Fishing is an ancient activity that’s been used as a means of hunting and recreation for years, but there’s are many more ways to get the job done than with a hook, line, and sinker.
Although the most common way we fish is by using this approach, there are some wonderful and weird fishing methods out there that can be just as helpful in landing a catch.
What are some of these weird fishing methods used around the world?
Anglers use several methods depending on their location, traditions passed down to them, and whatever supplies they might have on hand. There’s bucket fishing, using strange food items like mini marshmallows for bait, and even painting your boat in a specific way that’s meant to lure the fish in and result in a more successful haul.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the weird fishing methods employed over time, with many still being used today.
If you’re looking to fish outside of the box and want some inspiration, this list could give you the creative push you need.
#1 Weird Fishing Bait
Most anglers have had an experience using strange pieces of bait in a pinch so that in itself is nothing new.
However, there are fishing practices that purposely use weird fishing bait to catch specific types of fish, including:
Trout have been said to love the taste of mini marshmallows, especially those that were raised in a hatchery.
Some theories are floating around, including the fact that they resemble the pellets they’re fed or just that they like the taste of sugar.
The small pink and white morsels can be attached to your line when you’re in a bind a few at a time, and they may just result in a trout if you’re lucky.
Carp are one of the most common fish found in the water and something that’s pretty achievable for most anglers to land.
If you find you’re out of worms or other fresh bait, you can attach some corn kernels to your hook to lure them in.
Using hotdogs is no hidden secret when it comes to fishing, but apparently, this unique bait is especially good at catching catfish.
According to those who have tested this theory out, the cheaper the hotdog the better, so it’s a handy method to have when you’re low on funds for fresh bait.
Another type of bait loved by catfish is the mulberry.
This is ideal if you’re out in nature and need something fast to help you catch dinner, and if you know what to look for you should be able to find plenty of them.
The key is to pick mulberries before they’re ripe so you can easily get them on the hook.
#2 Bucket Fishing
A bucket might not sound like the most efficient way to catch fish but it’s one that’s employed specifically at Lake Bruin in Louisiana.
The prime catch here is catfish and their favorite method is performed when the spawning season has just started.
To try bucket fishing, you’ll need a weighted bucket that has a strategically cut semicircle in the lid.
When the catfish see this opening, they head straight into it so that they can spawn, and at that point, the fishermen hoist the bucket from the water.
The result is a bucket full of catfish and no need for bait or hooks at all.
Once you see it in effect, you’ll probably think that it looks far too easy, as bucket fishing has been known to be very effective in landing large hauls of catfish.
It’s a method that they swear by in Louisiana and one that you can easily try anywhere that these fish spawn in.
#3 Bobbing for Eels
There’s no better fish for sushi than the eel, and if you find that traditional methods aren’t helping you land one, you could try this unique approach.
Some anglers in Northeastern states where the eel is popular use the bobbing method, but it doesn’t mean what you might think.
Bobbing refers to the method of using a needle and a long piece of sewing thread to tie a bunch of nightcrawlers onto it.
All of the worms are wrapped into a tight ball together and tied together with a line. The result is a literal ball of worms or ‘bob’ which is then cast into the water.
Eels are unable to resist this tasty treat and as they grab on, their teeth are caught on the fishing line.
As soon as the angler feels that the eel has taken the bob, they should hoist the line out of the water quickly and gently.
The eel should be attached to the line still which the fisherman can remove them from, in a process that can take a bit of trial and error to get right.
#4 Trained Otters
There are some animals thought to be man’s best friend, but the otter isn’t one we usually put in that category.
It’s believed that otters have been used to catch fish during the Tang dynasty in China, around the6th century.
Other historical mentions of trained otters come from England in the 17th century where King James used them to help him catch fish.
When using this method, the fishermen would cast their weighted nets and pull them in, then introducing an otter wearing a harness and lead.
The animal’s role was to get the fish that were hiding close by and herd them into the net where they were trapped. Their reward for this help was a share of fresh fish.
Although there are some parts of the world where otters are still used, like Bangladesh, the method has mostly died out.
Training an otter would take a lot of work, so it’s probably not the most practical of the weird fishing methods we’ve found.
#5 White Light
Another ancient Chinese fishing method involves the addition of a painted white board onto the side of your fishing vessel with the edge placed slightly in the water.
The board is bright white and placed at an angle of 45 degrees so that when it’s out at night, the moon can reflect off of it and shine straight into the water.
This might not sound like much to those on the boat, but to the fish in the water, the shimmering reflection makes it look as though there’s more water up above.
Fish will swim towards it, and sometimes even jump so that they lead themselves right into the arms of the anglers.
#6 Cold Dancing
Rather than standing around, anglers in colder parts of the world have figured out a way to get the fish to leap into the net and stay warm at the same time.
If you’re at a river that has almost iced over, you can stand on the frozen shore and jump up and down.
Provided you’re wearing durable enough boots and making enough of a ruckus, this will agitate the water below you.
Any fish that are swimming below will become disturbed and may even jump out of the water in response.
All you have to do is be ready to catch them with your net, which may be harder than it sounds.
There’s no singular way to successfully fish, so testing out some weird fishing methods for yourself is worth a try.
We’ve got the answers to some commonly asked questions about these unique ways of fishing to give you the background to get started.
Can You Catch Fish Without Bait?
Trying to catch a fish without bait, like using a barehanded method, is difficult to do, but there are other traps and nets you can use.
Usually, some form of bait is needed to lure them and make them bite onto the hook.
If you don’t wish to use grubs, worms or other live bait, you may be able to use fishing lures that have been designed to resemble live creatures that fish are attracted to.
What Is the Best Bait to Catch a Fish?
The best bait for a fish depends on the species you’re trying to catch, which is why fishing lures are made to resemble specific insects and other creatures that live in the region.
For a general fishing trip with no clear catch in mind, options including earthworms, nightcrawlers, leeches, grubs, and minnow will usually work.