If you have the unfortunate experience of getting a fishing hook impaled into your hand (or other part of your body) it's a good idea to know how to remove said hook. This article will save you a trip to the emergency room as long as you can deal with a little bit of pain and blood. Not to long ago this exact scenario happened to me and I found myself with a #10 fishing hook stuck completely into my index finger while on the river fishing.
To be honest, once the initial pain from the hook going into your body is over, it's really not that painful. Until you touch the hook of course. The problem with this happening is of course the barb on the hook. The barb keeps the hook in your body, just as it does in a fish's mouth. To remove the hook the only piece of equipment that you need is a piece of strong string of some sort. I personally sacrificed my retractor to get the string to remove the hook from my finger.
When a hook is stuck in your body (this has happened to me more than once) the only part that is visible is half of the curve and the shank of the hook. To remove the hook you want to place the string around the visible part of the curve in the hook. The key in this scenario is releasing the barb and pulling quickly and steadily on the string, thus "backing the hook out" the same way it went in.
To release the barb you need to use your hand (in my case the other hand) and push straight down on the visible part of the shank of the hook (yep, this a bit painful). As you push down you need to pull quickly and steadily on the string that's around the curve of the hook. Pushing down releases the barb and the hook will pop right out.
I held the string in my teeth and straightened my arms to pull on the string. This scenario is obviously easier if you have another person to pull the string as you push on the shank of the hook to release the barb. When you can, just clean the hole left by the hook with some peroxide, and you're good to go. This little tip could easily save you the hundreds of dollars an emergency room would charge to remove an impaled fishing hook.
As I said, the only piece of equipment that's needed to remove a fishing hook from your body is a strong piece of string and I personally used the string from my retractor. This is yet another reason to use and have access to a retractor. While searching for a piece of string in my fishing vest, I was happy when I remember I had a retractor on my vest holding a pair of nail clippers. The string in the retractor was perfect for removing the hook from my index finger.
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 25 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his five year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country.
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