How to Remove a Barbed Hook (Graphic Content)

You’re wading in the river of the Blackfoot River in Missoula, when all of a sudden the wind gusts, and you find yourself with a sudden painful tug at the skin on your arm as you go forward to cast. You’ve snagged yourself with your fly. In this video, Game Angling Consultancy goes over how to remove a barbed hook from your skin if this happens to you. Oftentimes when you’re getting started out fishing, or maybe if the wind is just strong that day, there is the opportunity to accidentally snag yourself or another angler with a hook. It is important to note that anglers should always wear a long sleeve shirt, glasses, and a hat, when at all possible. This will help prevent hooks from getting stuck in your skin. But if it was to happen then this video, along with a few instructions, should help you to know what to do. This video was created by Game Angling Consultancy and Tony does an outstanding job demonstrating one technique for how to remove the hook from your skin.

Here are the steps to remove a barbed hook:

  1. Loop a piece of monofilament around the hook in your skin so that it is up between the bend of the hook and the shank of the hook.
  2. Push down on the eye of the hook towards your skin.
  3. Finally, pull the monofilament looped around the hook down and close to the skin without pulling up at all.

I would like to mention a few side notes about removing barbed hooks from your skin here. If the hook is deep enough or large enough, it may not come out. In this situation, seek immediate medical attention. If the hook is rusty or there is a potential for tetanus, seek immediate medical attention. If the hook is near the eye then do no remove the hook, but instead, cover both eyes and seek immediate medical attention. Finally, remember that the best way to avoid being hooked by a barbed hook is to marsh your barb. So whenever possible, either mash your barb or use a barbless hook.

This film was created by Game Angling Consultancy. Be sure to check out more of their videos on the Game Angling Consultancy YouTube page.

These instructional videos are curated and written by team member Sam McLean (@sam_d_mclean).

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