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fish,hooks and fingers...a true story


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I have fished for 40 plus years now and have come close to hooking up the fingers but never "sunk" one. I made up for it this weekend. I was fishing for northerns with my 6 year old son on the Roseau River. I would cast for him and he would retrieve. We were back in one of the oxbows off the main channel. He hooked up a nice one and got it to the edge of the boat. I normally use a glove but this time for some reason I reached over and grabbed it behind the gills barehanded. As I am taking the hook out it does a flop and I lose the grip and let go......yeeeoow! This is where it gets interesting. I was using a 6 inch floating rapala with 3 sets of hooks. The pike was hooked good in the lips with the middle treble. The treble in the tail caught both my thumb and my index finger and they set good. The fish is flopping in the bottom of the boat, I am yelling and trying to grab the fish with my left hand to stop the flopping and next thing you know my other hand is hooked up on the front treble blush.gif Now I am in trouble. Up the river, both hands hooked up and a fish flopping in the middle of the chaos. Finally the fish settled down and my quick assesment of the situation was not good. I had a pliers but no wire cutter and even if I did I didn't think my son would have the strength to cut the hooks. I had him take the pliers and try pull the hooks out. He pulled hard but no luck. He finally started to cry and said he couldn't do it anymore. I took a deep breath and gained my composure and re-assessed the options....they were pretty limited. Have him try start the motor (9.9 yamaha 4 stroke) and get us back to launch or to help. I don't think he could have pulled the rope and if he did he would have to steer us out of there and navigate the strong current in the main channel. Wait help, it may have been a long time coming....we were way off the main channel. Or we could try again to get the hooks out starting with separating the fish. I has able to grab the rapala in a way not to put tension on the hooks in my spare fingers (not sure how I did this)and wedge the northern between my boots. I pulled hard and despite being hooked good I ripped the hook from his lips....a major hurdle! Now what? I could steer like this but could I pull the starter rope with 2 hooked up hands. I was sure I could but the thought of the pain that would inflict caused me to have one more try at removing the single hook from my left hand. I had my son give it another try, this time because the fish was not there he had a better angle and maybe because it was not in a very fleshy part of the hand he got it out. I give him a lot of credit. From here I was able get back to the landing and cut the hooks lose freeing the rapala and also freeing up my thumb and index finger which were tied together by 2 of the 3 barbs on the tail treble. Because it was a 50 mile ride to the emergency room I tried hard to pull them out myself. However with only one hand (my left hand) to work with and the incredible pain of trying to do so I gave up and headed in to the ER to have a doc numb it up and extract. He had to pull really hard to get them out.

The surprising thing is that after the lidocaine wore off it didn't hurt at all....if anything a bit numb.

My son was a real trooper through the whole thing. He shed a quick tear but he did everything I asked him. From his perspective it had to be pretty scary. I did learn a few lessons though. I got careless at the wrong place and time. I do a fair amount of fishing in the BWCA and know to be extra carefull in these situations. Flopping fish and hooks (especially small multiple hook plugs)are always dangerous no matter how much care is used. It sure ruined an otherwise perfect day.

That has to be plenty of other stories out there. I would like to hear them. Did you get it out on your own? Did you push the hook through? (I tried) Ever happen in a remote area? Is barbless the way to go?

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Hobbydog, give your little fishing partner a pat on the back from me. Takes some strength to do what he did to help ya out. Some older fella's may have even fainted shocked.gif

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Wow!

I cringe every time I hear of or read a story such as yours.

I fish for big pike on a regular basis and have been present when hands and fingers have been hooked. Fortunately (knock on wood) it hasn't happened to me yet, but I know that it is not a matter of if, but rather when.

My recomendation is to go barbless. After fishing in Manitoba where its required I find that I do it more and more when fishing in MN. It is much easier to remove a hook from the fish and WHEN the day comes that the hook has to be removed from me I will be glad that I had the barbs pinched.

I hope you heal up just fine with out any infection or complications.

PS I think your son did as well as most adults (including myself) could have.

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First of all.. invest in some of these.. I got a pair and simply LOVE THEM!!!!

GlovesLg.jpg

Short story, similar results to you, I was fishing a bass tournament a few yeras back and a bass jumed the hook and threw it with my rod bent quite a bit. It came flying back quite fast and I put my arm up to protect my face. Sunk a 5/0 worm hook all the way to the bend of the hook in my right arm. I asked the guy in the boat to help me out by doing the line trick(everybody should learn the line trick!!!!) when he saw the hook in my arm he passed out. I had to sit him down and explain that the hook was in my arm, and I needed him to get itt out. I had to show him how the line trick works... he did great, got the hook out and back to fishing. I did however give hima little crap for passin out in my boat over a little blood!

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With 5 and 7 year old boys of my own... I placed myself in your shoes and could easily see that point of crying and an anouncement that he can't go on. Hats off to him (and you) for pulling it together.

You were looking for similar stories. Just this past April, I was fishing on the Missouri River in SD. We had caught limits of walleyes and back at camp I finally decided to clean them. I keep my fillet knives (electric and regular) in a plastic bin without a cover (about shoebox sized). One of the electric knives had the blades inserted so the blade hung out over the edge of the box. I set the whole thing down on the truck bumper for a second. Out of the corner of my eye I saw it start to tip. I lunged to grab it and managed to drive that overhanging electric knife blade(s) into the base of my thumb - in the "drumstick" area. The blood shot 3 feet into the air and it was time for the 40 mile ride to the Pierre emergency room for me.

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I was fishing behind the st. cloud dam and managed to catch a small waleye, so I grabbed the line to haul the fish in the last little bit, the fish flops and the rapala I was using sling shots toward my hand and buries one of the treble into the side of my thumb,(while the fish goes back into the water)

so I cut the line on my rod and do the line trick, luckily after the 3rd pull it came out, not fun.

Another time I brought the dog (95 lb black lab) & the wife with fishing, well the dog decides to go sniff my lure (rapala)which is attached to my rod & reel, it jerks its head quick and gets hooked thru the nostril, so it howling and flailing around, my wife is screaming, I grab the dog and hold it down while reaching into my tackle box for the pliers, eventually I get the dog unhooked, everything was ok.

Just thought I'd share my stories .

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Went floating the river for northerns with my girlfreind one afternoon and she hooked me with a daredevil.Thought it was hung on my sunglasses at first but no such luck,I worked one of the trebles out but the other was stuck good.Her place was only a few miles away so we went there to see what we could do.Not wanting to have to make the trip to the hospital I asked if she'd be up to trying to remove it.After some convincing we found a sterile scalpel still in plastic wrap(she lived on a farm..believe it was for castrating pigs??)and after a few quick cuts I was free.Married her after that smile.gif.

Had a buddy of mine hook my brother in the back with a crank way past the barbs.We had to pull both hooks through and cut the barbs off with a dull piece of crap needlenose that wanted to keep slipping sideways instead of cutting.Ya,that was fun.Did keep fishing rest of the day though,a bit more carefully!

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Quote:

I asked the guy in the boat to help me out by doing the line trick(everybody should learn the line trick!!!!)


so how does the line trick work?

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Hobbydog,

That's wild, your little guy deserves a big hug for that one!!

I don't have a story quite that wild but here's what happened to me. I was out fishing with my Mom when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was bobbering for Bluegills and she was casting for Northerns, do I need to say more!! Anyway, she winds up to cast her big Daredevil and it hook squarely into my right ear!! Yup, she stuck it right through the cartilage in my ear, I let out a blood curdling scream and she turns around and ask's, "what are you screaming....Oh my God, don't move!!! We rowed back into shore and my Dad got the side cutter's out and clipped the barbed end off and slid it back out, then off to the Dr. for a tetnis shot.

Ole

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I don't think my story holds a candle to yours but since you asked...

We were on a fly-in to the Pickerel Narrows part of Lac Suel (14 years ago when that was a remote location)and was casting in a shallow bay and hooked myself in the meat of the side of my hand halfway between the bottom of my pinky and wrist with a 8 inch Suick (middle treble). My dad tried pulling it out with a pliers but no luck. We had about 40 minutes of daylight and about a 2 1/2 hour boat ride out to civilization with the plane not due back for 3 days. My uncle remembered a trick he read about where you press the shank down against my hand and loop fishing line (no stretch) around the gap created between my hand and the hook and then give it a jerk. The theory is that creates a angle that pulls the barb out the exact way it went in. Anyways, I took a few shots of Schnaaps, my buddy gave it a tug and out it came with only one drop of blood and absolutely no pain.

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ooouuuccchhh! it never has happen to me, and i have seen it happen to a friend of mine, which i took to the e-room. I can only imagine, but you and your son both learned alot about each other that day, a real learning experience, a teaching moment. He did great cause you did great. He reacted to your reactions. He's only six and do'nt blame him for being scared-its his dad that is hurt. It something that you will be able to talk about for along time, in fact he'll probley say something about it every time you go fishing, but now at least you can laugh together. tell him good job.

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Pier- you need some heavy line. HEavy mono works best... And a picture is much better but I cant find one on the net.. so here goes.

Detach hook from lure, double over the heavy mono for extra strength, and pass it threw the round of the hook(the round part going to the tip and barb) then take your thumb and press hard on the eye of the hook(very important step) this will push the hook to the opposit side of the barb and hopefully keep the barb from catching on its way out. You have to press hard on the eye of the hook. You then yank quickly on the mono. Slow doesnt work well!.. must be a quick snap. I have done this on myself more times than I care to admit(about 2 times a year, however not once last year!!!!)I am a clutz! and it works quite slick!

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I was fishing in Canada for northerns. Caught a small one on a crankbait, as I was attempting to remove the hooks it went wild and I lost my grip. Somehow the treble was buried in my left palm with the fish still hanging from the lure. After I get the fish off I see the hook is in past the barb. I couldn't pull it out so I pushed it the rest of the way through and cut the barb, then it backed out. That was about fifteen years ago.

This past year when we were up there the same thing happened to my wife. She got a hook in the webbing between her middle and ring fingers. Before it happened she didn't mind unhooking the fish, after that it was my job.

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Buried a treble hook about 2 years ago from a Rogue. Little bass couldn't stop wiggling before you knew it the a hook was buried in my thumb. Almost had another barb go in while the fish was flopping, but I caught it in time and stepped on the fish. Got the fish off and assessed the situation. I didn't want to go back since we just started to fish. My friend hasn't fished in years so I didn't want to ruin the trip. I didn't know the string technique, so I said a small prayer and pulled with the pliers. It popped out relatively quickly to my surprise. shocked.gif I was elated then I looked at my thumb and saw all the blood. Had a first aid kit, slapped a band aid on and on with the fishing. Which by the way was very productive.

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I was fishing the river several years back, using a 6 inch floating Rapala. The lure snagged up on something and I started the customary jerking to get it free.

The lure popped loose and came sailing in like a dart and one of the hooks lodged past the barb, in the leathery skin, on the middle knuckle of my middle finger, on my right hand.

Being right handed and a clutz with my left, I wound up driving the 40 miles home with the Rap lodged in my knuckle.

When I got home, my wife cut the eye of the hook from the lure with a wire cutters, but try as we might, we could'nt get the hook out...the skin would move around and stretch and it was (Contact US Regarding This Word) sore from farting around with it. I was'nt about to go to the hospital for extraction, only as a very last resort.

I came up with an idea and what we finally did was this, I pushed the hook up, while keeping my knuckle bent and tight...fist on table for support, my wife put the end of a ballpoint pen over the peak the hook made in the skin and on the count of 3, she pushed down and I pushed up and after a couple of painful trys, we popped the hook and the barb through that tough skin. I snipped it off, and pulled it out...it juiced for awhile, swelled up and was sore for a few days, that was about it.

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WOW, these stories give the willy's. I am going to jinx myself and say that I have not had that happen to me. I have had them stick in me, put not to a point past the barb. My lab on the other hand had a situation last winter and I have to say that he was very brave through the whole ordeal of trying to get that hook out of his pad. I think he was doing better than I was. Had him in the truck holding his paw up, while trying to get to the neighbors house so he could give me hand. After we got it out he was wanting to play.

"hooks"

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A little story of a young shorthair pointer. It was fall and I was getting ready for ice fishing as usual and decided to rig up my tip-ups. After rigging I set them aside and decided to go bowhunting. I only bowhunt about a quarter of a mile from my house and my wife was at home. I just get settled into my stand and I hear my wife calling from the road. All sorts of thoughts were running through my mind, like, who died or got into a car accident. Well, I came out of the woods as fast as I could and there was my wife in tears. We met at home and she had something to show me. My 6 month old pointer had one of the treble hooks sniffed up her nose with the eye pointing out. What do I do? I call the vet and he comes to the house since he lives close by and just starts shaking his head. We had to put the dog out in order to get the hooks out. What a evening I'll never forget. I decided after that was done to go for a drive and do a little scouting. Guess who is sitting under my stand that I was in, Mr. Big.... Guess thats the way it goes. SB

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When I was 10 I was fishing with my brother using #9 rapalas casting for bass and northerns in the local river by where we lived. I brought in a small northern and so my brother came over to assist with removing the hooks. I was holding the fish and he had the pliers to take out the hooks. Of course the small pike starts squirming and the hook lands in my left thumb in really deep. We both start freaking out and my brother cuts the line. He then walks me to the doctors office a block away. We get there and as luck would have my grandmother is there already for a doctors visit. I get to see the doctor and he sticks this big needle in my thumb,that hurt worse than anything else, for pain relief then proceeds to push the hook through and cut the barb. He then backed the hook out. I left with a large rap of gauze around my thumb, and I still have pictures of the gauze rap around my thumb with a bass in the other hand. I still was able to fish the next day after the traumatic event. I have a small scar to mark where the hook went in and out. Hopefully I don't have to practice that line/hook removal trick, but I am glad you guys showed the picture of how to do it if it happens again.

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Why is heavy line needed for the "line trick"? Wouldn't 8lb. do the trick if it's only used for pulling (especially if it's doubled up)?

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Gs-the last thing you want is for that line to break.. always best to be safe. If all you have is 8.. by all means use 8.. but if you have heavier.. use heavier.

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Just curious how the fish knows you are hooked and it's time to really start trashing and flopping around?

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Hooked a treble from a small crankbait deep in my thumb several years ago. Cutter on my needle nose was too weak to cut the hook from the lure, and the hook was too small and deep for the cutter to reach the individual tine, so I had to drive 30 miles to the hospital. Also knew of a kid that got hooked in the eyeball on a pontoon with other kids and one adult. So I always:

1) wear a fishing glove to handle fish so I don't get spooked when a fish flops unexpectedly;

2)always use a needle nose pliers to remove hooks;

3)always keep a wire cutter nearby (heavy duty enough to cut musky hooks);

4)always wear glasses/sunglasses;

5)almost always wear a visor hat when people are casting to help protect face.

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All great stories! I have never hooked myself deep enough for the barb to enter the skin, but I hook myself lightly just about everytime I go fishing so I'm sure eventually it'll happen. Maybe it's a good thing I usually don't sharpen my hooks!

I did however have to remove a hook from a young girl a few years back. She was maybe 10-13 years old. Someone was casting a big daredevil on a dock and caught her right in the upper part of the leg. It was so deep, I could only start to see the curve in the hook. The girls mother was ther and said She was not taking her to the emergency room, so it would have to get removed there. I pushed about as hard as I could "while she was screeming" and finally got the hook pushed back through the skin. Cut the hook and pulled it back out, then it was all done. I felt sorry for the girl, but what could I do?

Back to the story that started this. I know at the time it wasn't funny, and your son did great. But if you think about it, it's kinda funny how you hooked both hands? I could just imagine that scene. smirk.gif

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Great and interesting stories.-

My father did a similar thing with a pike and jointed floating rapala in the BWCA a few years back. He got it out of the net, it shook and four of the hooks ended up in his arm. The only way they were coming was if we poked them completey through. So we poked them through, cut the barbs and slipped them back through. Luckliy we were traveling with a surgeon who knew exactly what to do and to make it less painful. To this day we have only replaced the hooks on that rapala with a single in the back and the treble in the front only has two hooks, just as a reminder to watch ourselves when handling wild fish with 6+ hooks swinging from there mouths.

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Very interested in your method of removing hooks. Is it done with the barb still embedded or when it has pushed completely out the other side?

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TSC- this is only done when the barb is inbedded. IF the hook it back threw the skin I would just crimp the barb and lukk it back threw.. However, I have only had that happen once. where the hook was nice enough to go threw and back out.. It was in my forehead but that is a different story!

The line trick does work, you have to trust it, you have to push down on the eye of the hook hard(which pushes the barb away from your skin. And you have to yank hard on the mono that is pulling the round of the hook.

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Remember infection. Toxic shock syndrome many times costs people limb or life, when you know you have it is usually too late to stop catastrophe. Treat and clean all fishhook wounds well, and if they redden or start to ooze, see a physician immediately.. Thanks for the discussion, I have a bad habit of handling northerns.

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Oh painfull memories! frown.gif When I was a kid, my brother and I were casting huge dare-devils for northerns, of course into a wind. All I felt was a huge thump near my right ear, then blood running down my neck. I had hooked myself through the right ear-lobe with the treble hook. My brother tried to pull it out but quickly realized that with me screaming and pulling away that wasn't going to happen. After wondering what to do, we finally found a pliers and broke the barb off and pulled it right out. It was sore for a few days, but mended. Lesson learned!!! Now if I cast those large dare-devils into the wind, I wear a helmet with a face-shield and full body armour! grin.gifgrin.gif

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I still cannot visualise the concept. Any images or somewhere that I can learn this?

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