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Survival Fishing: How to Catch a Fish with Your Hand


Survival Fishing: How to Catch a Fish with Your Hand

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What will happen when you are near a water body and would like to catch some fish without having packed any gear? Well, there are many ways to catch fish without having any gear with you.  This article will chow how to catch a fish with your hand

If you have no gear and are not in a position to fashion an improvised fishing rod, hook, line or even a trap, then you can resort to hand fishing.

Hand fishing or otherwise referred to as noodling has been in practice for a long time now. It is not recommended, but if push comes to shove, you may have to resort to it.

In this tutorial, I will cover the steps on how to catch fish using your hands:

Pro Steps on How to Catch Fish using Your Hands

Step 1: To Wade in The Water or Not?

You can choose to wade in the water, but you will be susceptible to catching hypothermia. More so, if you opt to practice this craft at night, you will be at risk. During the day the water temperatures are warmer than at night.

If you do not want to get wet, then, you can find a spot where the water is flowing slower than the whole stream and place yourself there. Position yourself at the banks and lie in wait for the fish. Look for areas with a lot of stones lined along the coastline.

Step 2: Patience Pays

In hand fishing, you have to master patience as you lay in wait for the fish to come to you. Your hand will be radiating more heat than the surrounding of the fish. It will spook the fish as it will be a foreign object to it.

Wait for about 10 to 15 minutes for your hand to cool down and be at the same temperature as the surrounding. Once it cools down, the fish will have troubles differentiating your hand from other objects in its habitat.

Step 3: Tricking the Fish

When you resort to hand fishing, you are likely not to have any bait with you. You can either look for worms form below rocks or even use dead insects as bait. If not you can use your hand as bait.

Yes, you got that right. To use your hand as bait, you have to wiggle it like a worm and draw the fish that is likely to be hidden towards you. The motion of your finger will look like that of a worm that is struggling. The fish will move forward and take a bite on your hand.

We all know how fish relish a wounded bait. If the fish lies hidden in a cave, or rocks, you could lull the fish. Let it relax before you strike.

Step 4: Act Fast

Once the fish is within reach, act fast by holding it by the gills or the mouth. By putting your hands under its gills, you get an easier grip from the hard cartilage that makes up the gills of the fish. Otherwise, position your hands under the fish and quickly throw it on the bank.

If you used your hand as bait and the fish has gripped at it. Your first reaction may be to pull out your finger, but you have let your hand stay put in the mouth of the fish and pull it towards you.

Tips on How to Ensure Your Success in Hand fishing

Just like any other fishing technique, hand fishing requires precision and making calculated moves. How do you go about this?

➔ Approach the fish from behind. In this manner, your strike will be unexpected to it.
➔ As you place your hand in the water, be slow but steady so as not to startle the fish
➔ Look for holes and rocks along the shoreline. The fish are probably hidden here


Hand fishing is recommended for survival only. However, it is a sporting activity in some other parts of the world. You may step on something sharp as you wade in the water or cut you hand by sticking it almost everywhere.

It is advisable to put on shoes, have long pants on and even put on gloves as a precautionary measure. When catching fish with your bare hands, you are at risk of losing your hand or fingers if you get an infection.

If you have to resort to noodling, then let it be your last best option. You can build traps, improvised fishing rods, etc. These methods may not be as exhilarating, but they sure are safer.  Personally I like using a rod and reel, but even then you have to perform reel maintenance so their are drawbacks to that also.

Don’t risk getting hypothermia or frostbite but it will come in handy in survival mode. Have you ever practiced hand fishing? Let us know what your experience was like in the comments section below….

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