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Lures Also Catch People


By: Glenn Reeves

If you are among the ranks of millions of fishermen who prefer artificial lures, the chances are pretty good that sooner or later you may find yourself dangling from the business end of a set of treble hooks. How many times have you overshot your target and hooked a springy willow bush? Two or three healthy jerks on the rod and the lure snaps loose, flying back straight at your face.

Or, how about the age-old technique of landing a bass by grasping its lower jaw and shoving your thumb into a mouthful of treble hooks. Is your fishing partner the type of fellow who prefers a long rod even when you’re sharing a small boat?]|||||

Believe me, the whistle of a lure as it passes the ear is carrying more than just a message.

These are but a few examples of the many ways anglers manage to get themselves hooked. Once it happens, the hook must be removed or the trip is ruined while you search for a doctor; no easy task on many weekends.

One recommended way of removing an embedded hook is to push the point of the hook on through the skin until it is exposed. Then snip off or bend the barb down so that it can be backed out. This works pretty well provided you have the necessary tool for cutting or bending the barb and you’re not too sensitive to pain. Even then, you wind up with two puncture wounds instead of one, compounding the chance of infection.

Another method, which is easier and less painful, requires only a piece of strong fishing line or shoe lace. Run the line around the middle of the hook’s bend forming a loop. Wrap the line around the hand or finger and grasp it between the thumb and index finger. Hold the lure carefully in your hand while applying pressure downward and backward on the eye of the hook, then give a sharp jerk on the line. The hook will back out of the same hole it entered with a minimum of pain and tissue damage. Dab a little antiseptic, apply a band-aid, and you’re back in business.

As a precautionary measure, if the hook involves any part of the eye, see a doctor immediately, and if you haven’t had a tetanus booster recently, get one within 48 hours.

Removing a hook with a piece of string can be accomplished by one person as long as the hook can be reached with both hands. When this is not the case, it pays to have a good fishing partner who can follow directions.

The best advice though is to make sure your lures do what they were designed to do and catch fish — not people. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a predicament much like the fellow who accidentally hooked his wife in the upper lip. The story goes that she was speechless, but only for a moment.