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String-Pull Method for Removing a Fishhook

If the fishhook is not deeply embedded, the string-pull method for removing a fishhook may be used. If removal of the fishhook is too painful, seek medical care. If the fishhook has more than one barb, cut all the barbs off or tape the other barbs so you do not get hurt again.

Step A

String-pull method for removing a fishhook, step A: Tie a piece of string to the hook

Tie a piece of string, dental floss, or fishing line to the hook where it enters the skin.

Illustration copyright 2000 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

Step B

Step B: Hold hook with fingers and press down

Hold the hook with your fingers slightly above where you tied the string. Press down gently about 0.13 in. (0.3 cm) to loosen the barb.

Illustration copyright 2000 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

Step C

Step C: Jerk string to pull barb out

While still pressing the hook down (barb loosened), jerk the string so that the hook shaft pulls the barb out of the skin. When the fishhook comes out of the skin, it may fly or flip out. Take care not to hurt yourself or a bystander with the loose fishhook.

Be sure to clean the wound to prevent infection.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last RevisedApril 22, 2013

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