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How to Remove a Fishhook From Your Hand Without Making it Worse

Fish hooks are great for catching fish. They’re also really good at getting stuck in your hand if you aren’t careful.

It’s happened to almost every fisherman at some point. Those fishhooks are sharp, and when they get stuck in your skin, you’re going to feel it.

If you get hooked in sensitive areas like your eyes or face, seek medical attention immediately.

If you or someone else gets hooked in the hand, arm or leg, cut the line to keep the hook from getting further embedded. If only the point of the hook enters the skin and the barb has not taken hold, you can safely remove the hook by backing it out. If the barb becomes embedded, it’s best to let a physician remove it.

If medical help is not available, try this method:

  1. Tie a length of strong string to the bend of the hook.
  2. Press down on the shank of the hook to free the barb.
  3. Maintain pressure on the shank, and jerk firmly on the string in the direction the hook entered.

If the barb is visible above the skin, cut it off with wire cutters or pliers, and back the shank of the hook out through the entry wound.

After removing the hook, wash the area with soap and water and cover it with a dry adhesive or gauze bandage.

A fish hook injury becomes more serious if your tetanus immunization is not current.

Hook Removal

10 Comments on How to Remove a Fishhook From Your Hand Without Making it Worse

  1. This information could come in real handy for people who fish a lot, and I’m going to keep it in mind.

  2. I have a bag full of first aid

  3. Icecream1969 // May 3, 2016 at 9:19 pm // Reply

    This is helpful next time I see someone get a hook stuck I will hep:)

  4. Sirscoutsalot // May 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm // Reply

    Huh. In the current edition of the BS handbook, it shows a different way to remove one. It shows how to disengage the barb the yank it out.

  5. wow! this could help my family alot. im a cub scout myself.

  6. This will be very usefull

  7. Appliancedude // April 17, 2016 at 11:21 am // Reply

    Was the old Boy Scout book assuming a barbless hook? If your using barbless hooks you can just pull it out. If it’s barbed then this is the correct way to remove it.

  8. Troop 254 🏆 // April 16, 2016 at 11:22 pm // Reply

    This is a good tip

  9. This is the correct way to do it and paramedics/doctors will say the same thing. So how come the last two editions of the Boy Scout handbook say to pull it straight out with out pushing it through first?

    It used to be correct in the editions before that.

  10. Juneau Troop 700 // April 13, 2016 at 7:33 pm // Reply

    Interesting that this is not the same method taught in the Boy Scout Handbook. In the 13th edition on page 134 it shows how to do it without pushing the point through any undamaged tissue.

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