Getting hooked is a rite of passage for anglers. It’s going to happen eventually, and I’m not talking about a jab. I mean in past the barb. Now, anytime you get stuck with a heavy-gauge hook, or the hook is planted in your head or face, go lines in and find some professional medical attention right away. But if you’ve got a Woolly Bugger in your thumb, a crankbait hook in the leg, or a spinnerbait in your arm, there’s no need to quit fishing. Here’s how to remove the hook sans screaming and get back in the action.
Snip the lure or hook free of the main fishing line to get rid of any tension. If possible, detach a treble hook from its lure and clip away any of the hook points that are not stuck in your person. Next, cut a 15-inch strand of line off your reel and tie the ends together to create a loop. This is what you’ll use to remove the hook.
Double the loop of fishing line, then pass it under the bend in the hook close to your skin. The line should be resting against the hook bend. Push down on the eye of the hook. This raises the point—better aligning it with the hole it made when entering. Now take a deep breath, because next comes the moment of truth.
In one quick, sharp tug, yank the line straight back. (This step is often better executed by a fishing partner.) As with a Band-Aid, the faster you pull the less it hurts, often popping right out without causing pain. If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure until it stops. Use antiseptic ointment and bandage before you get back to fishing.