Removing a Hook From Yourself and Other Innocent Bystanders

Posted by nick under Tips and Tricks

removing fishing hook form arm

Imagine my surprise when I found my self standing at the edge of the water with a a treble hook spoon sticking out of my arm.

After the novelty wore off, I had to get to the unpleasant business of unhooking myself. I learned something important about removing a hook from human flesh; there’s a hard way and an easy way.

Do yourself a favor and learn how to do this before you need it.

The method you use depends on the hook type and how deep it went.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: If the hook is embedded in or near the eye or on the face– DO NOT attempt to remove the hook. Try to stabilize the hook if you can and seek medical attention immediately! All head injuries should be shown to a doctor. Keep your tetanus shots updated.

Before you begin:

  • Cut the line and lure off the hook.
  • If the embedded hook is a treble hook, cut off all the uninvolved points. A wire cutter or Leatherman tool works great for this, always have one with you when fishing.
  • Wash your hands and clean the wound area before you begin. Rinsing it with some anesthetic/antispectic like Bactineâ„¢ is a good idea.

The Hard Way

  • Push the hook the rest of the way out, until the barb is clear of the skin.
  • Cut off the barb, and back it out the way it came in. Yes, this feels just as fun as it sounds.

cut off hook barb

  • If the hook has multiple barbs, once the barb is out, cut the eye off and pull it out by the barb.

dealing with multi barb hook

The (Super) Easy Way

  • Always use barbless hooks or pinch down the barbs.
  • If your hook is barbless, just back it out the way it came in.

no barb hooks are easiest to remove

The (Somewhat) Easy Way

  • This is the best method to use if the hook is not barbless and the hook is embedded past the barb.
  • Stabilize the hooked part on a flat surface (if the hook is in your arm, place your arm on a rock or in your lap.)
  • Use a non-stretchy string or piece of heavy fishing line and loop it around the hook.
  • Press down on the eye so it’s flat against the skin.
  • Yank the line sharply in the direction opposite of the eye. Make sure you pull PARALLEL to the skin. The hook should pop right out.

best way to remove barbed hook

Disinfect, add a little antibiotic ointment on that baby, slap on a band aid and your’re all done!

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3 Responses to “Removing a Hook From Yourself and Other Innocent Bystanders”

  1. celticdaddio Says:

    I been on a lot of fishing sites in the last few weeks and this is the first time I have seen this information. I would have thought this would be the second most important article on a fishing site… second behind “How not to hook yourself of you buddies”

  2. George Says:

    Great advice.
    I keep a simple first aid kit, Neosporin + pain relief, band aids, and aspirin, in my tackle box.
    Now I’ll print this and include it.

  3. Noah Says:

    Wow i don’t know it until i read it.

    Thank you for put up this inform! Some day, i will need it!

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