Gill Nets are a Great Food Gathering Tool for Preppers.

gill nets

Whether you bug in or bug out, you probably will have to supplement your food supply.  If for no other reason than after living on canned and stored food, you will crave fresh food.  Depending on where you live, fishing may be a good option.  Now I am not talking about using a fishing pole, but you may consider the possible use of gill nets.

Now I know that gill netting is pretty much illegal in all fifty states.  For this reason, gill nets should be used for survival purposes only.  You don’t need to have trouble with the law unnecessarily.  The military has issued gill nets in various survival kits over the years.  I don’t know if they still do.

Gillnetting is a common fishing method used by commercial fishermen on all the oceans and in some freshwater and estuary areas.  According to Murphy, B. and Willis, D. in their book “Fisheries Techniques: Second edition, “Gill nets are vertical panels of netting normally set in a straight line. Fish may be caught by gill nets in 3 ways: (1) wedged – held by the mesh around the body (2) gilled – held by mesh slipping behind the opercula, or (3) tangled – held by teeth, spines, maxillaries, or other protrusions without the body penetrating the mesh.  Most often fish are gilled.  A fish swims into a net and passes only part way through the mesh.  When it struggles to free itself, the twine slips behind the gill cover and prevents escape.”

Gillnets are extremely effective and their use is closely regulated by fisheries management and enforcement agencies.  If you choose to use a gill net in a survival situation, be careful that you do not catch more fish that you can use or preserve.

gill net

The Adventure Survival Gill Net is small and light enough to carry in your bug out bag.

I have a couple of the military issue gill nets, which are small and compact, but I have found one that I think is better.  This is the Adventure Survival Gill Net that sells for 24.95 both on Amazon and through Best Glide.  This 12’ x 4’ emergency gill net is used by stretching it across a stream or pond.  Its 1.5″ mesh meets current FAA regulations for aircraft survival kits, but is perfect for all wilderness survival applications.

To use a gill net, simply string it between two anchor points and allow it to hang straight down in the water.  The top of the net does not need to be at the surface of the water.  The net can be strung across a stream or in a pond or a lake.  As long as both ends are anchored and the net hangs straight down in the water, it should work.

If you can’t get to water or are tired of fish, gill nets can be used for catching birds.  Simply string it in the trees.  Or for birds like quail set it low and drive them into it.  With a little imagination, it can also be used rabbits and other small game.

I realize that there are many larger nets available, and if you live near large bodies of water you may want to research the possibility of purchasing a larger net, they are surprisingly inexpensive.




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6 Responses to Gill Nets are a Great Food Gathering Tool for Preppers.

  1. gino schafer says:

    Thanks for the article. This net is used to catch bait fish only. The holes are too small to catch big fish. FYI.

  2. admin says:

    You are right in that the one I mentioned is too small to catch large fish, but it is one that will fit in a bug out bag. The military survival net is in the same size range. If you want to go for large fish you do need a bigger net. Thanks for the comment, I probably should have clarified that.

    • gino schafer says:

      Well, you can then use the bait fish to catch bigger fish or bait traps. So the net has its uses for sure. Thanks again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    early days fish traps in Alaska were from piling set up with chicken wire hanging below the water line. that penned the fish in, to be removed with dip nets.

  4. Louis says:

    Good point that you will need one that’s small enough for your bug-out bag.

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