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The Line-Pull Method: How to Get Unhooked and Keep Fishing

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.

Step 1
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.

Step 2
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.

Step 3
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.

Comments (8)

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from buckhunter wrote 44 weeks 4 days ago

When possible, I numb the area with a piece of ice. If wires are not available, some hooks unscrew from the lure.

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from buckhunter wrote 44 weeks 4 days ago

It should read "pliers" not "wires"

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from Fishing Addicts... wrote 44 weeks 4 days ago

Here is a different way to remove hooks... haha
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK1_ZVnk9Gs

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from Angie Arndt wrote 44 weeks 3 days ago

Or you just push it through, cut off the barb, and back the hook out. No huge hole, no scar.

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from Richard Cousins wrote 44 weeks 3 days ago

Went to ND walleye fishing on Mo. River. Had great luck and wife got so excited she hooked her arm. would not let me remove hook, so had to go 30 miles to hospital to get it removed. They used this method to remove hook and I got ring side seat to how it was done. They also gave a lot of great information on where to go fishing at. Got back at camping sight past midnight and went to fish cleaning station. When pulling in to cleaning station noticed two vehicles, one a police vehicle and the other a pick-up together Started to clean fish and pick-up pulled in Two Mex's One tried to flank and I put hand behind back to pistol He put hands up and went back to other Mex. Wife was totally lost and not catch duress word. Police vehicle drove by slow and Mex's left. All turned out well. .

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from Ranx wrote 44 weeks 2 days ago

The only way I'd yank it back out like that is if it were too deeply embedded to push through. A hook is designed to move in one direction and, just as importantly, designed to NOT move in the other direction. Pulling against the barb is last resort I think.

Angie Arndt has the right solution and I've seen illustrated examples of the method. There are actually two ways. Push it through until you can cut the tip and barb off or push it through and cut the shank of the hook off which should permit it to continue sliding through.

If it was so bad I had to yank it out against the barb I might head for a doctor's office first.

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from nyoutdoorsman30-06 wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

My young cousin hooked me once while trout fishing. In the side of the hand while casting. He was terrified, i wasn't quite sure what happend at first until I looked down and saw the spinner in my hand. It was very painful just grabbing the hook and ripping it out, my cousin (Kyle) looked at me and said "please dont tell my grandma" i laughed it off and we had a fine time fishing the rest of the day.

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from IsleBwild wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

I've used both methods - for many years as an EMT working in a remote area I used the push it through, cut it off and back it out. One of the hardest was a hook in a persons lip. Lip skin is tough! Several years ago I learned the string method and have used it twice - works great, especially for the victim as they don't feel it.

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from Angie Arndt wrote 44 weeks 3 days ago

Or you just push it through, cut off the barb, and back the hook out. No huge hole, no scar.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 44 weeks 4 days ago

When possible, I numb the area with a piece of ice. If wires are not available, some hooks unscrew from the lure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 44 weeks 4 days ago

It should read "pliers" not "wires"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fishing Addicts... wrote 44 weeks 4 days ago

Here is a different way to remove hooks... haha
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK1_ZVnk9Gs

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Richard Cousins wrote 44 weeks 3 days ago

Went to ND walleye fishing on Mo. River. Had great luck and wife got so excited she hooked her arm. would not let me remove hook, so had to go 30 miles to hospital to get it removed. They used this method to remove hook and I got ring side seat to how it was done. They also gave a lot of great information on where to go fishing at. Got back at camping sight past midnight and went to fish cleaning station. When pulling in to cleaning station noticed two vehicles, one a police vehicle and the other a pick-up together Started to clean fish and pick-up pulled in Two Mex's One tried to flank and I put hand behind back to pistol He put hands up and went back to other Mex. Wife was totally lost and not catch duress word. Police vehicle drove by slow and Mex's left. All turned out well. .

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ranx wrote 44 weeks 2 days ago

The only way I'd yank it back out like that is if it were too deeply embedded to push through. A hook is designed to move in one direction and, just as importantly, designed to NOT move in the other direction. Pulling against the barb is last resort I think.

Angie Arndt has the right solution and I've seen illustrated examples of the method. There are actually two ways. Push it through until you can cut the tip and barb off or push it through and cut the shank of the hook off which should permit it to continue sliding through.

If it was so bad I had to yank it out against the barb I might head for a doctor's office first.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nyoutdoorsman30-06 wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

My young cousin hooked me once while trout fishing. In the side of the hand while casting. He was terrified, i wasn't quite sure what happend at first until I looked down and saw the spinner in my hand. It was very painful just grabbing the hook and ripping it out, my cousin (Kyle) looked at me and said "please dont tell my grandma" i laughed it off and we had a fine time fishing the rest of the day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from IsleBwild wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

I've used both methods - for many years as an EMT working in a remote area I used the push it through, cut it off and back it out. One of the hardest was a hook in a persons lip. Lip skin is tough! Several years ago I learned the string method and have used it twice - works great, especially for the victim as they don't feel it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment