Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

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

Step A
slide 1 of 3
    
slide 1 of 3, Step A,

Tie a piece of string, dental floss, or fishing line to the hook where it enters the skin.

Step B

Step B
slide 2 of 3
    
slide 2 of 3, Step B,

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.

Step C

Step C
slide 3 of 3
    
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 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.

Current as of: June 26, 2019

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

News & Events

View All

Travel Warnings and Tips for Pregnant Women

If you decide to vacation, visit old friends, or must travel for work, pregnancy shouldn’t stop you from flying or