Pecos River Hooker

Pecos River Kayak Trip 3.6

You may remember that Dan got a fishing hook embedded into his leg while on a 4-day paddle up a lonely stretch of the Pecos River back in May. Ryan was one of the paddlers on the trip, and he videotaped the hook removal.

Long story short, Dan managed to impale himself with a hook while out in the middle of nowhere. The austere location meant no emergency room, which forced us to deal with it ourselves. Although I’ve not had the pleasure of suffering a deeply embedded hook–at least not yet–I have always been fascinated by the various hook removal techniques I’ve seen practiced out there.

Many anglers think the best method to remove an embedded hook is to cut off the hook’s eye and push the point through new flesh to get it out, but I think this does more damage than good. One technique gaining in popularity is what I call the hook-n-jerk, which uses a stout line and precise hook positioning to jerk it out quickly, if not cleanly. The technique may look harsh, but it seemed to work well in a couple of videos I’d seen, including one by Chad Hoover (extra man-points to Chad for actually inserting the hook into his leg to demonstrate the technique).

Dan swears I had a smile on my face from the second he hooked himself. Not sure about that, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t glad to finally get to try the technique. I’d never actually performed it, though, and, I think I was a little nervous, after all, he is my son. Still, it had to be done. This is what I wrote in the original post:

After convincing Dan to let me try it on him, we took some stout mono-filament that Shane used for making leaders and looped it twice around the embedded hook shank and pushed the loop down carefully as close as we could get it to where the hook entered Dan’s leg. We then positioned the exposed section of hook shank at just the right angle so as to minimize the barb’s contact with flesh. I wrapped the tag ends of the line around my hand a couple of times and looked at Dan. I counted to three and then quickly, but firmly, jerked on the line. We all heard a distinct pop as the hook shot out of Dan’s leg. When I looked down at the line in my hand, the hook was still there, wrapped in the loops.

This is the video of that hook removal. I think Ryan got  little anxious about it and couldn’t quite keep the camera still, but you’ll get the idea.

To read the entire story of that lower Pecos trip, click here: Boomerang on the Pecos

Lone Star Chronicles: Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Fish

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  4 comments for “Pecos River Hooker

  1. Scott
    November 5, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Ewwww. I still cringe when I see that pic. But good technique to know. Fortunate to not have that happen yet, although I pierced my ear on a windy fly fishing trip years ago.lol. We’re heading up the Pecos this weekend for a 3 day kayak trip to Deadman’s Canyon. You can bet those hooks will be where they belong….in the mouth of a fish. lol Take care Bert and congrats on top 5!

    Scott

    • Bert Rodriguez
      November 6, 2013 at 6:44 PM

      Thanks, Scott. This is definitely a good technique to know.

  2. Dale A Simoneaux
    November 6, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    That’s taking one for the team!!! Way TG Guys, just like pulling a tooth. Quick and smooth.

  3. Bert Rodriguez
    November 6, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Yup, Dale, exactly. Pushing the hook through has to be more painful.

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