What to Do If You Have Been Stuck with a Fish Hook?

two connected fish hooks

Summer is the best time to be out with friends and enjoy the weather. It’s also the perfect season for hobbyists like fisherman to go out and enjoy their sport.

When you’re on the dock or in a boat with your friends, the last thing on your mind is what can go wrong. But if you want to have a great fishing trip, you’ll take time to prepare for certain problems.

Boat safety and protecting yourself from sun poisoning are important, but there’s a more common problem people experience when they’re fishing: getting stuck with a fish hook.

What To Do If Someone Is Stuck With A Fish Hook

Have you ever been stuck with a fish hook? It’s not a great feeling, and removing it can be even worse.

Remember, the hooks are made to ensure that strong, struggling fish stay caught. If you take it out the wrong way, you could cause more damage.

If you’re worried about how deep the hook is or concerned about the seriousness of your injury, don’t hesitate to go to the ER or urgent care.

Even if you’re able to remove the hook successfully, make an appointment to see your doctor. They can give you stitches if needed and can give you a tetanus booster or antibiotics.

If you’re comfortable working the hook out yourself (or have no choice but to try to remove the hook), follow these tips.

Consider Hook Shape

The shape of the hook will determine how the hook removal should go.

Most hooks are a curved J shape with a barbarous end that’s designed to attach onto skin and be difficult to remove.

If you have a hook with an end that’s designed to snag onto the skin, do not pull the hook straight out. That’s guaranteed to rip more skin and tissue.

Push It Out

If a portion barb has gone clear through the skin and is sticking out the other end, your best bet may be to attempt to push the rest of the hook through the wound.

The smooth shank can be worked through a wound and will glide much smoother through skin that the barb.

Remove the eye of the hook to ensure that the hook can exit your body smoothly. Push the shank of the hook through your wound by following the path of the hook.

Once you’re able to move most of the shank through, grab the barbed end of the hook and pull until it’s out.

Use String

If you have trouble pushing the hook out on your own, you can use string to help remove the hook.

Loop a piece of fishing line around the belly of the hook. Then, gently press the shank of the hook against the skin.

Wrap the other end of the string around the index finger of your other hand, and use your thumb to hold the loose end of the string tight.

Once you’ve done that, you can move your index finger close to the hook to make a little slack in the line. Pull on the string (be sure to stay in line with the hook) to help force the hook out.

Care For Your Wound

Once the hook is out, it’s important to properly care for the wound.

Be sure to thoroughly wash the wound and apply antibiotic ointment. Once it’s clean, bandage it to keep the wound free from debris and bacteria.

When you’re able to get back to land, make an appointment to see your doctor. You’ll want them to make sure that more serious damage hasn’t occurred.

Next Steps

Do you have more questions about what to do if you’re stuck with a fish hook? Do you have other questions about health and safety?

We’re here to help you. Be sure to contact us with any questions you may have.

Certified Urgent Care logo