Fishing tackle saves lives!

Life saver

Fishing survival tips
Photo by John Jones

It’s true. Fishing tackle can and does save lives.

Take the story of Mr Jess Williams, for instance. This seasoned angler was fishing off Point Lobos, California, in 1947, when a huge wave swept him into the sea and a rip started carrying him off.

Luckily for Jess, his friend, Police Officer Roberson was there to help. With quick thinking and some serious skill, Roberson made the perfect cast and Williams was able to catch his friend’s line, wrap it around his arm and be gradually reeled to safety!

There are a number of ways you could make emergency use of your basic fishing tackle if put in a survival situation. From the practical to the preposterous, here’s our top ten fishing tackle survival tips:

1.Use your tackle to catch supper


Fish for survival
Photo by Ann Wuyts

The most obvious way that fishing tackle can save your life is by providing you with the food you need to survive.

With rod, hook and line, you’re always on course to catch some serious calories whenever you’re near fish-inhabited waters.

2.Emergency stitches with hook and line

fishing hook and line

Hook, line and stitch up
Photo by Chang

You’ve got a deep cut that needs stitching but you’re miles from a doctor. Never fear! You can easily turn a hook and line into emergency first aid equipment.

Use a barbless hook as a needle, and lightweight line (1 or 2lb) as thread – sterilise them both first. Tie and knot one stitch at a time to close the wound. Ouch!

3.Bite alarms make great early warning systems

bite alarm for bears

Early warning for bears
Photo by Leonardo Pallotta

So you’re fishing in bear country – how do you protect yourself from attack? An early warning system can give you those essential extra minutes you’ll need to prepare.

Fashion your own bear alarm by choosing four trees as perimeter posts around your camp and using fishing line hooked up to bite alarms as tripwire.

4.Elude the elements beneath your bivvy


Elemental bivvy protection
Photo by Fraser Cairns

Whether you’ve got a simple bivvy sac or a full-on, hi-tech bivvy shelter, this piece of equipment can make all the difference in a survival situation.

Your bivvy provides adequate shelter from wind, rain and snow and helps keep your body temperature out of the danger levels.

5.Emergency rations in your bait box


Emergency rations
Photo by Tothalvadi

Ok, so this doesn’t sound so good, but think of all the essential calories stored up in your bait. Maggots are a bit ‘Celebrity get me out of here’ but are full of protein.

Carp boilies are edible and come in some great (sounding) flavours – just don’t break your teeth on them!
Other forms of bait are less appealing – Halibut Syrup anyone?

6.Defend yourself with a catapult


Protect against critters
Photo by Maureen Didde

The catapult you use to hurl your bait into the water can easily be turned into an effective weapon or deterrent against critters.

Make sure you gather enough ammo (small stones and pebbles will do) to hand, and get some target practice in while you’re waiting for that bite.

7.Landing net can keep off killer bees


Beware of killer bees
Photo by Alan Taylor

Your trusty landing net could come in very handy if you happened to be attacked by a swarm of killer nasties. While your clothing will protect your body, you’ll also need something for your face.

This is where your landing net comes in handy. Use the net to fashion a protective face mask against killer bees, giant horseflies or malarial mosquitoes.

8.Send an SOS with your bait boat

bait boat

Bait boat to the rescue
Photo by Fishtec

You’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with no satellite phone or flares to send a distress alarm. But wait a minute – what about the nifty bait boat your wife bought you under duress last Xmas?

Write an SOS message stating your problem and location, pop it in the bait boat and send the little beauty off on her way. Fingers crossed, she could just save your bacon.

9.Distract hungry piranhas with liquid bait


Piranha food in a bottle
Photo by Sweetie187

On your annual fishing trip to the Amazonian basin you happen to fall into piranha-infested waters. They’re heading your way…what do you do?

Luckily, you’ve got a bottle of tasty liquid bait in your top pocket. Whether it’s bloodworm or tuna and sweet chilli flavour, let’s just hope they prefer it to fisherman’s flesh!

10.Remove porcupine quills with your fishing pliers


Porcupine pliers
Photo by Drew Avery

You’ve survived all that – now imagine a giant porcupine attacks you and throws all his quills in your general direction…

Thank goodness you’ve got some fishing pliers with which to extract the spikes from your poor, punctured behind!