Survival Fishing Kit: 7 Ways to Fish Without Equipment

Feature | How To Catch A Fish Without a Fishing Pole | Homemade Survival Fishing Kit

If you're heading out in the wild and don't have any fishing equipment, you can include some items commonly found in your house as part of your survival fishing kit. Find out which things you can easily turn into fishing equipment. If you don't have any proper fishing equipment on hand, there are several other ways to catch a fish.

You can use a makeshift fishing rod, net, or even your hands to help you put fish on your dinner plate. Knowing these different ways can save you from hunger when you're outdoors. To increase your chances of catching fish, it's important to know what you can put in your survival fishing kit.

Survival Fishing Kit: 7 Ways to Fish Without Equipment

1. Rod, Hook, and String

Basically, what you'll be doing here is making an improvised survival fishing pole. You can make one out of a sturdy wood that is long enough to act as a fishing rod substitute.

Rod, Hook, and String | How To Catch A Fish Without a Fishing Pole | Homemade Survival Fishing Kit

Attach a string-like material at one end — this can be anything resembling a fishing line, such as shoelaces, twine, yarn, seaweed stems, or dental floss. For the hook, you can use a paperclip, hairpin, broken pop tops, or sharp twigs.

2. Fishing by Hand

Although challenging, especially for first-timers, you can catch a fish just by using your hands. This method, called “noodling,” is good for catfishing.

Fishing by Hand | How To Catch A Fish Without a Fishing Pole | Homemade Survival Fishing Kit

You have to be fast enough to grab the fish out of the water. This takes a little practice, so don't fret if you don't get it the first try.

3. Baits

Baits | How To Catch A Fish Without a Fishing Pole | Homemade Survival Fishing Kit

There are many fishing baits you can use that are easily found right in your surroundings. You can look for snails or worms outdoors, but in cases where you can't find these, there are other alternative items out there, such as food scraps, leaves, colorful plastic bits, safety pins, dead insects, or pieces of jewelry.

4. Spearfishing

Spearfishing is probably the most ancient method of fishing. You can do this just by making an improvised spear out of a stick or a pole and attaching any sharp object available, such as a pocket knife, broken glass, hard plastic, scrap metal, or scissor blades. Having a good eye and quick reflexes is vital to successful spearfishing.

5. Bow Fishing Using Shoelaces

The use of bow and arrow in fishing can be as difficult as spearfishing, as it needs both precision and accuracy. That said, if you've done archery before, you're probably already prepared.

Bow Fishing Using Shoelaces | How To Catch A Fish Without a Fishing Pole | Homemade Survival Fishing Kit

You can use a flexible wood and your shoelace to make a bow. For your arrows, look for sturdy twigs straight enough to fire at a straight trajectory.

6. Net Fishing

Make an improvised net by tearing one of your shirts into thin strips. However, make sure the cloth is still sturdy. Then, knit it into a net. You can now attach it to a long stick or pole.

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7. Dams and Traps

Dams and Traps | How To Catch A Fish Without a Fishing Pole | Homemade Survival Fishing Kit

Trapping is one of the easiest ways to fish, as you simply have to wait and check until there's a catch. Block the running water by building a dam. This will trap the incoming fishes.

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You can use twigs and branches to build a dam and dig up a small waterway beside it where the fishes will end up stuck. Increase your chances to catch more fish by baiting with crushed snails or worms.

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Know why you should include a safety pin in your survival fishing kit in this video by IA Woodsman:

If you don't have fishing equipment available, knowing these fishing hacks will help you catch a fish. You can make use of even the tiniest things, such as paper clips and hairpins. So the next time you pack your homemade survival fishing kit, you're good to go.

Do you have any improvised survival fishing kit item you want to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below!


Up Next: Bass Fishing for Beginners | Tips for Fishing 101

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Aug. 31, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

13 Responses to :
Survival Fishing Kit: 7 Ways to Fish Without Equipment

  1. BikerBro says:

    Well, that was one of the least informative articles I’ve read! Tell people what they already know, but don’t tell them HOW to do it! How about some instruction, or do you not know how to pass that on?

    1. Big Dave says:


    2. Robin says:

      I have to agree. I thought something was wrong, I kept scrolling thinking it was me. If I didn’t notice your post I’d probably still be scrolling. So instead of thanking him. I’ll thank you… Thanks…

  2. Bill Van Ord says:

    I’ve taken about 5′ of 15# test line, a hook and sinker, tied it off to my hand and fished bream beds under a bridge. I had the line wrapped on my hand and saw one of the biggest bass I had seen. I slowly let my hand and made up line with a wild cricket on the hook down into the water. The bass came to investigate. I started moving my hand and the bass opened its mouth and tried to swallow my fingers! I closed my hand on its bottom jaw and pulled an 11# bass up out of the water.

    Another incident I had was when Perch was in season. There was about 25 fishermen around this lake and not one was catching anything. We tried all kinds of bait but not one nibble on anything. I opened up a fresh box of cigarettes and took the piece of tin foil covered paper, folded over and over lengthwise and twisted it around the hook. Took the lead weight off and used the rod like a fly rod. I started catching perch! No one on the lake was catching them but me. I caught 27 perch that day. I skunked all the other fishermen.
    You know the old saying, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Sometimes, you just have to think outside the box! 🙂

    What I see on this article is you guys could use a writer that is informed on situational awareness and experience!

  3. Duane says:

    I read a bunch of places that spraying the bait with WD40 works pretty good….
    Anyone here try that?

    1. T Culp says:

      Terrible thing to do. Quite harmful to wildlife plus it scares fish away. Truly a fish frightener they scatter once it is in the water, know from experience watched a ftiend do it and we actually saw the fish scatter. Do not do it.

  4. joan bowden says:

    Everyone I tell this story to swears I’m lying but it’s the god’s honest truth! My daddy (God rest his soul) used to fish trot lines in Lake Seminole, FL. First he used night crawlers, then crickets, etc. Then someone told him to start using Ivory soap. So, he gave it a try & OMG! Overnight it more than doubled his haul of catfish! I swear it actually works!

  5. Castle says:

    This is the worse article I have read on this site. There is no value in this content. I don’t know who wrote this but they would be better off not writing about fishing

  6. Robert says:

    Thrilling idea. Just wonderful. Very very informative also. It will help me a lot because I love fishing so much. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts.

  7. Always nice to read and learn new ways to fish

  8. blogsms says:

    Best fishing ideas, great articles, thanks for sharing this article

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