Whether you’re in an emergency situation or just taking an unexpected break from your busy life, you may want to go fishing but find yourself without a hook. Assuming that you have fishing line or improvised cordage, you’ll need something at the end to hook a fish. There are primitive methods using thorns, sticks or bones, but this blog will focus on the ever-present pull-tabs from aluminum or tin cans.
I have to confess that I often carry a Leatherman multitool, and it’s hard to beat if you are improvising a tool or making a repair. However, a determined person can fashion things in a multitude of ways without such a tool.
I’ve constructed these hooks on a few occasions and the following are my observations: the hook tip must be quite sharp in order to penetrate the skin; the eye of the hook should be a rounded shank in order to prevent the line from being cut when pulled by the fish; natural bait may need to be tied onto the hook for longevity; synthetic baits or parts of baits work well; when forming the hook, try to keep the tip parallel to the shank because a wide angle allows bait and fish to slip off easier.
When fishing, remember that fish can be fussy so offering a variety of baits at different depths may be required to draw their interest. Even though the hook may not penetrate the skin, it may lodge sufficiently enough to pull the fish out of the water and swing it up onto the bank That will certainly qualify as a catch and potentially a meal.