Another one of fishing experiences that Dad had to endure happened on Lake Pleasant in 1966. Dad, Rick and I were fishing the shore lines for bass or anything else that would take our lures. This time, we all were using a newly introduced lure that mimicked a large minnow, a favorite bass food. It was called a Reppela and made in Sweden out of a light wood painted with glossy minnow colors & patterns, a plastic water wing attached to the front underside to make it dive deep and two sets of treble hooks, one in front behind the wing and one in the back at its tail.
We would cast this lure up toward the shore line where it would float until you started to retrieve it. The water wing would send it down like a submarine with the shape of its body making it wiggle like a live minnow. Being so light, it would take a lively whip of the fishing rod with good wrist action to get it to sail through the air for the maximum distance. That is how it is supposed to work in theory.
My brother Rick had another theory. If he could swing his rod back and then use his arm and body strength to project this lure through the air, then he would cast it much farther than using the finesse of rod and wrist action. The only problem with his method is it is a little out of control. If you were in a boat by yourself, this wouldn’t be that much of a problem. When you are in a boat with two other fishermen, look out. Well, I didn’t look out. Rick reared back on his rod and let it rip. The double trebled hooked, hand crafted in Sweden, lure caught me it the forehead with one of its back treble hook barbs. Rick kept trying to cast and couldn’t figure why his rod wasn’t coming forward. He looked back to see what he was snagged on and saw me grabbing the Reppela and trying to pull it out with both hands. Nothing doing, I was hooked good and wasn’t going to get away. Dad stopped me from pulling so he could assess the situation. He tried backing the hook out with his fingers, but the hook was planted pretty deep and barb on the end of the hook was doing its job in not letting me go. The only recourse was to push more of the hooks shank through the meat and out of my forehead so he could get his fisherman’s pliers in position to cut the barb off. If this wouldn’t work. then he would have to do a little meat cutting or I would have to wear this lure until we could get to a hospital emergency room, hopefully soon. I didn’t want to fish all day with a hook in my head. I don’t think I could concentrate. The wire cutting blade was not on the end of the pliers, but closer to the hinge joint making it necessary to pull a little harder on the lure to position the tool for the cut. At this point, that didn’t matter to me because my forehead was numb. I was happy to hear the snip of the barb and seeing the lure leave my line of vision. I was free! It wasn’t until a felt a trickle of blood running down my forehead from the hole left by the hook, I felt my head spinning and everything fading to black. I was on the verge of fainting, but didn’t. Dad put a Band-Aid on the wound and we when back to fishing.
Considering the many times we went fishing, we were very fortunate not to be hooked more. Usually it was our clothing that was confronted with the barbs. Occasionally when we were baiting up a bare hook or taking algae, grass or leaves off of the lure, you would turn loose of the line but with tension from the rod would thrust the hook into your finger. The hook was rarely deep enough to require the pliers’ procedure. But that is the risk you take when you play with sharp objects.