I am asked all the time by clients about the times I had a fish hook in me. Honestly it happens less than you might expect but is always memorable and makes for a good story. It happens most frequently when someone catches a very small fish on a lure with treble hooks. The fish is small and there is no time wasted getting it to the boat and the small size means no net. So it is hoisted into the air for me to unhook and is very lively. Lots of flopping around means hooks going at all directions and sooner or later one gets into my fingers. Most are easily removed with my pliers but once every few years I can’t get it out and have to resort to the doctor as in my last story.
Hooks in hands are pretty simple to deal with because I can see what to do. Sometimes though hooks wind up in odd spots. Like the time I met a father son pair at the Thomaston Landing with the biggest closed face spinning reels I have ever seen. The size of softballs at least but maybe larger. I offered to provide fishing gear but no they preferred theirs.
All went well for the first couple of hours but the son clearly had the touch and was bringing far more than his share to the boat. Dad was clearly getting frustrated and trying to cast further to make up for his lack of luck. As many do he would bring the rod further and further back attempting to get more leverage on the rod to increase the distance of his cast.
A few come close to my head with a warning from me. Finally, one especially big wind up drives a bucktail jig into my scalp through my hat! I saw stars for a second, and as calmly as I could assessed the situation. Fortunately, there is not much meat under the skin of your scalp and consequently not much for a hook to grab onto. I pulled my pliers out of my pocket and explained to the client how to remove the hook. He resisted, and I had to tell him that he could get it out and we would continue to fish for the rest of the trip or he could not get it out and we were headed to the launch, so I could drive myself to get medical attention. There was no way I could remove a hook I could not see.
Since dad was so far down in the fish count he needed more time to catch up and chose accordingly. I don’t remember anything else about the rest of the trip. Except that my head hurt a lot less than I expected.