In part one of this series, Steve Day and I had come across a huge school of hungry redfish on the island of Free Mason.
The action was so fast and furious that instead of unhooking a fish when we got it in the boat, we would pick up another rigged rod and reel and throw back into these redfish which were hitting on every cast as soon as the bait hit the water.
That was the good luck. We were employing this method to make sure we didn't drift off the school of fish and this technique was working great. Well, it was working great for a little while.
The bad luck started when I had used up every rod and had a bunch of redfish flopping on the deck of the boat. I had to unhook at least one of these fish to get back in the action.
I went for the quickest target. That target was a redfish on a single hook that was barely dangling from its lip. As I reached down to pull the hook free the fish next to it started flopping and impaled my finger with a treble hook.
As soon as I felt it I tried to jerk my hand away, but this only caused the hook to set deeper in my finger. This hook was past the barb and almost to the curve in the hook. It was painful.
What made it even worse is the fish kept shaking and flopping. With each movement of this fish my pain grew exponentially as the hook went deeper in my finger.
The lure I was using was a hard plastic crank bait with two sets of treble hooks on it.
Two of the front hooks were securely embedded in the mouth of the fish. Two of the back treble were more than securely embedded in the tip of my finger with one of them lodged underneath my fingernail.
While I was screaming like a baby trying to get this fish to stop flopping, Steve promptly hooked up with another big red from this school.
Seeing what happened, Steve quickly broke his fish off, or so he says, and quickly came to try and help me.
There are several ways to try and dislodge an embedded hook from human flesh. One way is to push the barb all the way through until it's comes out the other side of the finger. Then you cut the barb off and pull it back through.
Since one of these hooks was lodged under my fingernail, this method would not work. Another method is to tie line around the bend in the hook and while pulling down forcefully pull the hook out the same way it went in. Since I had two hooks in my finger, this method was not going to work either. We only had one option left. Get a pair of needle nose pliers and yank.
Steve's first order of business was to get the fish off. It took him a while since I was still attached to it, but eventually he got the fish free. Now it was my turn. "Okay we'll go on three"
Steve said. One, two YANK!!!! I let out a yell that could be heard in Gulfport. Then I said in the midst of my groaning, "What the heck happened to three".
It was at that moment I realized the hooks were out and although hurting, the pain was now far less than when that hook was still in me. I held up that fish and almost kept this big red just for spite.
But, as the pain diminished I came more to my senses and released this bull red.
With a bandaged hand it took Steve and I a little while to find that school again, but find them we did. Except this time I decided to go with just one rod at a time and when a fish was on the deck I really took my time and used a pair of long needle nose pliers.
I had learned a lesson on this trip, but would I remember it on future trips. My next trip was with Frank on board Vixen. What could possibly go wrong there? Just wait and see. Barry Foster is the Host and Producer of the Television show Gulf South Outdoors. Gulf South Outdoors airs locally on WXXV Fox 25 at 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays and at 10 a.m. on Sundays. For a complete list of air times for Gulf South Outdoors go to www.gulfsouthoutdoors.com