikes, and I'd apply the same thinking to fishing with a trotline.

And while we're on the topic, use sharp hooks -- if they aren't sharp, you will miss fish. Chemically sharpened hooks (Gamakatsu, Tiemco, Daiichi, etc.) are more expensive but they're razor sharp out of the box, while good old Mustads often need sharpening. But chemically sharpened hooks are more brittle and may break when you take the pliers to them to open the gap.

#169487 - 03/16/09 04:52 PM Re: Questions From a Non-Fisherman [Re: Andrew_S]
billym Offline

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Oakland, California
Go buy a child fishing book like this


This is all you need to know to start and will make your kit useful even if you are not Hemingway.
Then go to a pond and land a few Sunfish,Bream,perch etc.
Easy as pie.

#169494 - 03/16/09 06:22 PM Re: Questions From a Non-Fisherman [Re: ]
Meadowlark Offline

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 154
Loc: Northern Colorado
Thanks so much for your input, everyone -- you're the best!

So here's what I'm considering putting in my mini fishing kit so far:

* 50' line, braided, wound onto a hand reel made from either a small, flat kite reel or a modified plastic bottle.
* A variety of sharp hooks, perhaps including a few trebles
* A couple of small bobbers
* split shot sinkers
* swivels
* some soft plastic lures, preferably bright yellow

...plus a bunch of tips and local information that I intend to memorize.

Anything vital I'm leaving out?

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back

Current kits: http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showgallery&Number=241840

#169495 - 03/16/09 06:23 PM Re: Questions From a Non-Fisherman [Re: Meadowlark]
Mike_H Offline

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 612
Loc: SE PA
As always, small hooks can catch big fish, but not vice-versa...

I also carry some hardware like eye screws / hooks to make improvised fishing poles / line attachments...
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

#169504 - 03/16/09 07:38 PM Re: Questions From a Non-Fisherman [Re: ]
drahthaar Offline

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 110
All you need for a fishing survival kit is 2 small hooks and a two larger hooks, 20 yards of line and a couple of lead sinkers.

People put a lot of frivolous stuff in their kits like swivels and bobbers and so forth. The only time you will ever needs swivels is a) if you're fishing with a spinner or spoon that tends to twist your line during retrieves or b) to quickly switch lures when you are fishing and you're not going to be doing that when survival fishing.

And, by "swivels" I mean swivels with quick release snaps attached. Generic swivels are even more useless.

Edited by drahthaar (03/16/09 07:42 PM)

#169505 - 03/16/09 07:47 PM Re: Questions From a Non-Fisherman [Re: ]
JohnE Offline

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 601
Loc: Southern Cal
Something that I think helps is to not think like a fisherperson. They're usually more interested in the "idea" or the sport of catching a fish, while those in a survival situation need to eat or at a minimum, need the distraction.

Think in terms of maximising your catch ratio, thus the use of treble hooks and bait vs lures and barbless hooks that the intrepid trout chaser might use.

Multiple lines that can be set up and left alone are a great idea, the treble hooks, well baited, work better here too as they are more likely to snag the fish than would a single hook.

The biggest thing is to remember that the sport fisherperson is happy whether they catch something or not, the survival fisherperson will go hungry if they're unsuccessful.

Izzy's got a ton of great information on his site, including some very good ideas for lure choices for the novice sport fisherpersons out there. I count myself as a returning fisherperson, I couldn't get enough of it when I was younger, now that my son is in his teens, he's caught the same bug I did, no pun intended, and we try to go as often as possible.


"and all the lousy little poets
comin round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson"

The Future/Leonard Cohen

#169508 - 03/16/09 08:29 PM Re: Questions From a Non-Fisherman [Re: JohnE]
Andrew_S Offline

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 59
Generic swivels aren't useless.

Someone who lacks a good knowledge of fishing knots will be better off joining two sections of line using a swivel than by trying to knot the sections together. Not only will two sections joined by a swivel and palomar knots test much stronger than two sections tied by just about any other knot, but the risk of one line cutting through the other is eliminated. This is particularly important if you are joining a braided line to some other kind of line.

Also, I'd say two hooks and a couple of shot is not nearly enough. You will lose hooks. They weigh next to nothing and take up little space. Why not carry more?

Re soft plastics, +1 on Izzy. They are great fish getters but don't belong in a survival kit. A good alternative (although I'd favour using set lines with bait for survival fishing) is a couple of small marabou jigs -- they move well in the water regardless of the speed you retrieve them, and would be easy to fish on a handline.

#169514 - 03/16/09 09:23 PM Re: Questions From a Non-Fisherman [Re: ]
Meadowlark Offline

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 154
Loc: Northern Colorado

Izzy wrote:

"I got minnow shaped bleached spots on my expresso bookshelves."

LOL! So you're saying that soft plastics don't store well in a kit's case or...?

I'm definitely gonna look into jigs now. Thanks again.

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back

Current kits: http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showgallery&Number=241840

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