Local News

'Wall of ouch': Urgent care collects hooks caught in fishermen

Posted May 16

— Every fisherman has a story about catching “the big one.”

But along with the big catch comes big pain for anglers who accidentally catch themselves or get hooked by other fishing lines.

“Hooked myself quite a few times,” said Ben Cain, a fisherman at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

Dr. John Sanchez, with Outer Banks Urgent Care, said getting hooked is an easy thing to do. The clinic is home to about 100 hooks that are on display for patients to ponder the pain of every prong while they wait. It’s known as the “wall of ouch.”

“Bam! Right into his finger and there was nothing else he could do,” Sanchez said, recalling one fish tale. “He spent the entire day fishing because the captain wasn’t going to turn the ship around because of a fishhook in the finger.”

Every hook has a history, and Cain’s tiny treble hook caused a lot of trauma.

“He actually passed out when we put the numbing medicine in his finger and was out for the count,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said that the wall is home to a hook that came stuck in a fisherman’s back. Friends covered the injury with gauze, but they kept on fishing the rest of the day.

Fisherman Toby Chirico said he once put a hook all the way through his hand.

“I’ve seen guys get hooked in the arms and the neck,” he said.

Sanchez said during the summer his office will see at least one person a day. He recommends that anyone who gets hooked follow up with a doctor and make sure their tetanus vaccination is up to date.

Fisherman Eddie Horn has hooked himself but never his wife and fishing partner, Jackie.

“Well,” she said, “The only thing he’s hooked is my heart. But not with a fish hook.”

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