Survival fishing not as harmless as you think

Thinking of protein sources for survival automatically makes one think of animals. We could argue about being more or less difficult to hunt a small animal or a fish. But you have to be as careful with fish as you would be with a wild cat.

Fishing without a rod

If you are near a river or lake, fishing is a good option for really healthy and tasty protein. If you are in the woods near some fast flowing small to medium-sized river you can try to go for some bigger fish. There are often on the banks of washouts or boulder shelters with a weaker flow at the sides of a river. At night you may find fish like trouts, pikes, perchs or other water predators resting there. They normally do not flee if you illuminate them and have a quite approach. The only thing you do need to catch them is a light source and something to catch and put them into like a net.

Pike fish underwater

Pike fish underwater

If you are near a puddle, you can also try to fish with an improvised swimming rod. It consists of some floating woodboards or branches wrapped with some strings that act as fishing lines. You attach some hooks onto the lines and as the fish sort of get entangled in the lines between the boards, they end up biting winds and swallowing the hooks.

You can also wind a line with a hook to a tree and let it there until some fish swallows the hook. Be careful to check it’s a fish and not a muskrat.

Fish bites are as dangerous as other bite wounds

But you need to be very careful, as bigger fish can defend themselves with their teeth or thornes and you don’t want to risk an infection on your hands. And that is not a joke because the blood of some fish is poisonous if you don’t cook it.

Pikes for example should be treated with caution. They have a lot of small teeth and between them there may be rotten rests of their previous meals. If handled carelessly you can get a scratch or bite wound a that could have serious consequences. You could get poisoned by a fresh fish, which is kind of ugly.

In some regions you may encounter fish with venomous spines ot with the ability to literally charge your batteries. So get them safe into your bag and really dead before you try to loosen the hooks.


Black scorpionfish Scorpaena porcus caught in the Black sea. Poisonous thorns are well visible. After very short photosession the fish was released back to the sea.
By George Chernilevsky (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

And before you get on to your delicious protein meal, don’t even think of eating raw fish: It’s not sushi or fresh salmon from you favorite fish market: It’s a bacteria and parasite filled predator that carries God knows what other rotten food in it’s stomach or between its teeth.

Boil it, steam it, roast it or bake it to feel like safe and enjoy your meal.




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