flyangler

I hooked a 200+ pounder today under Juno Beach Pier...

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.... but not a tarpon, this 200+ pounder had two legs and is an idiot. 

 

9' 10wt TiCrX

Rio Outbound Short 10wt

Ankle deep under the shadow of Juno Beach Pier

Wind at my back from the west 5-7mph

Until a gust blew in from the south, my rod arm side, maybe 10+

 

On forward cast with too much line in the air, the line does not shoot and drops at my feet. WTF? Then I notice the leader is not on the ground but seems to be caught on me. I felt not pain, until I gave the leader a mild yank to see where it had gone. Oh, chit, it is attached to me! I assumed it is my shirt and just resting against my skin, until I try to pull the fly and shirt out so I can see it and it does not pull away. Crap! I stick up left hand under the sleeve and find the hook is not only impaled, but I cannot feel the barb. 

 

77101FDB-86E4-4DCE-995E-A70936C26DAE_1_201_a.jpeg.26f71f027bbcf9f471ab6c8de99a943e.jpeg

 

0F24FEA2-41B7-4373-9EF3-DA4068D77413_1_201_a.jpeg.9f603ec31b00104ba82d6a2fd4f99ac8.jpeg

 

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That is my outside elbow area on my strong side, so self-correction was not happening. That hook was in past the factory barb (yeah, mash those barbs) to my options were return home and have one of my sons push it through or head to the hospital. 

 

I chose to go to Jupiter Medical Center because that was the soft part of the elbow skin and getting that hook pushed through was not going to be easy. Given where we live, the Medical Center is expert at hook removal (not sure if they have a display board of all the "trophies") 

 

At 7:15am I was in and out in under 25 minutes, including 5+ minutes of waiting. I was the only patient in the entire ER and the doctor was a 25 year ER vet. He said he does 2-4 hook removals a week so not to worry. 

 

I asked about the push-through and he said "And ruin your fly?" Turns out he's a fly angler as well and cutting the shank for the push-through was not needed.  

 

First, was the Lidocaine shot to numb it up (something I would not have had at home). Once numbed, he used a small scalpel to make a little nick in the skin in-line with the barb with the intent of just backing/pulling it out. Well, he had the hook in a forceps and it took several shots and a enlargement of the slit before it came out. 

 

Done. No stitch, just a bandage. I did need to get a tetanus shot since I cannot recall my last one which could be 20+ years ago. 

 

I left the hospital and decided to go check another beach. There was no bait visible in Juno and I did not see any of the other 7-8 anglers hook up, including those dunking live bait. So I went up to Jupiter Island just to take a look, leaving rods in the truck. Come out to the beach and the first thing I notice is a flats boat about 100 yards off the beach, moving around with trolling motors. Then I notice the drone above them and then a tarpon comes up for a gulp of air. And then I noted the second boat with a small fly bridge and they too are looking around. I ran back to the truck, grabbed my big spinning rod and went back. 

 

Down at the water, notice many spanish sardines in the water but no sign of snook or jacks chasing them. Just happy bait. By that time the sun was well above the horizon so it would not be surprising if the predators had moved deeper. I cast a 4" paddle tail on a jig head for about 30 minutes without a grab. I saw one other tarpon surface near those boats but did not see anyone get tight. It was late, but I will head there tomorrow for first light since the reef there can hold bait regularly. 

 

As an aside, I have had people from the Northeast ask me why we don't wade on the ocean down here. Two reasons. First, we often have snook and jacks in the suds, the first trough, literally at our feet. Sharp snook anglers will actually stand back 10+ feet on dry sand when they are casting. Second, depending on the beach, they can be pretty steep as shown below which was shot an hour after low tide. This guy below, on vacation from the Boston area (I spoke to him earlier), is in 4+ feet of water and he's less than 10 yards off the sand, at low tide. As you will note, given the slope of the beach, at high tide, he would be up to his neck in the same spot. I walked past him and did not have the heart to tell him the fish would be behind him if they were there.

 

Anyway, given this is the first time I have put a barb under the skin in over five years, I feel pretty good. 

 

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One reason to use barbless hooks.  I've caught myself in the ear casting on a windy day when the wind was at my back.  Couldn't convince the guy I was fishing with to take it out.  We drove to friend's house and he had it out in about two minutes.  I did catch a two hundred pounder a few years ago.  I was on a business trip to Guam, and was fishing part of the beach behind the hotel.  There was a small jetty to my right.  One of my co-workers came down to watch and chat with me.  I wasn't paying attention and he had walked off the jetty and was standing behind me.  I  had made my back cast and was just getting ready to bring it forward when I heard a loud "STOP!!"  I turned around and saw him standing on the beach with my fly hanging from his upper lip.  I waded in and could see a hole in his lip where the point had come out, but the fly was still hanging where it had gone in.   I went to take it out and he said "Don't".  Told him the hook was barbless.  He stood very still and I was able to take it out and he went back into the hotel and saw the doctor they had on the staff who cleaned it up and put a band-aid on it.  We were lucky that day.  Two lessons learned.  If you see someone casting a fly rod, don't stand behind them to talk.  If you're casting the fly rod, make sure there aren't any spectators standing behind you.

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Sorry for accident, self-inflicted wounds are doubly painful...

 

Seriously, you talk about a steep beach and big tides???  You southern boys don't know from tides.  On a good King Tide, we're talking 12' above MLW at high, and -2' below MLW, a 14' tidal differential...

 

Juno: 

  • Today 11 Jul. 1:14 am. 2.38ft. 7:23 am. 0.32ft. 1:40 pm. ...
  • Sun 12 Jul. 1:56 am. 2.27ft. 8:12 am. 0.37ft. 2:30 pm. ...
  • Mon 13 Jul. 2:41 am. 2.2ft. 9:02 am. 0.37ft. 3:23 pm. ...
  • Tue 14 Jul. 3:29 am. 2.17ft. 9:51 am. 0.32ft. 4:19 pm. ...
  • Wed 15 Jul. 4:22 am. 2.13ft. 10:40 am. 0.28ft. ...
  • Thu 16 Jul. 5:17 am. 2.17ft. 11:28 am. 0.14ft. ...
  • Fri 17 Jul. 6:11 am. 2.24ft. 12:15 pm. 0ft.
     

Midcoast Maine:

  • Today 11 Jul. 3:55 am. 9.12ft. 10:13 am. 0.69ft. 4:35 pm. ...
  • Sun 12 Jul. 4:45 am. 8.69ft. 10:58 am. 1.05ft. 5:21 pm. ...
  • Mon 13 Jul. 5:37 am. 8.33ft. 11:43 am. 1.35ft. 6:08 pm. ...
  • Tue 14 Jul. 12:22 am. 1.64ft. 6:31 am. 8.04ft. ...
  • Wed 15 Jul. 1:18 am. 1.54ft. 7:27 am. 7.91ft. ...
  • Thu 16 Jul. 2:13 am. 1.35ft. 8:23 am. 7.91ft. ...
  • Fri 17 Jul. 3:04 am. 1.02ft. 9:15 am. 8.04ft.

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3 hours ago, FlukeM said:

Catch and release

Hahahahaha 

2 hours ago, flylikabird said:

Did we learn a lesson?

 

Great report!

Good luck tomorrow morning.

Yeah, barbs mashed even if they have been catching 35-45” snook off the pier all week. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

1 hour ago, Roccus7 said:

Sorry for accident, self-inflicted wounds are doubly painful...

 

Seriously, you talk about a steep beach and big tides???  You southern boys don't know from tides.  On a good King Tide, we're talking 12' above MLW at high, and -2' below MLW, a 14' tidal differential...

 

Juno: 

  • Today 11 Jul. 1:14 am. 2.38ft. 7:23 am. 0.32ft. 1:40 pm. ...
  • Sun 12 Jul. 1:56 am. 2.27ft. 8:12 am. 0.37ft. 2:30 pm. ...
  • Mon 13 Jul. 2:41 am. 2.2ft. 9:02 am. 0.37ft. 3:23 pm. ...
  • Tue 14 Jul. 3:29 am. 2.17ft. 9:51 am. 0.32ft. 4:19 pm. ...
  • Wed 15 Jul. 4:22 am. 2.13ft. 10:40 am. 0.28ft. ...
  • Thu 16 Jul. 5:17 am. 2.17ft. 11:28 am. 0.14ft. ...
  • Fri 17 Jul. 6:11 am. 2.24ft. 12:15 pm. 0ft.
     

Midcoast Maine:

  • Today 11 Jul. 3:55 am. 9.12ft. 10:13 am. 0.69ft. 4:35 pm. ...
  • Sun 12 Jul. 4:45 am. 8.69ft. 10:58 am. 1.05ft. 5:21 pm. ...
  • Mon 13 Jul. 5:37 am. 8.33ft. 11:43 am. 1.35ft. 6:08 pm. ...
  • Tue 14 Jul. 12:22 am. 1.64ft. 6:31 am. 8.04ft. ...
  • Wed 15 Jul. 1:18 am. 1.54ft. 7:27 am. 7.91ft. ...
  • Thu 16 Jul. 2:13 am. 1.35ft. 8:23 am. 7.91ft. ...
  • Fri 17 Jul. 3:04 am. 1.02ft. 9:15 am. 8.04ft.

I grew up in Westchester County and spent the majority of my time fishing in the Northeast, Lived on Cos Cob Harbor for a decade, with a dock so I understand tides, and heights. I wasn’t trying to suggest a southern tide of several feet is a big deal, only that it gets deep off our beaches rather quickly which is why we don’t wet wade on the ocean, at least not passed our knees. 
 

Oh, that and the number of sharks we have in the shallows chasing bait. :beers:
 

 

 

Edited by tomkaz

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FIshing Sanibel and Bonita beach area I was always amazed to see people wade way the hell out there with a bag of bait hanging from their bathing suits. I guessed they had not seen what a bull shark can do under the wrong circumstances...and yeah they walked right through the trough to go fish shin deep water...

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Yeah I've been fishing for countless years in my lifetime and I don't always do it.

I tend to crush the barbs during the spring and fall when I'm overwhelmed with schools, but Fly Fishing should be added to that list of things to due.

I've pretty much weened myself off of treble hooks except for 'core fishing.

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I did a similar stunt only this huge fly bounced off my sunglasses and embedded in my cheek. It took two Er doctors to cut the thing out. What  a near disaster. I could have lost my freakin eye.

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5 hours ago, grousechaser said:

I did a similar stunt only this huge fly bounced off my sunglasses and embedded in my cheek. It took two Er doctors to cut the thing out. What  a near disaster. I could have lost my freakin eye.

A sound argument for always wearing eye protection, even if clear safety glass or yellow night lenses. 

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5 hours ago, bassmaster said:

Ouch, and this is why I i crush my barbs

I took a hook in may, it was deep thank god it was crushed 

Making it worse is that I just came back from the week in Montana where every barb war mashed or the hooks were barbless. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

As a (retired) family doctor who has worked as an ER doctor at a hospital close to a popular fishing site, and has removed a serious number of hooks from ER patients, private patients, other fishermen I met along the fishing sites, and not least of all....myself.........what your "expert" ER doctor did was SHI**Y, CRA**Y medicine!!

 

Depending on the location of the fly, if you could have reached it with both hands, you could have removed it yourself and been back fishing in less than a minute......and avoided the ER drive/wait/covid risk/and $ charge.  If you couldn't reach it you could have talked a friend or bystander through the removal.

 

The "damage" done by the penetrating hook can't be UNdone or reversed.  But WHY cause MORE tissue damage by either using a "push through and cut off"......or......"cut down beside the hook" technique.  Not only does both of those techniques cause MORE tissue damage but both are seriously painful, requiring a painful numbing shot (with the rare but occasional reactive sensitivity by some people.......read the PDR list of reported reactions).  AND....the "cut down beside" technique leaves a scar and usually requires a stitch to close.....causing more tissue damage/penetration/scarring....and..a 5% risk of infection, and later stitch removal itself.

 

For clarity, I believe in micro-barbed hooks, and occasionally will mash down the barb when required by regulations, but >90% of the time I am fishing with barbed hooks because my experience is they lose fish.  But that is an argument for another thread, another day.

 

The last time I buried a hook in myself I removed it in less than 10 seconds, without even moving my feet from where I was wading in the river, and continued right on fishing.  The last time I removed a hook from a patient, I flicked it out while we were talking about how his fishing HAD been going (he had driven 60 miles off the mountain to get to my office).  He looked down in disbelief at his now hookless hand and said, "Oh my God.  I could have done that!!".  After a pause and more thought......"Are you going to CHARGE  me for that??"

 

It is called the "string and jerk hook removal technique".  It has been written up formally in ER and other medical journals for more than 30 years and is the accepted best removal technique 95% of the time.  There are a few situations when the other techniques are a better option, mostly having to do with HUGE hooks, a very sensitive location, or floppy anatomy.  But those are quite rare, especially for fly fishermen sized hooks.  It does work with treble hooks, even if two points are buried, but I usually cut off the loose points to be sure they don't come into play.

 

I have even demonstrated the technique at fly club demonstrations.....by burying a (sterilized) hook in my own forearm and then either flicking it out myself or enlisting an audience member to provide a hand.

 

And it is essentially painless.

 

Having written this up multiple times on multiple fishing bulletin boards over the years usually someone now chimes in with "but if you mash down the barbs you accomplish the same thing!"   For the record......I agree.  But it is an irrelevant argument, for another time and place.  Whether by choice or by chance, you now have your own or someone else's barbed hook buried....in you .......or someone else.......and are faced with the only alternative choice of the ER drive, expense, wait, and mashing/scarring surgical techniques.

 

I'm not going to write up the technique here (for maybe the seventh time).  That is what the internet does best....with video!  But I will clarify any questions.

 

I would suggest, as any good boy scout can tell you, "Be prepared!"  You live and play with and around flying hooks all the time.  Murphy and his law lurks.  S**t happens.  Learning how to deal with it FOR FREE, PAINLESSLY, ON THE SPOT  in three minutes of reading or watching is a nice option to have for the rest of your fishing career.  Ask me how I know.

Edited by Peter Patricelli

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