First aid for the fishing trip

Posted: Monday, July 24, 2006

Always wear protective sunglasses when you are casting or when you are around people that are casting. The harsh ultra-violet rays and glare from the water, coupled with the danger of being struck by stray hooks is constant hazards that can be avoided with proper eyewear. Steel mesh filleting gloves are also a great piece of safety equipment. In addition to the obvious protection from knife cuts while preparing bait and cleaning fish, they make it easier to grip slippery fish.

Even the most careful angler can have an accident. When things go wrong, here are a few tips to help you deal with minor injuries.

First and foremost, have a first-aid kit accessible at all times. Simple first-aid kits are inexpensive and easy to make or modify. In addition to the standard kit, a pair of needle-nose pliers with a wire-cutter is a must for removing hooks. Another item that is often missing from first-aid kits is a pressure bandage to control severe bleeding. Aside from purpose-made pressure bandages, feminine hygiene pads can also be substituted.

Most fisherman are familiar with the procedure of pushing a partially imbedded hook the rest of the way through the flesh and then cutting off the point and barb to remove the hook. This should only be done in extreme emergencies where properly trained medical help is unavailable.

Another method of removing hooks from flesh that has become popular with fly fisherman that generally use smaller hooks. This method can also be used with larger hooks when the point and barb are not deeply imbedded.

Unlike the pliers method, this method requires two people. Fortunately, one of the people can be the person imbedded by the hook.

First get about 18" to 24" of stout line. A thin shoelace is perfect.

Wrap the lace around the bend of the hook.

Have the hooked person hold the eye of the hook close to the skin with their finger.

While holding the eye tight to the skin give the line wrapped around the bend a sharp pull in the way you would pull off a Band-Aid.

Finally clean the wound with antiseptic and cover with a clean, dry bandage. Have a medical professional check the injury as soon as possible and get a tetanus shot if necessary.

Safe fishing and good luck.



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