This is about catching fish as FOOD.
There are a few points to watch though.
CBRN contamination will probably affect water courses
i.e. fish swim in CBRN soup, you eat fish, you get contaminated.
It does not matter if you are sea or fresh water fishing,
CBRN is an important reason NOT to fish.
Bait. The best bait is fresh bait.
OK, if you are fishing for eels you can happily bait a crewel, eel cage, or Hessian sack with a road kill rabbit but for everything else, live or at least fresh is best.
A simple two plastic bottle minnow or small fry trap is very easy to make.
The picture should be enough detail.
The ties are thread or thin wire. Bait it with waste food or worms. The neck hole is used to thread a retrieve line, the other holes keep a flow of water through the bottle. Make all the holes with a heated nail or hot wire. Water flow too much? Add a few stones.
Don’t stop using the minnow bottle because you have enough bait though, get a handful of small fry and they can make a nice snack or be used as bait for birds.
Nothing live? Use coloured wool, silver foil or shiny earrings. In short anything glittery, bright, small, and moving erratically can be used to attract fish.
Although I’m talking about using hooks and line, NOTHING brings up fish as fast as a grenade, pipe bomb, or a couple of thunderflashes wrapped round with gaffer tape to increase the ‘bang’.
The basic idea of fishing is to put a baited hook into the water, fish eats the bait and hook. It doesn’t matter if you are using barbed hooks or not, if the fish swallows the hook, they will be caught.
So (ignoring UK Law) It follows that the more hooks you put into the water, the more chance you have of catching fish.
Long Line Fishing
Make a long line with hooks a couple of feet (60 cm) apart.
Hook sizes. Little hooks catch anything, Big hooks only catch big fish.
Then attach a single weight to one end and throw it in . I found that 5 hooks is pushing the personal safety bit.
Or, you could fix the line at one end and pull it across the stream or pond.
Trailing lines should be staggered, 30 to 60 cm long, 60 cm apart to stop tangles. Bait is anything that wiggles i.e. worms or waste bread paste or animal innards.
Keep the hooks small as a small hook will catch any size of fish when a large hook only catches large fish.
CAUTION this type of fishing is illegal in the UK
Snagging is a technique that works and that is where you dangle a bait in the water but hanging loose round the bait is a few unbaited hooks.
The idea is that the fish approaches the bait and a sudden jerk of the line causes one or more of the hooks to dig into the fishes sides effectively “snagging” the fish.
I use triple hooks and the unbaited hooks are on longer traces than the bait. Typically 30 cm longer. This rig is good for sea work and larger freshwater fish like perch and pike.
It is VERY aggressive and most fish will fight hard so always wear gloves when using a hand line.
CAUTION this type of fishing is illegal in the UK
They move into bays and estuaries in late spring and begin the journey upstream into rivers moving mainly by night under the moon.
UK Eels in fresh water are known as yellow or brown eels.
In the summer they feed worms, small fish, dead fish, molluscs, carrion, and other bottom-living bugs.
In winter become less active if at all.
They love carrion so make a simple cage with wire with a neck like the minnow trap by about 2 inches across or just use a sack with a 2 inch hole at the neck with a dead rabbit or any guts and entrails inside. Leave in a shady location.
Pull out the sack in the early morning QUICKLY.
As they eat carrion and basically any other rubbish, they are open to all sorts of contamination and worm infestations.
So don’t eat them in a CBRN event or for a season afterwards.
Other “Fishy” Dishes
- Common Cockle.
Found in sandy bays and estuaries all around England.
- Common Mussel.
Found everywhere on rocky shores attached to rock surfaces.
- The Edible Crab.
Found in rock pools all around the English coastline. approx 15 cm wide. It’s reddish-brown in colour.
- Freshwater Crayfish.
Found in freshwater rivers, shallow rocky streams with lots of plant life, lakes, canals, water-filled quarries and reservoirs.
- European Lobster.
Found on the south, south-west and north-east coasts of England.
It has a dark blue shell with yellow spots and a yellow-toned underside.
- Edible Oyster.
Found in shallow waters on solid mud, muddy sand, gravel and rocks.
Not common in the east and north-east.
CAUTION. If the skin of the fish smells funny, looks unhealthy, or diseased, discard the fish.
Finding a dead fish or multiple fish floating on the surface is not a free meal. Something killed them so eating them or even using them as bait is a strict NO NO.
Round fish include fish such as mackerel and sea bass. Some need scaling to remove the hard inedible “skin”.
Holding the fish by the tail, scrape the blade in short, sharp bursts against the grain of the scales and back again, working the knife from the tail to the head.
Rinse the fish in clean boiled water.
Slice the length of the belly of the fish and pull the guts from it, cutting them out at the top.
Cut the head and tail off.
Run cold water over the fish and inside the belly cavity to clean thoroughly.
Check the internal organs for signs of disease and the flesh for signs of worms.
Caution: Bottom and carrion feeders. Any CBRN is going to be in this ones diet.
The simplest method of killing eels is to put them in a deep can and douse them with salt.
Leave them for a couple of hours to kill them.
This will help clean off the slime.
They should not need to be completely buried in salt, a good sprinkling is sufficient.
Wash thoroughly in clean boiled water and carefully scrape all the slime off.
Gut the washed eels, taking care to slit the belly 25 mm or so beyond the vent in order to remove the kidney. DON’T eat the liver.
Scrub and wash the gut cavity removing all traces of blood from the backbone and throat.
Unless you are going to use the guts as bait, bury them deeply or throw them back into the water.