The North American Frontiersmen





  Chief-Factor - Staff Writer

   Smoke Signals

                   Mar./Apr. '09




    By: Howdy Davis

Picking up were I left off, survival fishing can be one of the most fun things you would ever want to do.  Especially with kids.  In fact, I think I'll set up a seminar on it for the Boy's and Girls Club.  That would be a hoot.

First off, make sure you have your fishing survival kit.  This should be a burnt-out can with at least six hooks ( we talked about primitive in the first article), two spools of linen or silk thread (line) or a resemblance thereof— strong cord,  at least six lead shot balls cut like split shot for weight on the line. A few pieces of something that can be used as a bobber—wine bottle corks come to mind, but you can even use a twig. I carry some home made small eye screws to control the line and they can also be used in making snares. My kit is a combination of snare and fishing. It also includes several flies that are tied on primitive hooks and are weighted enough to make them sink part way in the water.  I also have a spool of copper wire of at least twenty feet for snares All my hooks are stuck into a piece of cork in order to keep them from making any type of noise or cutting the line.  I stuff into that can anything else I can think of that will help me get food.  Then I cheat—I spray everything with 10W40. It’s 100 percent fish oil and will attract everything under the sun.  Some states have even outlawed it for fishing,  That’s how good it is.  Another thing you can do is; at this time of year my buddy smokes most of our fish and it's to die for— anyway, I collect the fish oil droppings and will freeze the skins (after we eat the fish, of course). This is the best bait you can use  (the oil for fishing and the skins for trapping). We have been out on the ice year after year and taken along smoked fish that we ate and just tossed the skins on the ice. Went back the next day and found every kind of track you could imagine after those skins.

To fishing a stream, find a nice pool that has undercut banks.  Look for some bendable saplings about four feet long close to the bank.  If there are none, cut some and stick them into the ground.  Bend the tree over and tie your line to the end.  Now you must make this: two sticks—they must be about one inch thick and have limbs. Cut a piece about two inches long with a limb coming out. This will be your trigger that will attach to your line. The next stick will be one inch by about eight inches long with a branch coming out about one inch from one end with the limb pointing in the opposite direction from the trigger. Cut all other branches off and sharpen the end away from the branch you left on. Now your trigger and your anchor stick should have branches going in opposite directions one down and one up. Drive the long stick about four inches into the ground.  Bend your pole over about a foot. Attach your trigger to the line, then put the trigger under the limb of the anchor stick that has been driven into the ground.  You may have to do a little cutting on the branch part in order to make it a sensitive trigger. Now toss the line, hook, and bait into the water and you’re fishing.  You can also do this on a lake or pond.  You might have to tie a small branch about twelve inches from the hook to act as a float or to give you weight to toss your line out into the water.

You can also estimate the dept h of the water and simply tie your line to a stick about two inches round by ten inches long and just toss these sticks out into the water and let the fish hook themselves. The only thing with this is you might have to go swimming in order to get your fish. But if you are hungry enough you will go swimming.

If you prefer to pole fish you cut a bend‑bow about nine fee. long.  If you have an imitation weighted fly, tie about fifteen feet of line to the end of your pole.  The end of your line should have your leader of about six feet. Wade out into the stream and toss your line out—let the current take it down and now move the tip of your rod as far right as you can and then as far left as you can very slowly. This is a proven method of catching fish. Otherwise you can walk along the water’s edge and catch a bunch of crickets or grasshoppers and put them on a hook—toss it out and sit and contemplate your future, which, hopefully, will be a fish on a spit. 

If you find fish in a back water pool you can take a long pole about six feet long and wade into the water very slowly and smack the water as hard as you can on top of the fish and you will stun it. You must now act fast. Drop the pole and go after the fish. You should be able to either net it or catch it with your hands.  You only have a second so grab it and toss it up onto the bank. Think food. But here’s a warning: don’t count too much on this method!

Consider the fact that you better have a fishing licence if you are testing this out. Go get a licence and get an extra pole stamp for a few extra bucks just in case you take an under age kid along or if you are out getting serious about this. If you are in a survival situation go for it but remember that you are now a poacher.. 

I’m working on a book that will be coming out maybe by next year. It will be your kind of book:  THE CONFESSIONS OF A POACHER.  I only hope the statue of limitations have run out.

I shall return with some tips on snare trapping. Have fun and remember share all this stuff with a kid.  

Howdy Davis


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updated  03/10/2009   

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