BRING ON THE PAIN
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.
IT CAN HAPPEN
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!