String-pull method for removing a fish hook

If the fish hook is not deeply embedded, the string-pull method for removing a fish hook may be used. If removal of the fish hook is too painful, seek medical care. If the fish hook 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 fish hook, step A: Tie a piece of string to the hook
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slide 1 of 3, Step A,

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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slide 2 of 3, Step B,

Hold the hook with your fingers slightly above where you tied the string. Press down gently about 0.3 cm (0.13 in.) 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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slide 3 of 3, Step C,

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 fish hook comes out of the skin, it may fly or flip out. Take care not to hurt yourself or a bystander with the loose fish hook.

Be sure to clean the wound to prevent infection.

Current as ofSeptember 23, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine

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