The practice of tickling fish in an attempt catch and eat them has a long history, and is often mentioned in passing in some circles.

If I was going to focus building a single skill, I wonder if making nets or hooks and line from native material might be a better choice.

In reality is fish tickling a dependable way of feeding yourself in a survival situation?

  • How many calories are required to "tickle" a fish compared to making nets, lines and/or hooks? In a survival situation, whichever method has the largest net gain of calories and nutrients should be the one to us.
    – B540Glenn
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 14:44
  • Related outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/20347/… Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 14:48
  • 3
    It does depend a lot on having an appropriate stream environment available. But, we routinely teach a group of kids every year on a backpack that includes a nice meadow with an appropriate stream. Usually about half of the ones that really try (i.e. more than just sticking their hand in the water for a minute or two) get a fish within 15-20 minutes. But it is an ideal meadow for it. Backpacks to other locations do not even bother trying it out.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


If you were looking for a single skill in general then i would suggest Wild Food, finding plants that you can safely eat in the wild is definitely the best option i know its not quite as exciting as tickling a fish but it will serve you a lot better in the wild.

Fish Tickling

Fish tickling is not great when your outdoors in general in my opinion. You end up spending a lot of time with your hand in the water, which may not be a problem in high summer but doing so in winter for most of the world will be a bad plan if not dangerous, and you need to be 100% about that fish and not doing other things

Learning to make line and hooks on the other hand means you can set up a net/trap/line, and then go about your day improving your shelter or boiling water etc. then come back later and see if you caught a fish

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.