How to Remove a Swallowed Hook

How to Remove a Swallowed Hook

If you are utilizing plastic baits for reeling in bass, you have likely run into the problem where the fish has actually swallowed the hook before it has set.

If you have throat-hook a bass, it may be your natural reaction to simply rip it out of the fish to get it back.

There is a much better and more efficient way to remove the hook however that will help keep both the fish and the hook more intact that an aggressive pull will do.

What You'll Need


-A flashlight (if you have caught the fish at dusk or night)

Locating the Hook

The first step is to open the fishes' jaw and see where exactly the hook has become lodged.

If the hook is slightly into the throat or gullet area where you can still grip it easily, you can simply give it a slight pull and it should become dislodged from the fish.

If you see that the hook is stuck deeper or farther down the throat of the fish, you will need to break out the pliers to properly remove this piece of equipment.

When the hook is sunk in deep on the fish, the first step is to locate which side the hook shank is on. This will help direct you in the successful removal of the hook itself.

Removing the Hook 

Open up the last gill flap on the fish to give yourself a good access point on the base of the hook. With one or two fingers, work the hook back and forth on the hook eye.

This method will help turn the hook back toward the mouth of the fish so you can have a better angle and more hook to work with one removal. When doing this, the hook should be rotating back to the side of the fish to push the barb toward the inside part of the fishes' mouth

Once you have done this, the hook should be freed up enough to where you can take your fingers and simply pull it out of the fishes' throat.

When working on a fish that has a much smaller mouth, this is where you can use your set of needle nose pliers to grab the hook and slowly work it out of the mouth of the fish till it is free.

If you do not want to do the initial step of working the hook free with your fingers on the gill of the fish, simply taking the pliers and slowly working it out away from the side of the mouth of the fish will get the job done.

Follow these simple steps and you can unhook a fish in no time at all.

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  • John Harley