Catfish sends me to the Emergency Room - (Warning: Blood and Language)
*Sorry about the language in this video...*
Started out as a great day trolling crankbaits. The bass are spawning, and I was in very shallow water.
Then I hooked into this channel cat. Things got ugly from there.
I've been "cut" by catfish before, but never directly stabbed this deep. The pain was excruciating and after a couple of minutes I lost use of my hand altogether.
I went to an urgent care clinic, where I showed signs of red streaking down my forearm, indicating infection had already moved to my blood. I had extreme weakness and couldn't make a fist or extend my fingers. They sent me to the Emergency Room.
At the ER they x-rayed and ultrasounded my hand, looking for any remaining barb. They found none.
Then they ran Poison Control protocol. Soak, flush, antibiotics. At this point, about 6 hours had passed, and the red lines were going away, and I could extend my hand.
The next day, I could extend my fingers all the way, and can now make a fist, but can't squeeze anything tight yet. There is no pain at the wound but a bad "arthritis" pain in all of the joints and knuckles when I extend or close my fingers.
I have an appointment with a hand specialist next week.
So what did I do wrong?
I held the fish correctly. He was possibly small enough I could have held him from his back, instead of belly, which does give you a slightly stronger grip, without their bellies in the way. And really the more firm of a grip you have on them, the more likely they are to submit and just let you remove the hook.
But I think the real reason is because I semi-horsed him in. I had been catching bass. I thought this was a rather large bass when I hooked him. It was only when I got him to the boat, that I could see he was a channel cat. I brought him in green and full of energy. Always a bad idea with fish that have the potential to inflict injury.
Gloves will be worn when handling these smallish channel cats from now on.
The big blues aren't nearly as dangerous. As they get bigger and older, their barbs dull, and aren't nearly so knifelike.