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Throughout this website, we often mention the nearly fifty million Americans who fish at least once per year. When you factor in our Canadian neighbors who also fish, the total is even higher.
Fortunately, only a handful of those anglers will ever incur the type of fishing-related injury that will require medical attention.
Unfortunately for Alberta’s James Brown, he is among that handful…
Editor’s Note: Graphic images ahead. Please view at your own discretion.
“Instantly Felt Like Getting Punched in the Face”
On Saturday, July 16, Brown was fishing for pike with his eight-year-old son on Wabamun Lake in Alberta. According to Brown, his son has been fishing regularly since he around three years old, so being on the water has almost become second nature.
Recently, the duo started the Family Fishing Fun Youtube Channel to chronicle their adventures. The goal for the day on Wabamun was to haul in an impressive, toothy predator. In a strange sense of happenstance, then, Brown happened to be filming this particular excursion.
After about ten minutes on the water, Brown’s son hooked his Len Thompson Five of Diamonds into something larger than any pike on Wabamun: he connected flush with his own father’s cheek!
“It instantly felt like getting punched in the face,” recalled Brown, who attempted to avoid panicking after the massive lure’s treble hooks lodged into his skin. “The impact hurt worse than the actual hook, but you know it’s in there.”
Shortly after the untimely “snag,” Brown and his son heard a large splash. Like a true angler, Brown joked that they should try to catch whatever made the noise.
Luckily, the duo was only about one hundred feet from the boat launch. They had to wait for several queued boats (and a couple chatty anglers holding up traffic) before finally being able to get their craft out of the water.
Once the anglers ahead of Brown realized the situation, they made way for him and his son to get out of the water. It turns out having a giant lure hanging from your face expedites the process a bit…
The nearest hospital was about an hour’s drive away. Brown said that the lure was so heavy that he had to support it with one hand at times while driving. After a short wait at the hospital, the doctor met Brown with a pair of bolt cutters and was able to safely extract the large pike lure.
While this injury would deter many casual or novice anglers, Brown handled it like a champ.
“We were back out the next day catching fish,” he noted.