HOOKED!!!
By Montana Grant

Posted: June 2, 2022

Fishing involves sharp hooks, the sharper the better. A sharp hook goes in and comes out easier. Sometimes a sharp hook, hooks up where it was not intended. Here are some points that may help you disconnect or prevent you from getting the point! 

My wife was fishing on Yellowstone Lake. A large Money Clip style lure was on her line. It is a heavier, easy to cast lure with large treble hooks. Our kids were 20 yards to her left playing on the beach. Somehow, she cast to her left instead into the lake. My son Kyle was hooked up in the top lip. Two of the 3 treble hooks were completely embedded. I quickly cut the line and went to the truck. He held a cold beer on his lip while we rushed to the Lake hospital. A Dr. was able to quickly remove the lure without incident. The lure was then added to a board that was full of dozens of removed hooks and lures. Getting hooked is pretty common when fishing.

Paddle fishing is not really fishing. You use all the same gear but snag the plankton eaters. These fish can be huge. Weighted treble hooks are used to connect with these monsters. Alligator hunters also snag their prey with large treble hooks. These hooks can disconnect at any time and recoil into the fishermen. The hooks also can be stepped on, or magically end up impaling the angler. Getting hooked is no joke.

Large dry flies, like hoppers, streamers, and salmon fly patterns can also contact a fisherman. These heavier flies are often cast forward without a full back cast. The result is a low flying large, hooked monstrosity hitting the fisherman in the head, face, or other body part. 

Heavy lures, jigs, and spinners also find their way into fishermen. This is again because of poor casting skills. Not only do anglers hook themselves, but they also connect with nearby fishing buddies, pets, or spectators.

Once the hook is embedded into the unintended target, you need to make a quick triage. Cut the line to avoid additional pain first.

Hook in the Eye    Do not try and remove. This is a trip to the hospital. Eyes are tough and durable, but any wiggling can be a problem. At most, try to use wire cutters to cut the hook to allow the rest of the lure or fly to be out of the way. Use a cloth or bandanna to wrap over the eye and minimize any movement. The best way to address an eye hook up is to always wear glasses. This means safety glasses at night too.

Ear and Head    These hook ups are annoying but more easily addressed. If the barb is beneath the skin, you can use the string pull technique to remove. If the barb is exposed, you can cut off the barbed point and withdrawal the hook. You can also simply leave the rig in place and deal with it later. Leave the entire treble hook or bait hook complete with the eye. This will allow the Dr. to remove it more easily. A large, wide brimmed hat helps deflect incoming hooks. 

Arms, torso, limbs, and hands.     All other body parts can be more easily addressed. Usually, you can use the string pull method to remove the hook painlessly and quickly. I never pull the string with the hooked party knowing when I will be pulling it. Surprise them. You will often have the hook out before they know it. The String Pull trick can be practiced by placing hooks into a meat roast and letting fishermen get the gist. If multiple treble hooks are involved, a Dr. visit will be required. Fishing naked exposes more potential targets. Wearing clothes deflects and protects.

PUSH THROUGHS!    Sometimes, you may need to push the hook through the skin so you can expose the point and barb. Now cut it with a pair of wore cutters. Now you can back the rest of the hook out. I have also seen where the Dr. uses a hollow needle to cover the embedded barb and easily pull the smooth hook out. Barbless hooks also may appropriate, especially when kids and beginners are involved. Forceps can be helpful with pushing and controlling the hooks. 

All hook ups need to be treated. Clean and cover the wounds. A medication will also be appropriate to avoid infection. Normally, hook holes will not require stitches.

Get the point?

Montana Grant