Following the apocalypse, it will be important to find sustainable sources of protein. Fishing can be one of those sources if you can figure out how to catch them without modern fishing poles and lures.
The more variety you add to your diet, the less miserable and heathier you will be. I am sure that you would not be healthy or happy if you only ate rabbits for the rest of your life. You will need to add variety however you can if you really want to thrive.
The apocalypse will obliterate commercial fishing, so fish will make a comeback very quickly. Every lake, stream, and coast will be able to provide you with an abundance of fish just waiting for you to catch. With a little technique, you should be able to provide a sustained protein source for you and your survival party.
It can be very easy to catch fish if you brought some fishing gear with you. If not, your best bet is to try and forage for some gear in the abandoned stores in town if they are safe. This will give you a huge advantage when it comes to catching the fish. Fishing hooks are going to be the hardest item to produce, so I carry a few in my bug-out bag at all times.
Why Should We Fish
As we mentioned before, fish are going to be one of the best sustainable sources of protein. These sources are going to be essential if you want to move from surviving to thriving.
Fish also contains many nutrients that we are not going to be consuming in our daily vitamins any longer. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that give you a huge boost in health, and are a great alternative source of vitamin D. Both of these specific vitamins will be hard to acquire though other sources.
Omega-3 is the only type of fat that we should all be getting more of and should not be cutting back on. It has been linked to all sorts of health benefits on its own, including:
- Lowering triglyceride levels in your blood, increasing your hearth health
- Helps with stiffness and join pain.
- High levels boost the levels of other nutrients that help combat depression.
- It lowers inflammation which helps with asthma and any injuries.
- Improves skin and hair quality.
- Scientists have linked it to improve mental skills such as thinking, remembering, and learning.
Fish are the only known natural source of this super-nutrient which can significantly improve your quality of life after the apocalypse. Current recommendations are to try to consume fish at least two or three times a week. If you can manage to eat them more than that, it can only help in the long run.
The other benefit of eating fish that we mentioned was that it contains vitamin D. Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that we get mostly from the sun. If you are living in an area without much sun or are staying out of the sun, then adding fish to your diet can be a huge benefit.
Using a spear to catch fish is not something that most people want to do 0n the weekends for fun in 2015. This is something that most people would not be able to do right now but when you can’t go to the supermarket and grab some swordfish, what other options do you have?
This is the first option on the list because it will probably be the first one that you attempt. Ten days into the apocalypse, when you are starving, is not the time to try and weave a net to catch some fish. You will want to grab a stick and make a spear so that you can catch something quick.
There are certain fish that you will and will not be able to catch while spearfishing. To think that you are going to catch a swordfish with you spear from the shore is just not realistic. Make sure that you have realistic goals and that spearfishing is possible where you are located.
This method of fishing is best suited for shorelines and shallow waters. You need the water to be shallow enough that you can see the fish and be able to get the spear to them quickly. This also limits the kind of fish you will be able to hunt. Catfish, eels, sunfish, carp, and rays are the most commonly caught fish using a spear.
Find a spot with shallow waters that will provide you with at least a small amount of cover to hide from the fish. If you are a large ominous creature standing in the water, you are not likely to see anything come close to you.
Traps are likely to be your second option once you have a little time to invest. There are a few different traps that you can use, but they all work on the same idea. The trap must include a whole that the fish can use to get in, but must be difficult to escape out of.
The idea is that you funnel the fish into the entrance that is much harder to escape out of. Leave a little bait inside the trap to attract them in and you are sure to catch some fish over the long haul.
This method takes more time to set up, but will continue to catch fish with less effort over time. The initial investment on a trap is large but can be worth it if you keep using it for months or years.
One of the most common primitive fish traps is a basket trap. The concept is that you make a large basket that will keep the fish and then second basket with a funneled hole will sit inside. It will require a good amount of cordage and plenty of time to get it right.
Once the trap is complete, find a place where you believe there are fish and set the trap. This is done by adding a small amount of bait and a good sized rock to the middle of the trap. The bait will attract the fish and the rock will keep the trap underwater.
The second most common technique used for trapping fish is to create a trap using sticks or rocks. The idea is to create a fish pen that is easy to get into but harder to get out of.
You can do this on the side of a slow moving river or lake, or you can trap everything coming down a narrow spot in a river. The slow moving technique will require you to use bait to attract and trap the fish. Just like the basket trap, the fish will get in but won’t be able to escape.
If you time it right, you can trap a large amount of fish if you block off a narrow section of a stream. This is best used in an area such as a salmon run. Blocking them from going downstream will trap them in a pen with nowhere to go. You can go in and scoop them out for smoking or a large feast with other survivors.
If you brought a bow with you, which is highly suggested, from your previous life then bowfishing could be an easy technique for catching fish. This is conducted exactly how one would think, by shooting the fish with an arrow. The only difference between bowhunting and bowfishing is that you need to attach fishing line to the arrow so that you can retrieve the fish once it is shot.
This is typically done with special arrows that are barbed so that they will be harder for the fish to shake. Your shot is not likely to kill the fish immediately, you are just looking to have the arrow go through the fish so you can pull the string in. It is easy to do if you have bow skills and the patience to find the right location to fish.
Even if you didn’t bring any of the fancy equipment that is suggested, you can still catch a few fish using this technique. A sharp arrow with some cordage on the back will do the trick in a pinch. The lighter the cordage, the more accurate your shot will be.
As we mentioned above, fish are going to be much more common without the commercial fishing we see today. This means that fishing with nets will be very easy and successful during these times. If you have or can make a net, you could catch a week’s worth of fish in a few short hours.
The key to this technique is to find a school of fish or an area where schools of fish travel frequently. This can be a very sustainable source of healthy food if you find the right spot.
The concept is to have a large net that you cast over the fish that will sink around the perimeter. You throw it over the fish and then pull the string to close the net around the fish, trapping them in the net. You then pull that net in and remove the fish that you caught. It is a very simple concept, yet it is extremely effective in the right circumstances.
You can use this to catch large fish for eating or small fish to use as bait for the large fish. Many cultures still use this today to gather free bait before they go out on larger fishing trips.
Any of the methods we talked about in this article can be a good source of sustainable protein. You might need to try a few before you decide which one works best for your and your location but they should all catch you some fish.