The survival kit includes

  • 250+ft silky smooth 20 lbs monofilament line
  • 4x 4/0 large circle hooks, 4x #1 medium circle hooks, 4x #4 small circle hooks
  • 2x 1 oz bank sinkers, 2x ½ oz bank sinkers, 2x ¼ oz bank sinkers
  • 4x 60 lbs barrel swivels
  • "Getting Started" booklet and product manual
  • Water/UV/mildew resistant carrying pull-string bag
  • Water/UV/mildew resistant pull-string accessory bag

What we mean by survival

Your body needs calories, proteins, amino acids and trace minerals for proper mental and physical functions. However, for the purposes of this guide, we are just going to refer to calories and assume these represent all the necessary nourishment your body needs.  We are only going to consider scenarios where you need to survive for a few months in an emergency situation and not the level of nutrition required for a long healthy life.

The survival rule of thumb in popular culture says that a human being can live 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.  However, this is misleading and how long you can live without these essential things depends greatly on your age, weight, overall health condition and the environmental conditions you are confronting.  For example, a healthy adult can perish within a few hours without shelter in a harsh cold environment while a feeble person might endure even after weeks without shelter in a comfortable climate. The same can be said about food and water. We are going to assume you already know how to procure shelter and water and are going to concentrate on procuring food.

Survival is a simple matter of calories in and calories out, in other words: You must consume more calories than you spend to maintain your weight.  Although most people can potentially survive for a month without eating, this leads to serious weight loss, extreme fatigue and cognitive decline to the point where you so impaired, you are unable to make a simple decision.  The literature is riddled with stories of people who perished because of bad decisions and ultimately their bodies were recovered within a few hundred feet of resources that could have saved their lives.  For this and other reasons, it is important you are able to obtain proper nourishment in a survival situation.

Survival fishing

Survival fishing is a set of basic techniques and equipment that enables you to exploit bodies of water for nourishment, enabling you to maintain proper body and mind function.  There are many different ways to find food in various environments, and unless you find yourself in the middle of a barren desert, fishing is the most calorie cost-effective and productive way to obtain calories and nutrients.  Most environments contain bodies of water and in most bodies of water, there are fish, reptiles, and crustaceans that can be safely consumed for nourishment.  Below we’ll explore different survival environments and how one could use the Yoyito Emergency Survival Fishing Kit to survive and in many cases even thrive.  After all, the ancient art of handlining has been feeding people since the stone age and even today it enables millions of people across the globe to subsist partly or entirely on fishing.

Adrift on the ocean

They have been many books written on this subject and the web abounds with stories of survival at sea.  In fact, people find themselves adrift for many reasons, and it is not as uncommon as you may think for recreational fishermen and boating enthusiasts to find themselves in such situation.  My stepfather found himself adrift while fleeing the country of Cuba in a homemade raft. Due to a tropical storm they lost their way, their adapted lawnmower engine seized and unable to control the direction of their raft were at the mercy and whims of an angry ocean, with winds and currents pushing them further and further into the Gulf.   They ran off out of water and supplies about a week into the journey and by the time they were rescued by a Filipino freighter, nearly a week later, two of his companions had perished.  His ordeal lasted nearly two weeks, most of which he does not remember due to the severe dehydration, exhaustion and persistent hallucinations.  He and I have spent many hours talking about this incredible story of peril and fortune.  He agrees, that been able to fish, they would have probably fared better.   A fishing kit would not have completely replaced the lack of potable water, but fish meat, like ours, is mostly water and the nutrients from the fish would have kept them stronger longer, perhaps his companions would have survived.  It was primarily the fact they got knocked off the raft by the huge waves repeatedly, having to swim hard and climb back onto the raft so many times while in a state of extreme fatigue and dehydration that sealed his companions faith.

In such a scenario, you could use the paracord supplied with the carrying case to create a lure or fly by snelling a short stretch of a couple of inches of the inner threads onto one of the provided hooks.  Simply dragging this lure behind the raft would have secured a supply of fish.  The oceans are abundant of fish and other edible critters and these tend to bite on anything that floats on the ocean.  A button, a piece of leather, clothing, hair,  or shiny metal of any kind can be easily fashioned into a lure.  Once you catch the first fish, you now have cut bait for larger species of fish and the chain continues.  Most fish species can be safely consumed raw, providing necessary calories, hydration and trace minerals significantly improving your odds of survival.

Marooned on an island or other inhabited land mass

The goal in all these situations is to first secure bait.  Many land critters work as bait if a small enough piece is used. Small crabs, snails, lizards even bird feather can be used for bait or lures.  Small colorful fruits and berries can also be used as lures.  Finding something to catch bait fish is usually trivial, in fact, many times I don’t take the bait when I go fishing, allowing me to practice these techniques frequently.   Along estuaries and river deltas, mussels, oysters along with small crustaceans like barnacles and crabs make for very effective bait.  Once you are able to secure bait, the rest is relatively easy, rig your line with a dropshot and a couple of small hooks above, cast it into any underwater patch of vegetation where there is a least a couple of feet of water or just past the shore break if you don’t have access to a protected inshore area.   You then secure the Yoyito reel to a tree branch or simply pin it to the sand with a small branch or stick and go on to secure, water and shelter.  Check the Yoyito every couple of hours and by night fall you are very likely to have dinner waiting at the end of the line.  In terms of locating good places to cast your line, look for patches of grass or other vegetation, rock piles, oyster bars or other places with life like sea slugs,  anemones or corals.  In places where there is life, there is bound to be fish.

Surviving in an agricultural area

Here the key will be runoff holding ponds, irrigation canals and natural lakes and rivers.  These bodies of water tend to hold lots of fish, the species of which will vary depending on location.  In the south, catfish, panfish and bass are abundant.  Further north, panfish, pike, walleye and trout are common. There is also a lot of non-native species thriving in the warmth of the southern united states, such as tilapia, Asian carp, peacock bass, claria and yes even pacu and piranha are routinely caught in these bodies of water.   Fish like tilapia and carp benefit greatly from the massive amount of nitrogen that runoff from agricultural fields, causing tremendous vegetation growth and which in turn provide all the food they can eat while having very few or no natural predators.  Earth worms, grubs, crickets and almost any other creepy crawler will work as bait in a pinch for panfish and predators like bass, pike and catfish.  For herbivores like tilapia, small colorful fruits and berries work best, although they also have been known to occasionally bite on small grubs and insects.  Always go for small hooks first, remember that a small hook can catch a big fish but big hooks cannot catch small fish.  I know quite a few fishermen in rural areas that never find themselves having to visit the fish market.

Urban survival

I know that this is not the typical scenario most of you envision when you think of survival. However, there is a great number of people who find themselves foraging for food in cities and towns across America.  There are many reasons why people may find themselves in this situations, for one, most of us live paycheck-to-paycheck and sometimes through no fault of your own you may find yourself homeless or simply tight on money.  Growing up in South Florida, when we first arrived at this country in the early eighties, most of the protein we consumed came by handlining from bridges and canals. In my opinion, one of the important things one must learn is that taste is an acquired thing.   Babies must be to introduced to foods slowly, kids don’t like onions and so on.  We develop a taste for certain foods over time, it requires repeated exposure to it, and in that vein, I would say that most fish people call trash-fish are just species they have not develop a taste for.  Not that long ago, lobster was considered a dirty food and many places had ordinances, that made it illegal to consume too much of it.   Now you find Basa and Swai on the supermarket shelves and most people don’t know these are just varieties of catfish.  I find saltwater catfish, especially sail cats to be an excellent eating fish, ditto for mollet and grunts.  It is true that many of the larger, better-known fish species are under a great deal of pressure, and are highly regulated.  If you insist on only eating these more elusive species, you might starve to death as the pickings are slim nowadays, especially without a boat.  However, if are willing to expand your palate, learn how to use the Yoyito, and take the time to go fishing, you’ll be eating the finest fruits of the ocean for pennies year round.  Contrast this with the fact that according to the American Sportfishing Association, the average cost per pound of fish for sports fisherman is $167/lbs.  Check your local state regulation, many places either don’t require a fishing license or make free licenses available to fishermen that handline from shore.