In my neck of the woods the more of a hillbilly you are, the better you are at putting fish on the table. Hillbilly fishermen know all of the tips and tricks, and sometimes their way of doing things is the best way, even if it’s unorthodox. One thing’s for sure, if you’re ever in a survival situation around a fishing hole, these 7 hillbilly fishing lessons just might save the day.
1. Your Fingers Can Be Bait
Just about everyone has heard of catfish noodling by now but, in case you’re out of the loop, these guys are catching fish by letting them eat their hand. If you’ve never hooked a catfish before, they don’t have teeth but instead a rough pad just inside of their lips. It’s this pad that causes the scrapes on the fisherman’s arms in the video.
2. You Can Make Your Own Bait
Every hillbilly knows the best way to hook into a catfish, at least if you aren’t catching them bare-handed, is with some good old-fashioned stink bait. The best part about making bait like this is that everyone has their own recipe, but every recipe has one thing in common — you can smell it from across the room. Stink bait works well for fish like cats and suckers, who rely on smell rather than sight in order to find their food.
3. Everything Can Be Bait
In an emergency, or just for the fun of it, you don’t have to rely on digging up nightcrawlers or netting a few minnows. Fish will eat just about anything that gets their attention, including granola bars I guess. As long as it can be stuck on a hook, you can bet there’s a redneck somewhere who has tried to fish with it.
4. Including Dynamite
Dynamite is bait too. It might not be strictly ‘legal’ or ‘sporting,’ and it sure takes all of the challenge out of fishing. But man, does it look fun. These guys caught a handful of fish, including a decent bass, with just an M-80 and a dip net. It sure beats using your hands.
5. A Real Fisherman Can Make Their Own Pole
Most people won’t ever make their own pole, but it’s nice to know you can. This telescoping PVC setup is a few steps beyond a simple stick with a soda can reel. It looks like a great addition to your pack if you spend any time around the water, though.
6. And Their Own Tackle
Making your own tackle is the sign of a committed fisherman, hillbilly or not. River sinkers are expensive and easy to lose, but if you cast your own out of lead or concrete you can save a fortune. I’ve even seen some fisherman tie a rock on one line of a 3-way swivel and use that to sink the line in a fast river. When times are tough, or if you’re stranded, it really helps to be able to think outside of the box and make the tackle you need when you need it.
7. Oh, Electricity Can Be Bait Too
Well, it’s not as easy as tossing an old car battery into the fishing hole, but it sure does work. This specially designed boat shows off the principle pretty well, but I’ve seen hillbillies fish with a cattle prod before, too. The current stuns the fish — who use tiny electrical signals to find food — and causes them to float up to the top where they can be taken alive.
Fish Like A Hillbilly
There’s no shame in fishing like a hillbilly. They’ve got methods that are guaranteed to put food on the table, and when you’re lost in the woods you need to be sure that you can get a steady food source. Study up on hillbilly fishing, and I bet you’ll find something that you can use to save your butt — and your hungry tummy — the next time you find yourself lost and hungry near a lake or river.