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
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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. http://www.nucleusinc.com

Step B

Step B: Hold hook with fingers and press down
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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. http://www.nucleusinc.com

Step C

Step C: Jerk string to pull barb out
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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.

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised April 22, 2013

Last Revised: April 22, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

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