SHOW ME AN ANGLER, and I’ll show you an inadvertent pincushion. I’ve personally been hooked in three fingers and a thumb, one arlobe, and a leg. That is, of course, only counting incidents in which the hook penetrated past the barb. Unfortunately, once the barb is sunk,
there’s no backing out — literally. Fishhooks are designed
not to pull out, and they do a pretty darn good job of it. If
a hook has entered your epidermis, follow these steps, and
make sure your tetanus shots are up to date.
Cut the hook free from the fishing line. Otherwise, you might
give it an unintentional yank and cause additional pain. If the hook
is attached to a lure, remove it so the lure’s body doesn’t get in
your way or swing around and jerk the hook. Usually you can do
this by slipping the hook’s eye through a split-ring, but sometimes
it requires cutting the eye off with snippers
or cutting pliers.
Now you’re going to have to cause some
additional pain on purpose. Rotate the hook
point up as you push it forward, so it pops
back out through the surface of your skin
– OUCH! It should now form a U with the
point and shank exposed, and the bottom
of the U under the skin. You can dull the
pain by icing the area down first, but you’ll
probably still yell “Mommy!” Do this in a
quick, fluid motion. Try to be gentle and
you’ll discover it actually takes quite a bit of
force to pop through. The longer you take,
the more it hurts.
Clip the barb off the hook with a pair
of snippers or a similar tool. This may be
easy or tough, depending on what type of
tools you have at hand and how thick the
hook is. If you have only pliers or de-hookers
and no cutting tools aboard, use them to
mash the barb of the hook completely flat
against the shank.
With the barb disabled, back the hook
out through both of the holes in your skin. Disinfect the area, and
protect it with a bandage.
If there is any question of infection, see a doctor immediately.
HOW TO REMOVE A FISHHOOK – FROM YOURSELF
It happens. Here’s what to do when you hook the least desirable catch of all By Lenny Rudow
1. Cut the hook
free from the
fishing line, so
you don’t inadvertently yank it.
2. when you’ve
pushed the barb
through the skin
(ouch!), snap it off
with cutting pliers.
3. with the barb
removed, back the
hook out through
in the skin.
PRACTICAL BOATER | DO IT YOURSELF
70 | Boatu.S. Magazine JUNE | JULY 2015
If the hook is
near an eye,
vital organs, or
parts, leave it in
place and seek
on land. If you’re
dealing with a
treble hook, cap
the points that
embedded in you
with pieces of
cork or a cut-up
pool noodle to
prevent a second
and possibly even
a third hook in
Lenny Rudow is BoatU.S. Magazine’s electronics editor and Boats.
com senior editor. He has written five books on fishing and won multiple
Boating Writers International awards. If he’s not chained to his desk,
hard at work, he’s hooked up to a striper on the Chesapeake Bay.