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How to Catch a Fish Using Only Your Hands

We live in a modern society. And as such, we benefit from the advantages of technology developed over generations. But sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to know how to go about things in a simple, almost feral way. Take fishing for example. Sure, you can use nets or hooks, but wouldn’t it be at least interesting to know how to catch fish with your bare hands?

Using these steps, you’ll be able to entice fish to approach, and grab a hold of them in a way that lets you pull them up and out of the water. You’ll most commonly hear this type of method used with catfish, due to their eat-anything nature and common appearance in the right types of waters, but this can work with any type of fish big enough to grab.


Step 1: Find the Right Spot

You want somewhere near the river/lake bank of choice that goes fairly deep and has relatively slow moving water. These are where the fish more commonly hang out. Ideally, it should be clear enough to see what you’re doing.

Step 2: Submerge your Arm

Your arm is a big, strange, warm thing. Fish won’t want to interact with that. Submerge your arm into the water and leave it there a while, allowing it to cool down. We recommend only dipping up to your elbow into the water. After 10 minutes or so, you should be at a more “normal” and approachable temperature.

Step 3: Worm Wiggle a Finger

Now that your arm is chilled. You want to imitate bait for larger fish to approach. This can be done by keeping the arm still and only moving a single finger. Wiggle a finger like a worm. If you see fish approaching, good. Don’t stop the motions, continue them until the fish gets very close.


Step 4: Grab Them by the Gills

Once close enough, you want to make a quick, sharp motion, hooking into their gills with your fingers and pulling them out of the water. Once out of the water, be mindful of their violent shaking. Ideally, you’ll want to deposit them into a bucket or other container as soon as you can.


Now keep in mind that this method is not without risk. Aside from the loss of body heat, which can lead to hypothermia, you put yourself at risk of being bitten by all sorts of aquatic creatures. The last thing you need is to get chomped on by a snake, snapping turtle, or alligator. And if you have cuts or scrapes, the water can introduce unclean bacteria and viruses. There’s no need to invite infection if you can help it.

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