Fishing Hook In Deep


As time passes during an angler’s life, the adage of “the more you do, the better you get” is absolutely correct (at least in my opinion). Time on the water equals experience. Through this time, safety and caution also become a learned behaviour. An example might be tripping in the boat and almost falling into the water; with the result of choosing to now wear a PFD vs. not.

Another safety issue is fishhooks.

Personally, I’ve taken a few to the body and it’s not a real pleasant happening to deal with. (BTW, I know a guy, who shall go unnamed, who used to take a hook into the skin on almost every Fish’n Canada shoot. Hmmm, an angler on the Fish’n Canada show, hmmm, there weren’t many, hmmm…) Through time, I’ve pretty much learned how to tip-toe or skirt most of these stabs before they happen. Caution and safety save a fishing trip.

Recently though, the unavoidable happened.

I was fishing last Sunday with good buddy Sean Gleeson, trying to put together a bit of a pattern for mid-summer Largemouth Bass. We, of course, wanted big fish but would take the “inbetweeners” as a pass time.

With the day going well, catching a bunch of inbetweeners, I hooked into a 1 ¾ – 2 pounder, while using a Squarebill Crankbait. The fish was at the side of the boat, ready to either be lipped, netted or hauled in. With a good amount of pressure on the rod, the Crankbait popped free from the fish’s mouth. I can still see it vividly, it free-flew straight up in the air. My line then tightened up, and with the lures momentum, it started to loop over me. It then looped behind me, now starting to move back toward the rod tip/water.


My instinctive safety move was to try and reroute the lures path back out over the water and then reel in the remainder of the line.

My move, unfortunately, added even more momentum to the lure as it rammed into the back of my hand.

The tip of one of the back-treble hooks was stuck into my knuckle at my baby finger. As for the front treble, one of the hooks was very close to being barb deep, while the other was pretty much to the curve of the hook… DEEP!

I quickly worked the partially hooked body parts free but that deep one… not so much.

Sean aided me in removing the lure from the hook (that’s more painful than any other part of this whole deal) and then we assessed. With that hook being so deep, I wasn’t sure if I could use the fishing line “pop the hook” method.

Somehow, and don’t ask me how, I managed to maneuver the barb and hook point back towards the entry point with relatively little pain. Sean and I were both amazed with how much I gained back, but all good things must come to an end. The barb grabbed and the pain made sure I knew it!

Fortunately, doctor Sean and I worked together and ripped that sucker out and I was back to fishing in no time. Incidentally, a hospital trip during a Largemouth day was not an option.



As our day ended, nurse Laura (Gleeson) “ordered” me into the cottage (of course Seaner previously sent her pics of the damage, as to get some kind of reaction). She had a triage station set up with peroxide, wipes, Polysporin, and special “perfect for Pete” Band-Aids.

Post report; we had a nice cold after-a-great-fishing-day beer, we laughed about our crazy day and now have a great fishing story.

In closing, all I can say is trust me, people, it can and probably will happen to you!

26 Replies to “Fishing Hook In Deep”

  1. This appears to be one more of those completely avoidable subjects where pulling my punches is not an option I am will to pursue. These flailing tackle projectiles when left to complacent anglers are as dangerous as a loaded weapon, as we have seen lately.

    Oh sure, having the lure snap back after horsing the fish with enough “G” force to pull a Mack truck in your excitement to haul in that prized lunker, you wonder “Why me?” Now that the claw like hooks are deeply embedded into you tender pink flesh, a sense of victimization begins to cloud your common senses. Frustrated and unwilling to interrupt your fishing excursion to seek a Doctor’s medical attention, you set out to extract the impalement by what ever means possible to ease your pain and embarrassment. Sound familiar?

    Fish hook injuries are more serious when blood vessels, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, or bones are injured. Injuries to these areas may cause numbness or tingling, pale, white, blue, or cold skin and/or a decreased ability to move the area.

    The puncture from a fish hook is often dirty from marine bacteria, which increases the chance of a skin infection. Let me give you an example.

    A Florida fisherman contracted flesh-eating bacteria after he was pricked by a fish hook over the weekend while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. He nearly lost his arm to the dangerous bacterial infection, called Necrotizing Fasciitis. This unfortunate angler was about 20 miles offshore in Palm Harbor when the fish hook caused just a small nick on his finger, something that has happened to him hundreds of times.

    By Sunday, the construction worker noticed black bubbles growing on his hand. He had little blisters starting to form and you could watch, sweat beads coming from the side of the hand that just turned black, the report stated. He was rushed to Hospital where doctors considered amputating his arm. Doctors sliced all the way down his arm to relieve the pressure, and then performed a skin graft which extended from his elbow to the palm of his hand.

    He said, “When you look down and you can see your own tendons, back of your hand and your bone going up your arm, that makes it real.” He was released from the hospital a few days later and will be on an antibiotics regimen for the next month.

    So as you see Ladies and Gentlemen as the old adage has long been known, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure !!”

    Next time you find the need to over extend your complacent exuberance, leave tackle lying around your boat or just plain ignore the laws of physics, think of that loaded weapon you are holding in your pink little hand.

  2. Can, will and has happened more than once. Took one through the thumb a few decades ago. Went through the back and out the nail in the front. Wasn’t too bad (yeah it hurt like a bugger) until I reached for a pike the next day with the same hand and it tried to swallow that thumb. Now THAT hurt.

  3. It happened to me luckily only one time.I hooked my Dad through the scalp and through the ear. Had to go to the hospital to have it removed. We were in central Quebec at the time.

  4. I hooked myself in the back of my head with a # 4 meps. At first I thought a branch fell off the tree I was under. We cut my hat off and that’s when my wife told me that 2 of the hooks were in my head. Of course it ended our day of fishing. We spent a couple of hours at the hospital and no stitches

  5. I was closing a telescopic rod that was stuck, And some how the tip broke off and that rod went right up through my thumb one side to the other and stuck out about 3 inches, I had to take my thumb and fore finger from my other hand and slide it off, But not much pain with wet hands.

  6. My Dad and I were out fishing with a family friend who wishes to remain nameless, Lol, and he got the hook through the thick part at the bottom of his thumb. It was nowhere near as bad as in this article. Actually was going in and back out a little over. He was acting like a big baby and was saying bring me to the hospital so we said we would. Mind you we were at a cabin at least an hour from the nearest hospital. We took the line off the hook and I put away our rods. My Dad told his friend he was going to just cut the eye off the hook with the cutter on our pliers so it would be easier for the doctor to slide the hook out. Then he said we didn’t have any Tylenol so he gave his friend a shot of whiskey to help with the pain till we got to the hospital. Just as he tipped the glass back with his good hand to take the shot my Dad yanked the hook out! It came out so easily that his friend thought he had just cut the end off and when he looked down was asking where the other piece was! We had a good laugh and didn’t have to run to the hospital. It barely even bleed really. Our friend will have a hard time not being teased about that one! He belongs to the same Angler and Hunter club as me and my Dad and I knew right away that story would be told to the rest of the guys when we got back home, LOL!

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