How to Carve a Jaw Spear for Survival Fishing

This is a wicked D.I.Y. version of Poseidon's trident that's deadly on fish and frogs

Pacific Northwest natives devised salmon spears with sinew and bone that were brawny enough to hoist kings and silvers from roiling rapids. You can channel your inner Suquamish with this survival spear capable of snagging frogs, fish, and small rodents. All you need is a sharp knife and a bit of parachute cord. A bone from your last squirrel dinner isn’t required, but it will make for a beefier—and more savage—spear.

Step 1

Cut a 2-foot length of p-cord and tease out the inner core strands. They’re a perfect twine for lashing.

Step 2

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Step 2

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Cut a straight, green sapling of hardwood, such as hickory or maple, 1 foot longer than your height and with a strong fork on one end. Remove the bark from the forked tines. Trim the ends of the forks so each is 4 to 5 inches long, and angle each fork tip slightly by removing a few slivers of wood from the inside of the tip.

Step 3

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Step 3

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For a center spike, carve a 2-inch-long sharp stick—or better yet, a sharp spike of bone—and lash it to the inside of the fork. Start with a clove hitch about a half inch below the fork, and wrap the windings tightly toward the fork. When the lashing reaches the fork, continue by making a few more wraps to create a pocket for the butt of the spike. Place the spike in this pocket, then continue lashing by alternating the cord under and over the spike, tightening with each lash. Secure the lashing.

Step 4

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Step 4

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For the backward-pointing jaw spikes at the ends on the fork, carve two 2-inch-long spikes of wood or bone. Begin with a clove-hitch lashing about a half inch from the end of the jaw, and wrap six lashes. Place the jaw spike so it points backward, resting on the angle you carved into the jaw tip. The initial wraps will aid in setting the spike to a proper angle. Lash the tip down and secure. Repeat on the other jaw. Now that you have a wicked D.I.Y. version of Poseidon’s trident, it’s time to grocery shop for frogs and fish.

Written by T. Edward Nickens for Field & Stream.

Featured image provided by Field & Stream

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