Fisherman and surfer recalls gnarly fishhook injury

fishhook injury
Not exactly the way you’d like to start your fishing trip. Photo: Brent Bielmann

Brent Bielmann is one of Surfing magazine’s top photographers as well as an accomplished waterman, fishing and diving any time he’s not shooting photos. In between posting insane surf images and the occasional fish photo, Brent posted a video of a large fishhook deeply embedded in his foot, followed by a video of the removal of said fishhook—it’s hard to watch, but so badass that we just had to ask Bielmann what the hell happened.

How did this happen in the first place?
I was getting ready to take my boat out for a quick fishing trip and had a bunch of new gear that I was organizing at my house before the trip. I was getting all OCD on my tackle box making sure everything was perfect, but what I didn’t know was that I had dropped a large hook with a steel leader line attached to it in this shag carpet I have in my house. I was walking across the carpet and felt the hook touch my foot so I kind of jumped up, but when I did that, my other foot stepped on the leader line, so basically I set the hook super deep in to my foot just like you would if you were catching a fish. I sat down and looked at it just like, “How the hell did that just happen?”

fishhook injury
Taking a quick foot-selfie on the way to the hospital. Photo: Brent Bielmann

Ouch, dude. Then what?
I drove to the hospital, and hopped in to the front desk of the ER. I told the lady that I had a fishhook in my foot and she looked at me like, “OK? So what?” Then I showed it to her and she realized it was a lot worse than it sounded and took me straight in to the doctor.

Was the doctor tripping out when he saw it?
Well, I’m sure they see stuff like this a lot, but he was pretty concerned. He took x-rays and saw that it was really deep and had tangled up with some bones in my toes. After talking it over, he decided the best option would be to push it through rather than pull it out, so that’s when the battle began.

What battle?
Well, they only had these small metal snips and those wouldn’t cut through the hook, so they had to bring in these giant bolt cutters. They cut off the eye of the hook and pulled it through.

Brent Bielmann
This is the fishing shots we’re used to seeing of Brent Bielmann. Photo: @brentbielmann

How bad did it hurt?
It was really painful, like, a gnarly electric shock going up through my leg. They put some anesthesia in my foot, but it actually made it hurt worse; apparently there are a lot of nerves in the foot [laughs]. I finally said just go for it. It actually took the doctor a couple tries, and by then there was a little bit of a crowd in the room that came to watch.

Surfing magazine
When he’s not fishing or having fishhooks removed from his body, he’s shooting magazine covers, like this one of last month’s Surfing magazine.

How’s the healing going?
It’s still sore deep inside my foot, but luckily there are only two small holes so it’s not that bad; could’ve been worse I guess.

So what did you learn through this unfortunate incident?
Shag rugs and tackle do not mix.

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