‘Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever,’ so goes the proverb.
Before the days of carbon fibre rods, GPS fish finders and general 21st century laziness, how exactly were men taught to catch fish? Here’s some of our favourite ways to catch fish without a fishing rod.
Practised mainly in the Southern States of America, noodling is the peculiar art of catching (mainly catfish) with just your bare hands. Simply find a catfish hole (usually in shallow water under brush) and stick you hand down it. When the catfish swims to attack your hand, you put your arm down its throat and then try and heave it out of the water (and get your arm out the sucker’s mouth).
I think we can all agree that Ursula Andress made the best entrance of any Bond Girl, emerging from the sea in her white bikini. But it was Kim Basinger, playing Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again, who is best known for killing the nasty villain Largo with a spear gun. Spearguns are more popularly used for hunting fish – which is probably just as well.
Huxing is the practise of attaching a fishing line and bait to the leg of a duck or goose. When a fish takes the bait, the duck will start flapping about in alarm and will make its way to the bank – effectively catching the fish for you.
In China birds are still used to catch fish. A leash and a metal ring is attached to a Cormorant’s neck, so it can only swallow small fish. The bigger ones are plucked from its mouth by the fisherman. The cormorant is treated as one of the family and as a result of the care an attention lavished on it – it lives up to three times as long as its unemployed cousins.
Crocodile Dundee did it – but this is no laughing matter. If you’re extremely lazy, a little bit loco and have no qualms about green issues like the annihilation of coral reefs, then get yourself some explosives and blow up a lagoon. Fishing umbrella and headphones advised. Or stop messing around and get a fishing rod!
Practised by native peoples the world over, bow fishing is not as easy as you might think. Even if the fish you are aiming at is just a few feet away, fishing with a bow and arrow is really quite a skill. The refraction of the light in the water means that the fish isn’t quite where it looks like it is. I think I’ll stick to rod and line.