Bass and Bluegill : Two SHTF Protein Sources You Haven’t Considered
ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, there are a few words that need to be mentioned regarding Bass and Bluegill from a survival perspective. As preppers and adherents to the survival lifestyle, you are well aware of how important protein
is for your diet. After a SHTF scenario, we are going to be forced to return (at least partially) to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Such a change can best be effected if you are cognizant of all avenues open to you. One of those good avenues is taking advantage of pan-fish as a source for your protein.
I found the following chart you may wish to save for your records:
Bass and Bluegill Nutritional Values, Fried, 3-ounce serving
As can readily be seen from this chart, bass and bluegill (in relatively small amounts, mind you) provide substantial amounts of protein, along with valuable electrolyte minerals, such as sodium and potassium. (Source)
Now there is a lot more to it than just knowing the nutritional values for these fish. Suffice to say that Bass and Bluegill can be found throughout the United States, and are fairly easy to catch. You can fish for them with something as simple as some line, a hook, and a bamboo/sapling-type pole. You can even catch fish without a hook – you just need to know how! Meat fishing is decidedly different from sport fishing. I strongly recommend studying some books on these two species of fish. They’re in season now. For your home state, it is best to visit either the county extension office or the USFS (U.S. Forestry Service) for more detailed information and maps as to the prevalence of these two fish species.
The bass really go for minnows, worm, and crayfish, and the bluegill for the former two. I have never really liked the artificial lures and spinners, even though many people have great success with them. Crayfish can be found in the streams and lakes where the bass abound. If you aren’t experienced in capturing these guys, be careful, as they are similar to a miniature lobster and can inflict a good pinch on you with their pincers/claws.
When you hook them to use for bait, you should try to place your hook in them between thorax and tail, from the top. If you hook it from the bottom it will cause them to present upside-down, and the bass (who hunt from sight) will know that something’s “fishy.” Plus, you want them to travel backwards, which is their normal manner. Worms are not as complex; however, your object should be to not disable the animal to a degree that it doesn’t even move on the hook. Another consideration is that you must make sure the hook will be taken by the fish. Worms and minnow are good both for bass and for bluegill. The crayfish is a little tough for the latter to handle, except if he’s a really big bluegill or your dealing with an exceptionally-small crayfish.
Cooking fish can be prepared in a variety of ways. There are even recipes that will use up the odds and ends that you normally don’t eat. Remember: In an emergency, you want to know how to make use of everything you have. Practice your pan-fishing, and also practice building yourself a pyramid-frame hardwood smoker. You can smoke your fish and dry them out over wood smoke. This will preserve them; the time will increase accordingly with the amount of moisture you remove from the fish. Salting is another method. Why not take the time to (along with your fishing) practice the preservation of your catch? You should also keep a notebook with you to record the locations and conditions of your excursions.
Remember you’re practicing to be a meat-fisherman who will provide protein either for yourself alone or for others of your family who are dependent upon you. Also good as a skill to develop it the making of line, poles, and hooks from scrap materials. “Zebco” won’t necessarily be around after the SHTF, nor will the “Bass Pro Shop.” Use this time to hone your skills and learn the habits of these two common pan fish. It can benefit you in the long run and add to your survivability for when it hits the fan. JJ out!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
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