By JJ Waters

Fish hooks in thumbs.

It happens, but that’s small consolation.

My son posted a picture on Facebook the other day that got a lot of attention and a multitude of comments. “Man, hate when that happens!” and “OUCH”; “How the heck did you do THAT?” and “da-yum, son!” and my favorite: “at least it wasn’t your buttocks!”

My son, Jeffrey, has been fishing since he was about 4 years old. (He’s 28 now) He caught his first BIG fish at 5, a wahoo bigger than himself, aboard my friend DQ’s boat, and he’s been hooked ever since.

And when I say “hooked”, I do really mean it.

As fishermen, we face many perils: extreme weather, “boat bites”, punctures, cuts, falling overboard. And one of the most feared mishaps: getting hooked. I must confess that I’ve suffered all of the above at least once, some, many times. If You Fish, It’s Bound to Happen

I got hooked in the ear once by my brother.  I got him back on a later trip!  And I’ve been hooked countless times in my fingers, all on my own.  But, I’ve never been hooked as many times or as fascinatingly as my son Jeffrey.

When he was 12 he took the kayak out in the Gulf and got tumbled in the surf. Somehow in the spill, he managed to “sit” right down on a treble hook on an 8” stretch that penetrated both his brand new board shorts (for which I’d paid 50 bucks, just the day before) AND his buttock. It embedded so deeply into his butt cheek that it took two men at the local ER to push the barb through.   A few years later, he hooked his finger. Right. Next. To. The. Nailbed. Ow.  It was fine until about 6 weeks later, when he had to have surgery to debride a nasty infection.  He almost lost his finger.

Along the way, there’ve been many hook incidents. But I’m going to tell you, this last one does make one wonder, “how the heck did you do THAT?”

Little lizardfish's revenge.

Little lizardfish’s revenge.

So, the story goes:

He was out trout and redfishing on the sound with a Mirrolure when he caught a little lizard fish. As he was attempting to release the little bugger, the lizard fish released itself. His rod was positioned under his arm and there was just enough tension on the release to pop the lure and embed the treble hooks into his poised hands.  One in his right thumb and one in his left forefinger.  Somebody described it as “the most (bleep)ed up Chinese finger trap I’ve ever seen”. And it was.

Fortunately for him he wasn’t alone or far from home.  I can only imagine how much more interesting the story would have been had he been solo fishing that day. It turned out that his buddy, Chris, pushed the barbs through, and off they went back fishing.

As far as “getting hooked” stories go, this one will surely be memorable.  And I know what you’re thinking: “I’ve got a story, too!” I’m guessing just about everybody reading this will have one. Or two. And, if you do, send it to us. If it’s really good, we might publish it. Oh, it’s gotta have pics to prove it.

After all, if you fish, it’s bound to happen!

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