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As most survival kits come with fish hooks, I am wondering how do I catch fish without any bait?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Many fish will strike at any moving object of roughly the right shape. Generally shiny is better when improvising fake bait. However you can almost always catch a bug or worm of some kind to put on the hook. Anything small and gooey will usually do.

If you do catch a fish, use their guts for bait.

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Anecdotally, as kids, we used to see what we could catch fish with when the bait was gone. Twitching just about anything across the top of the water would lure bass and other ambush fish: small leaves, bundles of straw, feathers, cigarette butts, gum, wads of hair, pieces of clothing, and even just the bare hook. –  Robert Cartaino Jan 25 '12 at 19:32
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Dig a bit and search for worms. Look under some old rocks or break open a rotting log and grab a couple insects. If you have a bit of granola or a raisin, or something similar, try that. If you can't find any of those, just go ahead and try with a bare hook, especially around feeding time; I've caught a couple fish that way.

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You can use any piece of lint, string, or leaves, to make a makeshift lure. See an example here. I had a lot of luck with a small piece of nylon socks, tied to look like a butterfly, to catch frogs. You don't need a hook for it. just wave it in front of the frog. It will jump and bite the nylon, and it won't let go. You can pull up quickly to get the frog up in the air. Catch, kill, peel, gut, clean and cook (extremely well to kill potential parasites). The legs are delicious.

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