Man oh man, what a day. Long story short, my wife (her name is Kristy) and I went fishing on the Angelina river south of Bevil Port, which is close to Jasper Texas. We caught some fish and had a great time.
Now for the rest of the story
Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn, Kristy and I decided to sleep late. A cool front pushed through Wednesday October 17, which dropped the morning temp down to 47 degrees. We did not want to deal with temps in the upper 40s, so we waited a little late in morning to head out.
Kristy got up and did our usual morning routine, which includes a shower, brushing teeth, getting dressed,,, just your typical stuff.
For breakfast Kristy fixed me a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. The egg came from our chickens.
The boat was hooked to the truck and the gear was loaded up. For this trip I brought my Maxpedition Condor II, 2 closed face reels, one open face reel, 16 noodles, Igloo marine ice chest, tackle box, catfish bucket, collapsible cooler, and a pair of shorts for Kristy and I to change into when the weather warmed up.
Usually, Kristy and I will make a trip to a corner store down the road from our house to buy a couple of bags of ice for the Igloo marine icechest. Instead of buying ice, Kristy put our drinks, sandwich stuff and snacks into the collapsible cooler, then put the collapsible cooler into the Igloo marine ice chest.
Some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event happens, what are some basic skills every survivalist should know?
Trying to balance work, family life and prepping means there is not a lot of free time. Kids birthday parties, work a garden, go to the shooting range, tend to the fruit trees, go fishing, take the kids to the movies,,, you get the idea. It would be nice to have unlimited free time to learn survival skills, but free time is in high demand.
If you had to pick certain skills that every survivalist should know, what would those skills be? After putting a lot of thought into this topic, I come up with a basic list. This is in no way a definitive or complete list. Lets consider this list as food for thought.
Infection Control (Epidemiology)
How to use firearms
Infection Control (Epidemiology)
Why is infection control (aka Epidemiology) important? When a waterborne pathogen can wipe out a community in a matter of days, we should have knowledge on the most common forms of waterborne infections.
How do you make contaminated water safe to drink? What factors contribute to contamination of a water source?
If someone becomes sick, what is likely to have caused the infection? How do you prevent others from becoming sick?
What is the difference between E. Coli, Shigella and Cryptosporidium? How do we prevent the spread of each type of pathogen? What factors facilitate the spread of certain infectious agents?
As Hank Williams Jr. said in the song “A Country Boy Can Survive”, I have a shotgun, a rifle, a 4 wheel drive and country boy can survive. I can plow a field, I can catch catfish from dusk to dawn, aint too many things these boys cant do, a country boy can survive.
To some people the lyrics of “A Country Boy Can Survive” are just that, lyrics. To others, its a way of life.
Awhile back I read a survey that said the average U.S. citizen is at least 2 – 3 generations removed from farm life. Some kind of long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKIsurvival situation sets in, people are forced to return to rural life, 2 – 3 generations is a lot of relearning.
How many urban dwellers have ran a trotline?
How many urban dwellers have skinned a deer?
How many urban dwellers hunt and fish from dawn to dusk?
How many urban dwellers have access to rural land where they can setup a Bug Out Location?
People that currently raise at least part of their food supply will have a unique advantage over those that are unfamiliar with raising and gathering their on food.
Hunting – Even a blind hog finds an acorn from time to time. One of the things about hunting is being at the right place and at the right time. With those things in mind, an urban dweller could very possibly make a trip to the woods, kill a deer, bring it back home, and then what? Will there be a way to cook or smoke the meat? What happens when the family eats the deer? Where is their next meal coming from? Sooner or later the fuel is going to run out from driving out of the city and back.
When heading to the woods to look for a place to hunt, chances are you are going to run into other people doing the exact same thing.
One of the big questions, where would you hunt? Are you on a hunting lease, do you own land, do you have a friend that owns land? Do you have a safe place to hunt where you are not going to be running into other people?
Then there are the safety issues. There is a reason why you are supposed to wear blaze orange on public hunting lands. Desperate and hungry people will shoot at anything that moves.
As a survivalist, prepping / survivalism should NOT be a hobby, it is a way of life. What good does it do if you stockpile food, stockpile survival gear, but never practice or test your preps. If you incorporate survivalism into your lifestyle, you will always be testing, planning and looking for ways to improve.
While looking across my backyard this weekend, I realized that part of my preps were not only in the backyard, but how they were part of my life. The three preps I saw were the chicken coop, boat and bar-b-que pit.
Think about that for a minute, the chicken coop and the boat are a source of food. The pit provides a way to cook and smoke meat.
Some people raise chickens for fun, some raise them to know where their eggs and meat came from. Survivalist keep chickens so our families can have a source of food and protein during a long term SHTF survival situation. That is how we look at things. Survivalism is not a hobby, its not something we do on the weekends, its a way of life.
Video about cooking some mac and cheese that had been stored in a mylar bag for 1 year.
During a long term SHTF / teotwawki survivalsituation, fishing will be an important way to gather food. One of the goals of this fishing / camping trip is to practice our SHTF / teotwawki fishing skills. another goal of this trip is to make observations about issues that people might run into.
There are a lot of people out there who plan on bugging out to the wilderness after the food and water run out at their home. Part of the SHTF survival plans are along the lines of “when we run out of food, we will have to go to the food”. This usually includes grabbing the bug out bag and bug out to a wilderness location where they survival can hunt, fish and gather wild foods.
One issue, the person rarely gets past the planning phase. In order to have a balanced SHTF / teotwawki survival plan, people should also test those plans. The only way to test the plans is to get away from the computer and do something. Being an armchair survivalist is not enough. Make your plans, test your plans, analyze the results from the test, make improvements on those observations.
Sunday, December 25th (Christmas), for Christmas I bought two of my sons a Coleman sleeping bag each, a sleeping pad, and a fleece sleeping bag. They needed a sleeping bag for our upcoming camping trip, so why not give them a sleeping bag for Christmas.
Monday, December 26th was gear load out day. I spent just about all day going over my pack, going over the boat, making sure the lights on the boat worked, hooked the boat trailer to the truck, organizing my food bag,,, just getting everything ready to go.
For Christmas my mom and dad gave me an Optimus Terra Solo. My personal belief is that you test your gear before you take it on a trip. To test my new Terra Solo, I setup my single burner Coleman stove on the stove in my kitchen. Then I cooked myself a serving of noodles, just like I would on a camping trip.
The past 2 days have been spent working on my truck, and working on some jug lines for an upcoming camping trip. When I started thinking about how much time and effort I put into getting the juglines ready, I was a little set back.
After talking to my wife, I probably put 6 – 8 hours into redoing, and working on the juglines. The lines had not been used since June 2011. I changed the lines out, added some PVC pipe to the noodles and replaced the J-hooks with circle hooks. When I started cutting the PVC pipe, I was using a hacksaw. After cutting a few pipe, I dug the skilsaw out and started using the saw instead of the hacksaw.
For the sake of discussion lets say this happened after a SHTF / teotwawki event. I would have had to use a hacksaw to cut the PVC pipe. But then again, its doubtful I would have had any PVC laying around. To make the noodles for this weekend I used some 3/4 inch PVC I had in the shed.
Without PVC pipe I would have threaded the line through the middle of the noodle.
One of the things about keeping a stockpile of survival gear, is knowing what you have. After you know what you have, then you can make changes. You do not want to stockpile too much of one thing and not enough of another.
Lets take a look at the tackle box first. I have owned this tackle box for close to 16 years. Its been just about everywhere fishing with me, everywhere from 30 and 45 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico to lake Sam Rayburn.
Ok, lets get started:
1 tackle box
2 spools 300 feet 330 pound tensile strength trotline string
1 spool 580 feet 235 pound tensile strength trotline string
1 package (8 qty) eagle claw lazer sharp 4/0 all purpose hooks
1 box (25 qty) mustard circle hooks 11/0
1 spool 30 feet nylon coated wire 60 pound test
1 package (15 qty) zoom tiny brush hog watermelon red
1 package (12 qty) eagle claw 3/0 safety snaps with barrel swivel
1 package (12 qty) zoom baby brush hog green pumpkin pearl
1 package (8 qty) zoom brush hog plum-apple
1 package (5 qty) vicious 4 inch jerky shad
2 packages (20 qty) zoom u-tale pumpkin chartreuse
1 package (8 qty) zoom brush hog watermelon red
1 package (10 qty zoom 5 inch lizard june bug
1 package (9 qty) zoom monster 10 1/2 bullfrog
1 package (9 qty) zoom 6 inch lizard cotton candy chart.
1 package (12 qty) zoom baby brush hog pumpkin spice
1 package (qty unknown) culprit classic worm
3 bags various artificial worms
1 bag (13 qty) bobbers aka corks
1 tape measure – for measuring fish length
3 spinner baits
1 spool zebco 8 pound monofilament line
1 spool zebco 10 pound monofilament line
1 spool zebco 12 pound monofilament line
1 spool zebco 20 pound monofilament line
1 spool zebco 30 pound monofilament line
3 tiny torpedoes
3 beetle spins
Various lures from Daves Great Outdoors
1 pair fingernail clippers – for cutting the monofilament line
Storage boxes – In the bottom of the main tackle box are three small plastic boxes. Each box is setup for a different type of fishing – bass, perch and catfish.
While playing around in youtube, I decided to put together a few playlist. One of the playlist is about fishing, and here it is.
To advance to the next video in the play list, click the next button in the bottom left hand corner.
Fishing is something that I was raised around as far back as I can remember. when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, I remember my mom and dad taking my brother and I fishing around the local ponds. When we moved to Bridge City, my dad bought a boat to take us out on Sabine Lake between Bridge City and Port Arthur.
Now that I am grown and have kids of my own, I have tried to keep that family tradition going by taking my kids fishing.
Fishing is not just about catching something, its also about being in nature, and enjoying the simple things in life. As I am out on the water, there is a certain calm, a certain peace that I feel being out in nature.
When I go into the sloughs of the Angelina River, its like going back in time 1,000 years, or more. There is just something about being out in nature that can not be described.
Yesterday evening I started working on some trotlines to be put out Friday evening. The first thing that I realized was how much supplies its going to take to deploy 2 trotlines about 150 long.
The line being used for the main beam comes in spools 300 feet long, and has a tensile strength rating of 330 pounds. When you start running a line across a slew, 100 – 150 feet can go pretty quick. One trotline I saw awhile back must have been close to 200 feet long.
Lets talk about running the main beam line of a trotline. With the spools having 300 of line, your probably going to need 3, 4, 5 or even 6 spools of line for a SHTF stockpile. This of course depends on how many trotlines your going to be running. Some of the slews that I fish in are probably 75 – 100 feet wide. With 300 feet per spool, I would only be able to run 2 or 3 lines across a slew. If I was running a trotline across the main river, 300 feet would probably only get me 1 trip across the river.
About every 6 – 8 feet on the main beam I tied a loop knot. In the loop knot I put a barrel swivel. The first 8 – 10 feet of line is for tying around a tree. From the first loop knot to the end of the line, I probably put about a dozen swivels on the trot line. To put this into perspective, for each 300 foot spool of main line, your going to need about 2 dozen heavy duty swivels.
For the drop lines going from the swivel to the hook, I cut a section of line about 28 – 30 inches long, doubled it over, tied a loop knot at the end of the string, another loop knot about 2 inches down from the first knot. About 2 – 3 inches up from the hook, I tied another loop knot.
Insert a section of line through the eye of the swivel, run the hook through the loop inserted through the eye and pull tight.
If you did everything right, you should have a drop line going from the main beam about 12 – 14 inches long.
For the drop lines, you use a smaller weight trotline string then what was used for the main beam. The line I am using is #36, which has a rating of 235 pounds and has 580 feet per spool.
Since the spools used for the drop lines have 580 feet on them, your only going to need a couple of spools. The line used for the drop lines can also be used on jug lines.
Supplies I am looking at stockpiling:
3 or 4 spools of 330 pound line for the main beam
2 or 3 spools of 235 pound line for drop lines and jug lines
Several dozen heavy duty barrel swivels
Several dozen hooks
Now that we have talked about buying fishing and trotline supplies, lets go out on the river and do some fishing. In this video we head out friday evening, put out a trotline and 8 juglines. For the full story about fishing on the river, follow this link – running trotlines and juglines.
This past weekend was one of those weekends that seems like a blur. I spent 3 days out on the Angelina river running trotlines, juglines and fishing.
Long story short – friday afternoon, get the trotlines and juglines ready; friday evening go put the juglines and trotlines out, check everything saturday morning, go back saturday evening, check and rebait the trotline, put the juglines out, sunday go check everything again, pick the trotline up, pick up the juglines, go fishing, get home sunday around noon.
Now for the rest of the story.
Over the past week I had been making up some trotlines in the backyard. The local china-mart sells spools of trotline string with a 330 pound tinsel strength, this is what makes up the main beam of the trotline.
So I started off by measuring out 2 double arm lengths of string, which equals out to about 8 feet, tie a loop knot about 3 – 4 inches long, measure off about 8 feet, tie another loop knot, measure off about another 8 feet, another loop knot,,, repeat until I had about 120 of line.
Lesson learned – do not make your trotline to long, this will come into play later on.
Friday afternoon I strung the main beam of the trotline out in the backyard, put the swivels on, put the droplines on the main beam, made up some weights, put some stainless steel snaps on the ends of the trotline, put a stainless steel snap on the weight,,,, just got things ready to go.
The weights for the trotlines are gears off of a 4-wheeler. I took a section of nylon rope, burned the ends (one end was burned so that it was closed, the other was burned so that the end was open). One end of the rope was inserted into the middle of the nylon rope, pushed inside of itself, then pulled tight.
When my wife got home after work, we hooked up the boat to my truck, loaded up the gear and headed to the Bevil Port boat launch.
We got the boat launched with no issues, then we headed south on the Angelina river. I already had certain corner of the river picked out for the trotline. We eased up to the bank, tied off the line, then backed away from the bank and dropped off the trotline. For bait we used some shrimp and chunks of chicken that had freezer burnt.
From where my wife and I put the trotline at, we headed north about a 1/4 mile to put out the juglines. As we headed into the slough, I killed the main motor (Evinrude 30 horse outboard), dropped the trolling motor, eased around the cypress trees and dropped off the juglines and noodles. In all, my wife and I dropped 4 juglines and 4 noodles.
Back the boat launch, put the boat back on the trailer, and we headed home.
Friday night I did not sleep very well. Thought about what was going to be on the hooks the next morning kept running through my head.
A few weeks ago I posted an article about fishing with juglines after SHTF. One of the problems is organizing the noodles and trot lines so they are easy to deploy. In an effort to keep everything together, I bought a 5 gallon bucket. The bucket provided a way to keep the noodles and trot lines together, but it lacked compartments for holding hooks, weights, swivels and leader material,,,, and other odds and ends. This problem was fixed on Fathers Day.
On Fathers day my Grand kids picked me out a lid for my 5 gallon bucket. The lid is made by Plano, its 2 sided, has 6 compartments in the top tray, and the tray is removable for access to a storage compartment. The compartments are large enough for hooks, weights, swivels,,,, anything that you might need for setting up a jugline or trot line.
Along with the trotline and jugline material for catfishing, I am going to include some supplies for perch fishing, and maybe some stuff for bass fishing.
So, your probably wondering how trotlines or juglines applies to a long term SHTF situation.
Lets say that you live close to a river, stream, lake, pond,,,, anywhere else that catfish like to hang out. Go out to the body of water, and just before dark throw out the juglines. The next morning, just as the sun is coming up, get a boat and head out on the water to collect the noodles.
In the case of a river, throw the juglines in the river just before dark, then launch something like a canoe, go down the river, collect the lines, then return home.
The goal is to let the juglines do the fishing, while your working on something else.
In a long term SHTF survival situation, its important to utilize all of your available resources. Whether its gathering roots, harvesting fish, hunting, pulling weeds from the garden,,,,,,,,, your going to need to save time and resources when possible.
While my wife and I were doing our Sunday shopping at the local china-mart, I went to the sporting goods section to look at the fishing supplies. Choices, choices, so many choices. Should I get some perching supplies, or stuff for catfishing, bass fishing,,,,,. Do I want supplies for artificial or live bait.
A lot of survivalist stockpile freeze dried foods, food in mylar bags, canned goods, seeds for a garden and ammunition for hunting. One thing that I do not see talked about a lot is fishing supplies. Maybe fishing supplies is a given, that everyone should have fishing supplies stockpiled, or maybe its overlooked by a lot of people?
Fishing supplies bought today:
1. Zoom artificial lizard, 6″ long, cotton candy color – for bass fishing
3. Water Gremlin split shot weight – for perch fishing
4. Eagle claw Barrel swivel with interlocking snap, size 5 – for catfishing, trot lines and jug lines
The supplies bought today cover at least 3 different types of fishing – bass, perch and catfish.
The eagle Claw 1/0 hooks can be used on a rod and reel, trot line, or jug line. If your out on a camping trip, the hooks can be used to fish off the bank, or make up some trot lines or jug lines and set them out overnight.
Now its time for a couple of videos.
In this video lets look at making some noodles, which are like jug lines. After making this video, I revised the way I want to make the noodle lines, but a video about the new design has not been posted yet.
Back at the end of November a buddy of mine and I went on a 3 day camping trip on the Angelina river close to Jasper, Texas. While we were camping, we took the boat and explorer some of the slews in the area. As we were heading into the slew, there were some jug lines in the water. This got me to thinking, why couldn’t someone use jug lines for harvesting fish during a long term survival situation?
What do we need to make up some drop lines / jug lines?
Spool of trot line string
Swivels – optional
Spool of monofilament line, something like 20# test
Something that floats – 1 gallon plastic bottle, noodle from local china mart, something like that.
When I started working on this jug line project, I wanted the system to be modular. Meaning, all of the parts needed to be easily replaceable. To accomplish this, loops where used in the trot line string.
Tie a loop knot in the end of the trot line string. Make the loop maybe 1.5 – 2 inches long.
Swivels, back up maybe 18 inches from the end of the trot line string, and tie another loop knot maybe 1.5 inches long. This is where you can attach the swivel. Run the end of the end of loop through one end of the swivel, and over the opposite end. The swivel should now be attached to the drop line. For added security, pull some slack through the eye of the swivel, then run the loop through the eye and over the end again. If you have done everything right, there should be 2 loops running through the eye of the swivel.
For the hooks, cut a section of monofilament line around 18 inches long, run 1 end through the eye of the hook, and loop it back to the other end. Then tie a surgeons loop knot on the two ends.
The hook can then be threaded through the eye of the swivel, looped through itself, and your hook should be attached to the drop line.
If you want more then one swivel attached, back up 3 or 4 feet and tie in another one.
Over the past week I have leaned that these types of of rigs leave a lot to the imagination. I dont think there is a right or wrong way to setup a jug line, as long as you catch fish, and the fish does not get loose from the rig.
For example, nobody said the swivels “had” to be attached to the drop line. Tie a section of the monofilament line to the swivel and to the hook. When your ready to attach the swivel and hook, just loop the drop line over the swivel and hook. It sounds complicated, but its not.
How does this apply to a long term survival situation?
While on the 3 day camping trip with my buddy, we had a good discussion about the uses for jug lines in a SHTF situation.
Lets say that some worldwide disaster happens, like what happened with the Black Death in 1348 – 1350 and food gets scarce. If someone lives close to a river or lake, maybe they can set out some jug lines in the morning, go about their daily activities, then pick up the lines in the evening. While the person is busy tending to the crops, or other duties, the drop lines / jug lines are busy catching fish.
Post your comments in this forum thread about jug lines.
Over the past few weeks we have been talking about spreading your survival gear purchases out over an extended period of time. Instead of dropping several hundred dollars at once, spend $20 here, $30 there, and after a few weeks you and your family will have a nice stockpile of survival gear.
In this article, lets talk about first aid kits, fishing supplies and propane.
First Aid Kits – Almost always a good investment, especially if their on sale. A couple of weeks ago a local big-box-mart had a coleman first Aid kit on sale for something like 10% or 15% off. So I thought why not, we can use a first aid kit in our camping box anyway. So this kit was bought just to take on camping trips with the family.
First aid kits are one of those things that are often overlooked and neglected until their needed. And then its “oh crap” I forgot to put <insert needed item here> in the kit, what are we going to do now?
Personally, I like to have a camping / backpacking first aid kit, a kit in my truck, a first aid kit for home and one at the camp / bug out location.
Propane – is one of the few survival gear supplies that last forever. As long as the bottles are not stored in a wet location where they can rust, or where the bottles can be damaged, everything should be good. I like propane because the bottles can be stored at the camp, and when I need them they are there. Its not like gasoline that goes bad over time, or needs some kind of special treatment to preserve the quality.
Propane also has a wide variety of uses – lanterns, propane stoves, single burner camp stoves and space heaters for a few examples. Propane provides the small comforts of life that everyone likes – warmth, light and hot meals.
One of the problems with propane, once the cylinder is empty, there is not much you can do with it, except throw it away. I know people who buy the refill kits to refill the small 1 pound cylinders off of a 20 pound bottle. But sooner or later that bigger bottle is going to run out.
After Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Rita, some of my neighbors use their propane grill to cook with. After about a week, there were several empty 20 pound bottles sitting in the yard. After a SHTF situation, propane is going to be short lived, so enjoy it while you can.
Fishing Supplies – In my opinion, fishing supplies are some of the most underrated, over looked, and underestimated survival gear supplies that anyone can stockpile. Unless you live in a desert, the local rivers, streams, lakes and ponds can offer a supply of fish, which in turn can be used to feed your family.
The only problem with eating fish after SHTF, is the levels of mercury found in certain types of fish. Here in SouthEast Texas the local lakes and rivers have warning signs saying that people should not eat over a certain amount of bass, perch and fresh water drum every month.
One of the things about fishing supplies, they make great barter items for after SHTF. Lets say that I need some corn seed, or some squash seed. 12 pound fishing line come sin 700 yard spools. To re-string a reel, you do not use 100 yards. That leaves leaves 600 yards to barter with. Better yet, buy several spools of 10, 12 and 15 pound test, and that provides you with several miles of fishing line to barter with. If left in their original package, Stainless steel hooks should not rust.
Between several spools of fishing line, and stainless steel hooks, you have barter items that never expire and never have to be rotated out.