Have you ever found yourself outdoors, missing a crucial piece of equipment or gear? Maybe you were heading skiing in a blizzard, completely forgot a balaclava, and found yourself faced with a decision: brave the frostbite, or get a little inventive. An old t-shirt in your gear bag? Sure, that will do the trick! A couple of careful cuts with a pocket knife and you’ve got a perfect, winter-proof bandana. Really, you might as well be a tailor.
Say what you want about the human race. We may have some issues, some quirks, and some lessons to learn, but one thing we are undeniably good at is engineering solutions to everyday issues. We are incredibly resilient, inventive beings, and if you place us in front of a roadblock, we’ll present you with a solution in record time. Over time our ingenuity has stemmed from things like emulating nature, borrowing techniques from others, and straight-up originality. When it comes to fishing around the globe, we are no different.
Fishing is a game of patience and a difficult one at that. Maybe you’ve broken a fishing rod while buried deep in a section of river with fish ripe for the picking, or you’ve found yourself without a boat and unable to catch fish from the shore, or perhaps you just can’t seem to get a thrill from fly fishing. For as long as humans have been fishing, they have been inventing ingenious methods to catch fish. From traditions dating back hundreds of years to subbing in a pop can for a fishing rod; the following are some of the most interesting and unique fishing methods from around the world.
Fishing with Winged Help
When fishing, there are times when a little bit of help would be greatly appreciated, and what possesses better fishing instincts than a flying animal? Originating in Japan before the year 636 CE, the outdated technique named “cormorant fishing” refers to a fishing method where birds were trained to catch and return fish to the boat. Though this technique is not widely practiced anymore, some still employ this traditional and arguably cruel fishing technique. Albeit interesting, the method requires fastening a string around the throat of the bird in order to control it, so we have to insist that your steer clear of trying this out.
A Proper Vantage Point
When pressed with food and supply shortages, people go to great lengths (or depths) to provide for themselves and those they love. This was the case in Sri Lanka during the 18th century when supply shortages meant that there was a lack of fishing boats available. Due to the increased need for food and lack of the ability to float out on boats to catch fish, some early inventors developed a technique that allowed them to fish further from shore without boats.
Stilt fishing is a traditional fishing method where fishermen perch on one-legged stilts away from shore in order to fish. The stilts act like a fishing rod holder, but instead of holding the fishing rod, they hold the entire fisher. Few still carry on this tradition, but there is something artful about the patience and endurance it takes to execute. When Stilt fishing, the fishermen resemble herons, perched on one leg in the water.
Fishing with a Cane
No, not an actual walking stick. This type of fishing is one that could come in handy in a variety of situations. If you break a fishing rod while out in nature, or you are stranded and in need of food, Cane Pole fishing is one of the more simplistic, but effective methods of fishing. Before there were reels, weighted fishing lures, and brand battles for the top-of-the-line scented fishing bait; there was nature. Without the use of modern technology Cane Pole fishing uses three things: a stick or a pole, a string, and bait.
Maybe you’ve seen the painting of someone fishing on their little rowboat in the moonlight… it looks just like that. This technique requires users to tie a short amount of fishing line to the end of a long, sturdy stick. When the fish bites, you lift the end of the pole out of the water, bringing the fish to shore. Simple, old school, but effective and potentially useful in a survival situation.
Get your hands dirty
Have you ever felt disconnected from the water while fishing? As if you were too far removed from the actual act of catching the fish? Like the fishing rod, reel, bait, and line were creating a barrier between you and your prey? No? Honestly, neither have we, but for some, this next method is about as down and dirty as you can get while fishing.
Catfish Noodling may sound strange, but it’s actually quite simple. It involves a fishing technique where the fisherman, standing in the water, searches for a catfish hole. Once they find one they reach their arm into the hole and wait for the catfish to bite. When it does, they pull the catfish out of the water with their hands. Unless you don’t like the idea of a large fish swallowing your arm, this method is fairly easy. Catfish Noodling is often practiced as a fishing game of sorts, where brave souls compete to see who can catch the fish with their bare hands.
Endless horizons for fishing techniques
These unique fishing methods used over time, make up a small portion of tactics employed to catch fish around the world. There are so many different fishing techniques, types of fishing reels, and fish-related games out there. If this interests you we suggest looking further into how people have fished throughout history. For starters, we recommend researching the terms “Skishing”, Horseback Trawling, and Soda can fishing.
We at GuidED want to know: Have you ever used a unique fishing technique? If so, what did you catch? Let us know in the comments section.