One Big Hook Up!

GETTING pinned with a hook is something most keen fishos have experienced at least a couple of times. We’ve all heard the horror stories of hooks in eyes, being hooked up to a thrashing fish and getting drilled by really big hooks in sensitive parks of the anatomy.

One tale that sticks in my memory involves Kimberley guide Robert “Bluey” Vaughan recounting with typical bloodthirsty glee how he somehow managed to get a treble up his nose. To make things worse, he ripped the damn thing out with a pair of pliers. He reckoned he had to act fast while the adrenalin was pumping through his body otherwise it would have remained there as a permanent piecing.

I’ve been lucky in that my hook experiences have been limited to fairly small hooks which haven’t penetrated too far into my body. That was until yesterday when I managed to insert an 8/0 live bait hook into the fleshy part of my right hand.

I was fishing in Jervis Bay with good mates Wes Murphy, Ian Osterloh and Wesbo’s old man Bruce. We’d filled up the livie tank with squid and were motoring across to a well-known reef system to downrig a few baits for kings. I was at the transom getting my rod ready when we hit a wave, I stumbled and the next thing I knew I was wearing a snooded hook through my palm.

We immediately cut the line and had a go at snipping the hook with a pair of pliers. We couldn’t make a dent in the heavy gauge wire – a pair of bolt cutters was the tool needed for this job.

It didn’t hurt all that much and I wasn’t bleeding too badly so we decided to fish on and deal with the hook back at the ramp. I endured all the usual jokes about piercings and so on from the fellas, all the while cursing my stupidity for getting pinned. I was lucky to suffer what was essentially a fairly minor wound close to home. Getting a really bad hook injury in a remote location didn’t bear thinking about …

The fishing was very quiet so after about five hours of downrigging, popping and bait fishing for very minimal result we pulled the pin and headed back in. Once back at the ramp, Ian borrowed a pair of bolt cutters from some mates and we got down to a bit of surgery. Wes filmed the operation with his Go Pro camera (see below) – it all ended up fine apart from some minor twinges when Bruce pulled the hook out!

The take home message is to be ultra careful when dealing with hooks, especially big hooks that can’t be extracted easily. I was lucky in that my hook injury didn’t involve anything too dramatic and I was close to help if needed. This little episode has given me a wake up call to take more care when out on the water.

It has also provided endless amusement for my fishing mates, as evidenced by the deluge of emails, Facebook messages and texts I have received in the past day or so.

Thanks for your sympathy, fellas!


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