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Gerald Swindle: Getting Hooked

Gerald Swindle

If you’re an avid bass fisherman and spend a great amount of time on the water, sooner or later, you’ll have a hook in your hide. Something you may not know about Gerald Swindle is that he is a hook extractor. 

I get hooks in myself at least four or five times a year while bass fishing. I take a lot of hooks out of other anglers, too, when they have that same dilemma. Someone asked me the other day, “Gerald, how many times do you hook yourself in a year?” Well, I’m often reckless when I grab a bass, and I don’t really worry about hooks. I’m so accustomed to jerking hooks out of myself and other anglers that I’m not concerned about hooks.

To pull out a hook, I usually take 30 to 40-pound braided line, double it, put the line around the bend of a hook that’s embedded in someone’s skin, push pressure down on the hook and jerk the hook out of the same hole from where it’s gone into the angler’s skin. The harder you jerk the line, the easier the hook comes out. I’ve de-hooked Kevin VanDam twice – once in Venezuela in the jungle where there was no doctor or hospital handy. He had a giant saltwater hook in his thigh. I jerked that out without any problem. Kevin also got a treble hook in his hand once during a tournament. He called me over, and I jerked that hook out of his thumb. In 30 seconds, Kevin went right back to fishing. Anytime Kevin gets a hook in his hide, he’ll usually come looking for me. 

I’m often asked, “How in the world do you have the courage to jerk a hook out of your own hide?” Well, my wife says that I have a high tolerance for pain, and I don’t seem to feel any pain when I’m jerking hooks out of myself. But that’s not true. I do feel pain when the hook goes into my skin and some when I jerk out the hook. However, I know I’ve got to get the hook out of my skin and have to do it quickly and efficiently to keep on fishing.

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