The Prepper Journal

10 Ways to Catch a Fish Without Any Equipment

10 Ways to Catch a Fish Without Any Equipment - The Prepper Journal

Editors Note: An article from Matt at the to The Prepper Journal. As always, please check your local regulations on fishing as not all of these methods are allowed everywhere.

Ready to catch some fish? Most people grab their fishing rod and reel, tackle box and some bait to catch a fish but what if you did not have access to these things? Could you still catch a fish without the right equipment? Many people will be surprised to learn that there is not only one way to catch a fish without equipment but that there are 10 ways to catch a fish without equipment.

You Can Do It Without a Rod and Reel!

People around the world use different methods to catch fish while they are all very different methods they all focus on the same goal; getting some dinner on the table.

Use a net! A hand net can be a great tool to catch a fish with. Simply scout and area out where fish feed and scoop them up with a net. Hand held nets are a great option to test your skills and have a little fun with fishing. It takes a little practice to learn the best casting techniques and getting them snagged on a underwater tree limb or rock can be frustrating but with patience comes success. BTW, this is a catch anything approach so some common sense should be employed when handling the contents, water moccasins, as an example, have a poor disposition.

Hand line fishing. This is a lot like fishing with a fishing rod, except you do not use a rod. The concept is the same, you drop a line in the water with a hook on the end that is baited with whatever you can find but that is where the similarity ends. You can use fishing line with a hook, wrap it around a bottle or simply use your hand to drop the line and hold it until you get a bite! Throw out the line instead of casting and wait for the fish to start biting, then pull the line in once you have a fish hooked.

Noodling is the practice of catching catfish with your hands. The noodler (the person that is catching the catfish with their hands) sticks their hands under the water in areas that catfish are known to “hang out” like in craggy rocky underwater areas. Catfish are bottom feeders so if there is a low spot in a stream or pond, these are good places to try. It is difficult but with a little practice it is a very possible way to catch a fish with no equipment at all. Noodling is a popular option in the South Eastern United States.

Limb lining. Limb lining is a good alternative to fishing without a rod. Tie your line to a limb of a tree that is hanging over the water and drop it into the body of water, then just wait. You can fashion a hook from everything from a paperclip to a hair pin if you don’t have a hook.

Trolling. This method uses strong nylon netting with sinkers that is pulled across a length of a river or other body of water. The fish get stuck in the net as they swim downstream. It is an efficient method that is favored by commercial fishermen. Trolling is also just leaving a line in the water while you move your boat.


Create a spear out of a sapling. You can trim the edge of a sapling into a point and make a spear out of it and use it to fish. This is a primitive method of fishing that does require some skill but with practice it can be a practical way to get dinner if you need to.

Create a trap. If you have an empty plastic 2 liter bottle you can create a trap. Cut off the top of the bottle right below the neck than flip the piece that you cut off into the bottle. Be sure to remove the cap. Add some water and pebbles to weigh down the bottle and place it at the bottom of the body of water near a shallow end and wait.

Wack-a-Fish. You can catch a fish by using a long cane taken from a sapling. Hit the fish to paralyze it than scoop it up with your hands. It is primitive but effective.

Texas baiting. Cut an empty water bottle in half. Fill half the bottle with some bait, like worms, corn or insects. Place a hook hanging inside the bottle then submerge the bottle standing straight up.

Create a causeway. Take large rocks and create a causeway by staggering the rocks leaving spaces in between. You will need some netting. Place the netting between the rocks and then wait for the fish to come to you!

A Few Bait Tips

You can dig up worms, grab some insects, use corn or decorate your hook with brightly colored pieces of cloth. Bait does not have to be elaborate to get a fishes attention and get them on the hook. Try different baits to get the attention of the fish.

Fishing with a rod and reel may be the most common way for you to fish but around the globe rods and reels can be the most uncommon way to fish. Trying out some of these alternative methods is a great way to hone your skills and try something different. Of course, learning to catch fish without a rod and reel is a great way to improve your survival skills. Try them.

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