8 Ways To Catch Fish Without Gear

What if fishing is your only way to survive in the next coming days? Do you think you can pull through without proper gear?

Truth be told, your creativity will play a big role for you to successfully pull through. Here is an opportunity to make your experience a success by employing the following techniques.

  • Creatively device baits, a hook and line from any reachable materials in your surrounding

What to use for the baits

You can attempt to improvise lures using several items commonly found. Among them is a piece of bright color clothes, feathers, and shiny clear earrings.  You can farther disguise them by shaping them to resemble an insect.

What else could be more exciting than such acts?

Keep in mind that your goal is to survive fishing even with no gear. When fishing in clear water ensure that the bait you use has a bright color. Bait that has a bright color is easy for the fish to identify thus fall into the trap

What to use for the hook

Some of the materials to consider include a piece of wood, a bone or even shells and sharp twigs. You can attempt to sharpen any of the items using a knife if available. You need to be very articulate on how to utilize these items for a possible catch. Just ensure that the hook you improvise is in position to function well.

Materials to use for the fishing line

You can creatively devise a line from a wire, threads from a piece of clothes and wild ropes from the trees.  Find a way to cast the lines by attaching them to tree branches which are spiral.

•    Using weirs

You can use weirs to carry out fishing in tidal water bodies. Use stakes that are longer in height than the depth of the water.

How do you do this?

Drive the stakes deeper in the banks of the shallow waters. The stakes will create a barrier with three faces along the water path. Open the ends of the barrier where the water is flowing down the stream. Create a wall that has a V shape.You can do this by adding more stakes. Ensure that the wall is open at its ends, as this will direct the fish into the weir. Other materials to use in place of stakes are rocks. Once the fish gets into the trap, you can use a spear or your hand to remove them.

The size of the barriers you can come up with depends on the water volume and materials. Creating a weir that extends to the walls of the river will give you better results. This is because it will allow only a few fish to pass. Are you fishing in an area that is muddy? No problem, simply direct the fish towards your trap from down the river toward the direction of the trap. This method is also known as trap fishing.

•    Creating a spear

The materials you can utilize to create a spear include sharp bones, metal or a piece of wood.  Using such spears will work well for you during the nights as you wade the waters. Carry along a flashlight to help you with vision.

Spearfishing will help you to catch the big fish other than line fishing. This is because fishing using either lines or hooks happens randomly. The good news is that it’s still possible to make a bigger kill even without the fishing reel. You can also create a spear with jaws using a long pole.

The best material to use in improvising a spear is the willow wood. You may decide to either sharpen the end of the wood or use a knife. If you choose the knife you will have to tie in well at one end of the wood. Choosing spearfishing as your technique needs a lot of skills. Apart from the skills, you will need lots of patience and you have to be very fast. Do a lot of practice to sharpen your skills as it can be frustrating at times.

•    Noodling

It’s possible to catch the fish you are yearning for using your bare hands. You only need to search for it in the right places. What are some of the places to look out for? They include the rocks, logs of trees and the dark uneven trains along the river path. This technique will require you to be very patient and alert. Once you get the opportunity, grab your prey by the gills or mouth out of the water as fast as possible. But don’t you dare think that this is as simple as it sounds.

Carry out this kind of fishing only when the weather is less cold. Catfish are among the fish you will likely get using this method.  Do you think it’s possible to catch fish with your bare hands? If this sounds weird to you, then you have never been in a survival situation. Anyway, it can never be that easy but it’s got to be done!

•    Caning the fish

This may sound so crude but remember survival here is your goal. Simply get a nice strong cane. Whenever you spot a fish cane it hard in order to paralyze it. If you happen to miss the first hit, do it again as long as the fish is still in your vicinity. Once the fish becomes weak and can no longer escape your whip you can happily take it away. Let this be your last option because caning the fish has a lot of dark sides.

•    Rock throwing

Get an average weight stone and throw it deep into the waters. This aims at dispersing the fish as they stumble for safety. Get ready with a trap to fetch them out. You can use a large container with perforation to drain the water away. This will trap the fish and you can put it away into storage. Wow, this truly sounds funny, don’t you think so? As funny as it may sound, it may be the answer to your survival puzzle.

•    Using fish poison

Are you aware of certain wild leaves that make the fish inactive once they get their smell? How about making some wild juice to mix in the upstream water so as to make the fish immobile? The ancient populations did in and made it, why don’t you? Well, this method isn’t among the best ways to counter survival challenges but there’s no harm in trying it.

•    Fishing net

You can improvise a net for fishing using blanket, clothes or a towel using two sticks. For a successful venture target the shallow waters. There you will be able to find different groups of small fish to target. Scare the fish toward an area with no escape zone. Once you trap the fish with net lift it up quickly so that they do not slip back.

You will realize that it isn’t that hard to still manage fishing even without the gears. Simply remain in focus while putting your acts together. You are definitely going to have a meal in the next few hours. Just have confidence in the clothes net you have come up with. This technique is great for targeting the smaller fish than the contrary. Be ready to catch lots of small fish as long as you remain patient.

•    Basket trap

You will need to get a container with a funnel shape opening to create a basket trap. That way your trap will be very effective and meet its purpose. This method will work well if you target the small fish. The materials to use in preparing such a trap are wood and soda bottles. If you decide using the water bottles you will have to cut off the neck and invert it into the bottle.

Lead the fish towards your trap for them to be caught. Once they are caught remove them using your hands into your collection tool. Ensure to identify the spot you suspect to have the fish before laying your trap. Once you have the spot in mind, let your trap do the rest. However, you will need to drive the fish you target towards the trap. Hey, try taking it easy and you will surely reap the benefits.


Do not allow yourself to starve when there’s so much at your disposal. Use whatever materials that you have around you to grab that fish.

Task yourself to make it work even when you do not have a single gear with you. You might just discover other interesting ways to fish that you have never thought of before. Besides this might be a great opportunity for you to learn more survival tactics. Getting such skills will help you pass the same to others who might one day be in the same predicament.

Do not be afraid of challenges as they are the once which greatly determine growth!

Written by

Jim Watson is a passionate angler. He started fishing at the age of 9, and is a full-time travel and outdoor blogger. He publishes his fishing experience on his blog, https://www.buyfishingguide.com

Latest comments
  • Care to let us know how to make the fish poison?

  • I have heard of using Walnut hulls. Gather a bunch put them in the water in which there are fish present. It is suppose to paralyze them for a period of time. As I said, this is what I have heard, never have tried it! Something to think of as a possible survival fishing method. Maybe someone else has actually tried this method could comment. This is using Black Walnut hulls.

  • My young daughter caught a fish at Girl Scout camp with a ball of chocolate cake squeezed on the end of a tree branch. She swished it in the water and when the fish began to nibble at the cake, she whipped it onto the bank. Everyone was totally amazed. Death by chocolate!

    • Avatar photo

      We have never thought about chocolate like that 🙂