Fishing Safety

The correct way to remove a fishing hook from a human, painlessly and safely.

There seems to be a rash of videos about removing hooks from people, all feature the  ‘line-loop’ method. Some even show some brave souls sticking hooks in themselves to demonstrate the method.

Unfortunately all these videos make a mistake that almost certainly means the hook extraction will be painful to a lesser or greater level.

All the videos make a point of placing the loop at the middle of the bend and then pulling straight back in-line with the hook shaft. This is wrong, if pain is to be avoided.

The loop should be in the upper half of the bend, and the pull should be up and away, at about 30 degrees to the shaft.


Because the hook will roll out the same way as it went in, the barb will not catch, and a barb catching is what causes pain.

To see the whole story see this (link corrected), and see:

  • a method that uses forceps to achieve pain-free hook removal
  • a method for removing a hook in yourself, even if you cannot see it.


Posted by Tony Bishop in Fishing Safety, fly fishing how-to, Fresh water how-to, salt water how-to and tips

Smartphone swell and weather for New Zealand


Be safe this summer and weather prepared with the new SwellMap mobile site.


New Zealand is a unique place for weather – the variability and complexity we experience daily means that our population is very aware of the weather outcomes. Everyone knows that the weather can be very different only 20 km down the road, and that’s why SwellMap provides forecasts at a resolution of 6 to 18 km. This allows us to predict the weather at many of the smaller towns in New Zealand, as well as splitting our bigger cities into smaller weather (and activity) areas.

SwellMap, New Zealand’s premier marine forecast site has a new mobile site. Designed with a smaller data feed and faster download time, boating and fishing enthusiasts can check the weather on the go on their smart phone. SwellMap provides colour coded weather map forecasts at a resolution of 6 to 18 km: sea temperatures, tides, wind, wave height, period and precipitation are all at your fingertips. Plan your outdoor fishing and boating trips safely to avoid strong head winds, heavy seas and rig up with appropriate gear. Simply login with on your mobile and you will be directed to the mobile version. Double tap on screen to zoom into maps.

About SwellMap:

SwellMap system has been developed by MetOcean Solutions Ltd, a science-based consultancy who provide high quality weather data to the offshore and marine industry in New Zealand and overseas.

SwellMap uses the latest atmospheric and oceanographic numerical models, and a large computing facility, to produce forecasts which are updated 4 times per day.

Posted by Tony Bishop in Fishing Safety, Fishing Travel, New Zealand Fishing

Down and nearly out on one knee

About this time each year, most New Zealanders are looking forward to a week or three Summer holiday starting at Christmas and sweeping into the New Year.

And about this time every year I write a piece or two about safety – too many New Zealanders die in our great outdoors or on the sea.

Should follow my own advice!

Last weekend I was staying at a fishing camp on the Tauranga-Taupo River south of Taupo in the middle of the North Island. I was alone in the camp.

First day, some very hard fishing in a very low and clear river produced a few fish – so I thought I would head well upstream into the gorge area. Some business delayed my start till around mid-day.

It is probably only an hour and a half walk and wade, if you don’t stop to fish – but it took me nearly 5 hours, with numerous stops to fish to many, and very visible, fish. I was the only angler on the river.

So at around 6 pm I turned round to get ‘home’ before dark at around 8.30 pm.

I had gone only about 100m downstream when a boulder I stood on, rolled under my foot, and I dropped onto one knee, then rolled into the just above knee-deep water. As I stood up I knew instantly something was wrong with that knee, the pain literally bought tears to my eyes.

The, should be, 1.5 hour trip turned into a 4 hour, stop and start, marathon, wet and very cold, and each step in great pain.  The last hour in the jet black, no moon night, meant I was constantly tripping, meaning even more pain.

When I got back to camp I realised I was pretty bloody lucky. If the injury had been only a little worse I would not have been able to make the walk-out – and on the Tauranga-Taupo river there is no cell-phone signal.

Worse still no-one would have known where I was going on the river to fish. More worse still, it was unlikely anyone would be coming to the camp for a couple of days, to notice my absence.

All I needed to do was call someone from the camp, and tell them where I was going, and if they did not get a “Hey, I’m back” call by a certain time, to get search and rescue underway.

It is just so easy to forget  the simple little things, like a quick call to tell some-one where you are going and when you expect to be back – a memory lapse that could cost you a night or more  outdoors with a bad injury. At worst a simple lapse that could end up ruining your family and friends’ holiday, by attending your funeral.

Posted by Tony Bishop in Fishing Safety