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Survival Fishing

Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt , TX 12/17/2013

Can a person survive on fish alone if necessary?  I love this answer:  Yes and no.  How can I ever be wrong with an answer like that?  Maybe I'll run for a political office...

Fact is that fish provide excellent protein.  Over a long period of time a fish only diet would cause problems.  The good news is that if you are in an area where you can catch fish, you can probably find everything else you need to stay healthy over the long haul.  Vitamins and phyto-chemicals that fish don't provide are easily obtained from edible plants.  The bad news is that while there are plenty of edible plants, some of them are poisonous.  Knowing what you can eat, and what you can't eat, is simple at a basic level, but difficult to learn.  Many edible plants have dopplegangers, evil twins.  Getting it right is essential.

Learning edible plants from books is dangerous.  There are some safe plants you can learn from books, dandelions and cattails are pretty safe to learn, but there are many plants that are much more difficult.  Learning from photographs and written descriptions can give you a false knowledge because photos and written descriptions rarely make it simple and definite in distinguishing between the safe plant and it's evil twin.

Far better is to learn from an expert, in person, in the field.  In many areas there are experts that will take you on a tour, show you in person the good and the bad.  You'll have to pay a fee, but then you'd have to buy the book too.  It may be free food but there's no free lunch, even in the wilderness.  But back to fishing.

Fishing is more productive than hunting.  Not saying you shouldn't do both, hell variety is a great thing, just that there is more protein concentrated in waterways than protein running across the ground.  In a long term survival situation you would eventually run out of hooks, or line, or break your fishing pole, or something.  But you can still build fish traps of several varieties, you can make a fish spear quite easily, you can build fish weirs with a bit of grunt labor. 

So while you're out fishing, you are also learning survival skills.  Think about adding edible plant identification to your fishing forays.  Get the books and learn the easy and unmistakable stuff, then find them when you go fishing.  For the advanced degree get a professional to show you the other stuff, the stuff with the evil twins (especially in the mushroom world) and then find those when you go out. 

Pretty soon you'll be able to survive very well off the water, and the land.  Worth thinking about anyway.

Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Blog Comments
Flyrodn, 12/17/2013 1:46:37 PM
Forest botony was my first degree. Had a large number of books and spent a fair amount of time trying different plants. Finally, came to the conclusion that many are like the line from Crocodile Dundee II, "yea you can eat it but it taste like guano!" Some of it was alright, but . . . I'm rather lazy, so I'll be in a world of hurt in a survival situation.