“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” This ancient Chinese proverb speaks of the importance of survival through self-reliance, and now is as good a time as any to prepare your family for survival has come. First lesson: Look to the water for your best source of protein. With the proper fishing gear, bait and a boat, your family will have a healthy food supply.
Fishing and boating regulations
Water, both salt and fresh, makes up much of the Earth’s surface, and these waters hold fish. Wildlife managers stock fish in lakes and reservoirs yearly so they remain plentiful. Fish also have the nutrients and calories needed to keep your family healthy when food supplies get low.
Prepare to use your boat for transportation and fishing by taking your family out for weekend trips to practice. First, find the statutes in your state about boating and fishing licenses. All states require people over a certain age purchase a fishing license and carry the license with them while fishing. There are rules concerning the number of fish you can keep, which vary by species and region.
For boating, you will need to register the boat with the motor vehicle department and you will need a boating exam certificate. The certificate proves you have attended and passed a boating safety course. The benefits of keeping your boating license up-to-date include:
- Reduced boat insurance rates
- Awareness of water safety procedures
- The legal operation of the boat while you find the best fishing spots
You can attend certification classes online at websites like boaterexam.com where you pay no course fees unless you pass the certification exam. You will avoid fines by following fishing and boating regulations when taking your family on weekend fishing trips.
If you do not fish regularly, or have never tried, you need to practice. Catching fish takes skill and knowledge when feeding a family. You will need fishing tackle for practice and for your survival fishing kit. Stock your kit with gear like:
- Extra fishing line of several test weights
- Small and large hooks
- Lures and flies
Learn your fish
Know the species of fish in your region and prepare your survival fishing kit with the bait this species bites most consistently. Find lures and baits that:
- Mimic the movements and sounds of baitfish in your region
- Have the same coloring as the indigenous baitfish
- Cast a silhouette attractive to the fish below
Keep a variety of hard and soft baits available for the best odds of catching fish.
From your boat, cast toward shore. This strategy often gets the best results because fish like big mouth bass like to sit in the cover of fallen trees, grass or rocks. Drop a worm in covered areas and let it sit for a few seconds before moving it. Often, fish cannot resist a fat wiggling worm.
Sprinkling bits of live or artificial bait in the water around the boat is called chumming. Fish smell the chum and move toward it, which gives you a better chance to catch several for a meal. Check your state’s fishing rules as some forbid chumming.
One more tip? Don’t forget to pack your hammock in your tackle box!