Fish Hook Injuries

Accidents happen all the time. At UNI Urgent Care, we know this better than anyone. In the summertime, fish hook injuries are more common as folks venue out on the water to escape the heat or enjoy the day. A father is teaching his son how to cast, and the son has caught his first big “fish”…his father. We have a few tips on handling these fishing mishaps!

On a boat, or in a fishing tackle box, it’s important to have a first aid safety kit with you at all times.

According to the Red Cross, a first aid kit should contain the following “for a family of four”:

2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
5 antiseptic wipe packets
2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
1 blanket (space blanket) [Available on the Red Cross Store]
1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
1 instant cold compress
2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches) [Available on the Red Cross Store]
5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
2 triangular bandages
First aid instruction booklet [Available on the Red Cross Store]

(For more information visit

If you are close to primary care facility like U.N.I Urgent Care, or a hospital bring the patient in for treatment. If you are far from medical care, here are a few tips to help yourself or your loved one.


Do not try to remove a fishhook if any of the following are true:

  • The fishhook is in or near an eye.
  • The fishhook is in a joint, in a bone, or deep in a muscle.
  • You are concerned that removing the fishhook may damage nearby blood vessels or nerves.
  • The person who is injured is not calm and cannot help.
  • You are afraid to remove the fishhook.

If none of the above apply to the situation,

  1. First, cut any fishing line, fish, bait, or lure from the fishhook. This is best done with sharp, side-cutting pliers.
  2. Use sterilized ice or cold water for 2 to 3 minutes to numb the area.
  3. If the barb of the fishhook has not entered the skin, pull the tip of the hook back out.”

fish hook injuries

The best defense is a good offense. Fishing guides recommend wearing a hat, and sunglasses when you are or are around people fishing. Long-sleeved shirts and pants not only protect your skin from the sun but also provide a barrier from the occasional runaway hook.

Teach good fishing practices. Before someone begins casting with a hook, have them ensure that no is behind them before they cast. If you are walking near a fisherman, be sure to alert them to your presence and be aware of where they are casting.

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site!

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.