Survival Fishing Kit: Fish Like Your Life Depends on it

Fishing is the ideal method for acquiring protein with minimal gear in a survival situation. Sure, hunting is a great way to get some meat, but you need guns and bows, which often don't fit in a survival kit.

You can take snares with you or build traps from the natural materials around you, but it takes a lot of time to make them, set them up and then wait for the animals to hit them. The stack of fish I can catch in a day with hook and line will pile up higher than a stack of critters anyone can trap in one day with a pack full of snares.

Dunk A Worm
Some of my fly-fishing purist buddies frown on my habit of "worm dunking," as they call it. But when it comes to minimalist fishing, it doesn't get any more streamlined than a hook, several yards of monofilament, a long stick and a worm.
• Dig up some natural bait from the local area. It will look right, taste right and be right to catch the local fish.
• If you are fishing for survival, you are probably not fishing for a trophy. Use small hooks to ensure you catch something. I use little #12 Eagle Claw Baitholders for tiny fish in my local mountain streams, and I have #6s and a few bigger hooks to ensure that I hook up wherever I might find myself. Little fish can be gutted and fried whole to make the most of them.
• Tie 10 to 15 feet of mono to the end of a six- to eight-foot pole. Tie the hook to the other end of your mono, and bait your hook with a bug. You can skip the weights and bobbers, just flick the hook out in a creek or pond and wait.

It's a good idea to practice with your minimalist gear, because it does take a little getting use to. Here are the photos from my last outing.