August 06, 2008
Death by Sinker
By John Merwin & Joe Cermele
Yikes! The editors of Field & Stream have turned over my rock, exposing me to the bright glare of the Internet. So now I’m writing a three-times-a-week fishing blog in addition to the print edition’s fishing department. The whole blog thing seems a bit new and weird at the moment. You can help it be a little less strange by posting lots of comments, questions, or even the diatribe of your choice. Just please keep things relevant and generally courteous.
Speaking of weird, nothing I’ve heard lately tops the case of a Long Island, New York, angler who managed to kill himself a few days ago with his own sinker. According to this article in Newsday, Jaime Chicas, 21, somehow hit himself right above the nose with a 3-ounce sinker while fishing off an area jetty. The weight penetrated the front of his skull and blasted through his brain before stopping.
The article doesn’t say precisely how this happened, but my guess is that his sinker became lodged on a nearby rock. While thrashing with his rod and pulling hard on the line, apparently the sinker came suddenly loose and was propelled by rod and line with huge velocity right at his face.
I’ve never before heard of this particular sort of freakish death, but the basic scenario is pretty common. You’re casting a spinnerbait, say, that gets caught in the shoreline brush. Yanking your rod and tugging the line suddenly frees the lure, which comes flying back at you. Right here I’ll ‘fess up and say that while I haven’t actually been hit this way, I have put some serious dings in the sides of my boat. Next time I think I won’t be so lazy. I’ll move the boat to the snagged lure and free it properly and gently by hand.
How about you--any close calls with fast-flying tackle?