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Gone Fishing

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:51 am
by Ryan
[size=150][color=#9f1313]Gone Fishing![/color][/size]
Fish! Not only are fish wonderful sources of protein, vitamins and fats but they are just simply good eating! The best thing about them is that they'll attack and swallow just about anything that is in some way attractive and/or simply irritating.

This "Gone Fishing" edition is primarily in regards to fresh water fishing. Mainly because of the problems of encountering poisonous fish in saltwater/tropical environments that it deserves its own topic.

Where and When to Fish[/color][/size]
If it is hot and the water is low the fish will seek out deep, shaded waters. When it is cold you would rather find them in more shallow areas where the sun has a better chance at warming the water. Fish love those spots that are "special" in some way. Like where the bank/shore protrudes over the water, trees that hang out over the water, rocks, submerged trees/stumps/boats/cars/etc.

If you are fishing in a stream/river fish tend to be found in the slower flowing waters like the outer edge of a bend or where a smaller stream meets a larger stream, etc.

Some signs of a perfect fishing spot is when the fish are jumping out of the water or when ripples are clearly visible on the surface of the water. These are generally signs that the fish are currently feeding. Also if you see a bunch of small fish darting about it is probable that there is a larger predatory fish in the vicinity.

It is generally not very productive to fish after a heavy rain fall.

[size=130][color=#9f1313]Traps & Trotlines[/color][/size]
When fishing using trotlines or traps it is generally most productive to leave them out over night and check them just before first light.

[cols] [img][/img] |
    To build a trotline you would weight one end of a line to the bottom of the body of water. At interval lengths, along the line, tie on shorter strands of line each with a baited hook. The end of the line, that is opposite the weighted end, you can either place a float/buoy or tie it off to something on shore like a stake or a branch of a tree... for example.
[cols] A fish trap uses a funnel like entrance to direct a fish into a baited container or cage and through constricting movement or the simple shape of the trap makes it difficult for the fish to find the entrance and use it as an exit. The image to the right is a lashed together trap constructed from flexible twigs but the same concept can be made a number of ways. Such as a hollow log could be used as the container and you would only need to close one end completely and lash together a funnel entrance for the other, You can also use a plastic bottle to catch small fish to be used as bait for trotlines or for fishing with a pole by cutting the funneled top off and inserting it in the bottom of the bottle inverted. |

You might be saying, "Well, that's all well and good, but what if I don't have any hooks? What then?". You can always make some hooks out of a sturdy piece of wire, a safety pin, a small twig with thorns, bone, and even wood...

You can't just throw an empty hook in the water and expect to catch something so you will need some bait. Fish in any particular area will react faster at a bait in which they are accustomed to seeing... like insects of the area, berries from a tree that hangs over the water, etc. However, your best bet is usually a live bait as the movement of a struggling animal is pretty good for grabbing a fish's attention.

[size=130][color=#9f1313]Fishing Pole[/color][/size]
In some cases you might not be able to find a sufficient live bait and you might want to try an artificial lure. Fish will attack just about any shiny, flashy object being pulled through the water. You could try using buttons, coins, a small piece of tin, or if you are feeling particularly creative you can make your own lures.
You can tie some feathers on a hook with thread or carve a small fish out of wood.

As mentioned earlier, some times you'll want to be able to fish at different depths because fish change depending on current weather conditions.[cols] [img][/img]
[img][/img] |

The first image to the left is basically an unweighted hook. The bait tends to some what float near the top of the water... of course that also depends on the bait.

The second image is using split shot sinkers which are small lead balls with a slit in them so you can squeeze them on the fishing line where you would like them. You can adjust the weight of them to bring your bait to float about mid depth.

Or, as in the third image, you can use a large weight and adjust the amount of line after the weight so that you are fishing at a particular depth from the bottom. [/cols]

[size=130][color=#9f1313]Herbal Fishing?[/color][/size]
This last method is not very common and shouldn't ever be used in closed and small bodies of water as it can exterminate the wildlife population. Some plants can be used that will either extract the oxygen from the water or simply drug the fish into floating to the top. Using these plants to gather fish does not taint the fish so that you cannot eat them because the active chemicals in the plants only affect cold blooded animals. However!! that does not mean the plants are safe for you to eat![cols]
[size=130]a. [/size]Derris - Can be found in Southeast Asia to Australia. They are woody, vine-like plants with oval leaflets in opposite pairs, purple flowers and seed pods. To use it you would make a powder from the roots and sprinkle the powder in the water.

[size=130]b. [/size]Barringtonia - A costal plant of the same origins as the Derris. To use you would crush the seeds found in the seed pods and throw them into the water.

[size=130]c. [/size]Desert Rose (adenium) - Is found in tropical areas as well as Southern Africa and Arabia. They are a shrub, or small tree, like plant with thick fleshy leaves. The East African species, shown at the right, has spirals of blunt oval leaves and clusters of tubular pink flowers. To use you would crush the stems and roots in the water.

[size=130]d. [/size]Soap Plant - Is found in North America in dry and open, or scrub, land. It has narrow grass-like leaves and white star-like flowers. To use crush the bulbous root and toss it in the water.
You can view a similar plant being used in this [url=]YouTube video with Ray Mears[/url].

Re: Gone Fishing

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:53 pm
by Sabina
This is an article (at the very least) and not a forum post....
Kudos Ryan, this is an excellent collection of information!
You are spoiling us.... ;0)

Re: Gone Fishing

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:10 pm
by mirjana
I cannot say it better or more than Sabina has already done it, but I think the same. I have already become your fan definitely always waiting with great curiosity what comes as the next.
This is a beautiful way to learn about many valuable things that we could eventually need. Although I am not a fisherwoman type, I enjoyed every line. Besides, it brought many beautiful memories connected with my grandfather who used to teach us about such things when my brother and I were children. Thank you!

PS: At least Kudos for this beautiful article. <3

Re: Gone Fishing

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:01 pm
by Ryan
Thank you... thank you both. I am glad you liked it and maybe it can inspire others to look back towards a simpler and less complicated way of life. To hopefully turn some glances towards the beauty and benefits of a more natural way of living. As Ray would say... If you are "roughing it", you are doing something wrong.