Deep Set Hook Removal

Why Do We Need a Fish Hook Removal Tool

Northern pike mouth hooked
Northern pike mouth hooked

We need to use a fish hook removal tool because the hook can be difficult to remove from a fish's mouth.

This is especially true when you are trying to pull it out of a fish that has swallowed the hook deep!

The usual way to attempt this removal would be with your fingers, but sharp hooks on some rigs and crankbaits can easily get caught on fingernails or cut skin and cause more damage, as well as getting bit if the fish you have caught has teeth.

Difficulty removing a hard-to-reach hook causes distress to the fish and yourself.

A better way to remove the hook effortlessly would be with a designed tool for this purpose.


Class-based Plugins are a bit more Complicated

A plugin that uses classes looks something like this…

Notice that add_action doesn’t just have a simple string of the function callback, but instead it has an array with $this and then that function callback string.  This allow plugin developers to use simple function names without the worry of conflicting with other plugins because they are limited to the scope of that class.

So, how do you remove that?

Fishing Line Method

In this method, Kevin shows us how to remove a fish hook with fishing line. This is one of the newer hook removal methods to become popular recently. As you will see in the video, it doesn’t always work the best.

First, you need to make a loop of line out of some

First, you need to make a loop of line out of some heavy braid or heavy monofilament. Guide the loop over the eye of the hook, towards the apex of the bend. Second, have a helper push downward on the eye, pinning it against the skin. Third, and most important, is to pull suddenly and swiftly, upward and away from the eye of the hook – NOT in line with the hook eye, as that only engages the barb.

If you are by yourself, you can adapt this method by using a long loop of line and wrapping it around a sturdy object like a tree or cleat on a boat.

Properly executed, using line to remove a fishing hook can be the quickest and least painful method of removing a fish hook from skin. It even works on dogs.

If None of Those Methods Work, Use These Functions

Sometimes, it just won’t work.  But, here’s a couple nice helper functions that work great.

Credit to tripflex.

With these functions available in your code, you can use them like this…

What to do if You Cant Get a Hook Out of a Fish

If the fish really swallows the hook bad go ahead and cut that line, release the fish, and don't try to rip it out of its mouth.

Lots of studies have shown trying to take it out can increase bleeding, and the fish's mortality rate a lot of time approach approaches ninety to a hundred percent.

It's a lot better just to cut the line and release the fish with the hook still in.

There are a couple of things you can do to help avoid this situation in the future. hooking a

One of those mechanisms is using circle hooks over J hooks.

Another way to prevent the fish from swallowing the hook too deep is by making sure you're ready to set the hook as soon as the fish takes the bait.

The longer it takes you to set the hook, the more time the fish has to swallow the hook instead of just getting hooked on the side of the mouth.

Another option to make removing the hook easier is to use barbless hooks.

Different Techniques of Removing the Fishing Hook

The  American Family Physicians, in their article, ‘Fishhook Removal’ have described four unique methods to remove a fish hook using hook remover. Two professors of Michigan State University College jointly wrote the report.

These two professors are Matthew Gammons and Edward Jackson. According to them, the most reliable and convenient ways of removing a fish hook with a fishhook removal are the following methods.

Retrograde Technique

It is the most straightforward fish hook removing procedure from your hand. But it has the lowest success rate also. It works excellently for two types of hooks. These are

  • Barbless hooks
  • Superficially embedded fishing hook.

The retrograde method uses downward pressure to disengage the hook for easy removal.

String Yank Technique

Due to the low success rate of the retrograde technique, the String Yank method was developed. It is a smart modification of its predecessor, retrograde technology. Sometimes, people refer to it as a ‘stream technique’.

What’s best about the String Yank process is that it is accessible in the field. I mean to say that you can use it while you are on your angling session. It doesn’t require any anesthesia and causes less traumatic pain.

As it creates less wound, the patient gets cured soon — what an incredible advantage.

Needle Cover Technique

Needle cover method is useful in two times.

  • Firstly, when the hook is a large one with single barbs.
  • Secondly, if the fish hook is embedded superficially in the finger, in this case, the needle cover method is the most effective.

During the process, a needle is inserted parallelly with the fish hook. It requires local anesthesia and so, might need some time for the completion process.

Advance and Cut Technique

Although named advanced technique, it is one of the oldest and conventional fishing hook removal techniques from your finger. The biggest positive of this technique is that it turns out to be successful almost every time.

Even if your finger gets wounded with a larger fishing hook, the advance and cut technique will remove the hook successfully. That seems quite capable to get rid of the pain. However, it causes slight damage to your surrounding tissues which is significant negativity of the process.

Note: All these four techniques are meant to remove fish hooks from the human finger, not from the hooked fish. Once you learn the method of how to use fish hook remover, you won’t require these four methods. That’s the beauty of a fish hook remover.

Mistake 2: Removing the hook too early

Too early – it hasn’t been registered as a callback yetJust like with attempting to remove it too late, too early is also problematic. Why? You are removing a callback that hasn’t been registered yet. It’s not in the event registry, i.e. the global variable $wp_filter.

Think about how the event (hook) system works in WordPress:

  1. You pre-register a callback using add_{action or filter}.
  2. The callback is then added to the registry for the specified event name.
  3. Then when the event fires, each callback runs in order, one-by-one.
  4. When all have run, control returns back and the event is done.

Look at step one. If you attempt to remove the callback before its add_action or add_filter runs, it’s not in the registry yet. Running remove_action or remove_filter won’t do anything. Why? It’s not in there yet.

Let’s do a visualization exercise. Let’s say you are a WordCamp volunteer. The team lead asks you to unregister Sally, as she has a conflict and won’t be able to attend the event. You go into the registry where everyone signed up and bought a ticket. But Sally has registered yet. She’s not in the registry for this WordCamp. You can’t remove her because she’s not in there…yet. Now picture the scenario where a few hours later, Sally registers and buys her ticket. You don’t know this. When you checked, she wasn’t in there. She registered later, meaning after you went in to remove her.

Keep this thought process in your mind. Let’s relate it back to WordPress. If you try to remove a callback that doesn’t yet exist in the registry, what happens? Once the code that registers it runs, bam, that callback is registered. You tried to remove it too early. Whoopsie.

How do I determine when to remove the callback hook?

The approach is very similar to finding when the event fires, except that you are making it “add”-centric. Huh, you are looking for when the registration occurs. Here is a strategy for you:

  1. Identify where the callback is in the codebase.
  2. Identify the code that runs it.
  3. Find out when that code runs in the web page request cycle.
  4. Have your remove occur after that code.

1) Identify where the callback is in the codebase

You already should know what you want to remove. Now it’s a matter of finding that line of code in the codebase. Start with what you know. You know the event name and callback. Do a global search and find that line of code.

Continuing with the same example above, you want to remove the post byline in the Genesis framework. Looking in the framework’s codebase, the line of code that adds the callback and registers it is in genesis/lib/structure/post.php

add_action( 'genesis_entry_header', 'genesis_post_info', 12 );

2) Identify the code that runs it

The next step is to identify what code is responsible for running the add. Start at the line of code where the add_{action or filter} is (i.e. from the previous step). Look at the code. Is it wrapped within a function, method, or closure? If no, it’s at the root of the file. If yes, then scroll up and find the function that contains it.

3) Find out when that code runs in the web page request cycle

Next, you need to discover when the code runs. Why? Because you need to find a starting point in the cycle to ensure your remove line of code occurs after this point.

If it’s in a function, then you need to backtrace to see when that function runs. You are searching for when in the web page request cycle this line of code runs. Use the same strategy I gave you above and backtrace to find when it occurs. Remember to think big picture here.

For our example, the add line of code occurs in the root of the file. Therefore, when the Genesis framework loads, this file loads.

What does that tell you? Think about it. It tells you that the callback is registered to that event name when the framework loads. That’s very, very early in the cycle.

4)Have your remove occur after that code

Now you know when the add occurs in the web page request cycle. Knowing the “when” allows you to select the right timing for doing your remove code.

For example, let’s say that the callback gets registered after the main content area starts being built. You can then select an event that happens after that point to run your code.

In our case, the code runs when the Genesis framework loads. Therefore, in your child theme, you can do the remove after the framework loads up. How you do this depends upon if you are running your child theme first before loading the framework.

What do I mean by that? Most Genesis child themes use the strategy of loading the framework first and then loading up all of the child theme features, files, and functionality. The first lines of code in the functions.php file are:

Therefore, within the child theme, it’s safe to just do the remove after this line of code:

remove_action( 'genesis_entry_header', 'genesis_post_info', 12 );

However, let’s say you build your child themes like I do. The child theme loads first and then the parent loads. In this case, you’ll need to select a time to do the remove. A popular approach is to do it with genesis_meta. But you have plenty of options such as loop_start.

The main point here is: pick a time in the overall sequence that occurs after the callback is added (registered).

MSD and the MSD Manuals

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA (known as MSD outside of the US and Canada) is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, we are committed to improving health and well-being around the world.  The Manual was first published in 1899 as a service to the community. The legacy of this great resource continues as the MSD Manual outside of the United States and Canada. Learn more about our commitment to Global Medical Knowledge.


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