What To Do When a Fishing Hook is Lodged in Your Skin!

While fishing anglers will sometime be met with some great adversity. Whether it’s engine, troubles, broken or nonfunctioning equipment, or just weather. Another problem anglers may have that they don’t think about much is a hook that is impaled into human skin. It’s one of those things you don’t think about until it’s staring you in the face. Instead of panicking and looking at your partner saying “now what”, you can be prepared to take matters into your own hands. Most times it happens when you are miles away from shore and even further away from the nearest hospital. A hook impaled in the skin is a sure way to ruin what could be a great fishing day. These methods will help you remove the hook and get back to fishing. So what do you do when adversity strikes or shall I say hook strikes.

There are plenty of options in getting the hook dislodged from your or someone’s skin. Often driving to a hospital is just way too far and costly to do. Here are a couple ways you can remove a hook from skin depending on if you are alone or with a partner and get back to fishing.

Tools you will need are:

  • Leatherman/Pliers
  • Fishing Line
  • Antibacterial
  • Band-Aid


The first option is to push the barb through the skin and either cut the barb off or crush the barb down with a Leatherman or pair of pliers if you have them. After that you will be able to back the hook out of the skin. This method can be fairly painful.cutoffbarb-1

The second option is less painful but may require a partner depending upon where on the body the hook is. With the barb still under the skin you must take a piece of fishing line and wrap it under the curve of the hook. The other step is to depress the eye of the hook down in order to free the barb. Pictures below will accurately display this. While depressing the eye, pull on the fishing line to pull the hook out the same angle it went in. Pull extremely hard as this is not the time to baby it.hookremoval1-1

For treble hooks, cut off all trebles that are not engaged in the skin. Cutting them off eliminates the chances of hooking another hook into the skin while pulling out another. As for rapala’s and crank baits remove the hook from lure prior to removal.

It is important to disinfect after pulling a hook and take precautionary measures to avoid infection. Putting antibacterial over the wound while accompanied by a Band-Aid is best. Remember hooks to dangerous areas such as near arteries or near the eyes should be taken care of by licensed medical personnel.

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