This past Sunday, my wife and I started off a beautiful fall-like day heading out in the boat for a day of catching! The weather was really perfect for a day on the water; bright blue skies, and puffy white clouds with very little wind and flat, calm water. Ideal conditions for fishing. We started the day on the N. Edisto down near the sunken shrimp boat with catching lots of little bait-stealers and the occasional bonnet-head shark. But we didn’t catch any fish for dinner.
Then in the early afternoon we moved back to the Wadmalaw river and we started getting into the sting rays. We must have caught 5 of them. We’ve caught hundreds of stingrays over the years. When we do, I bring them to the boat, never in it, flip them on their back and either remove the hook, if it’s a lip hooked, or cut the line if it’s gut hooked. The last one was lipped and during the removal it got me!! As I was taking the hook out of its mouth, the tail swung around and impaled my little finger. I know, big deal, a finger stick. Let me tell you, that was the worst pain I have ever experienced. It was only maybe an inch long cut but the barb pierced the top of my finger and pierced the bottom. The pain didn’t stop. My wife grabbed the first aid box on the boat and started pouring vinegar on it in hopes of killing the venom and the pain. It didn’t really work. Then she poured some peroxide on it trying to clean out the wound a litte. Then she bandaged it up and off we went back home.
She drove the boat admirably, considering the circumstances and that she never has driven it before at speed. I was laying on my back, holding my hand up above my body, trying to keep the blood from coming out. I was shaking with the pain. We got home, tied up the boat, and headed straight to the emergency room. It took a little while for them to get to me, but once they did, they were very sympathetic and comforting. The first thing they did was put my finger in hot water. And the pain started to dissipate. Hot water kills the enzyme in the venom that causes the pain. The intense pain had been going on for almost 2 and half hours. It finally started to feel just like a normal puncture wound and not like a finger on fire.
x-rays did not show any barb left in the wound, thankfully. And additional drug medication killed the rest of the pain. Made it back home around 6;30. Today, not much pain but still oozing blood. I have to keep taking antibiotics and pain meds if needed.
There you go…a perfect Sunday morning turned into a not-so-perfect Sunday night. A mighty thanks to my wife for first aid and for driving the boat back safely and driving to the ER.
Ouch man, hate to hear that! Glad it worked out in the end. Pee on sting ray stings, for the heat, not the pee. I think vinegar is for jellies although someone will come behind and straighten that out for us soon too. My last 2 trips have been adventurous, as well. Better luck next time.
Good Lord that’s terrible. You wouldn’t think such a small simple thing could cause so much pain. Good information on the hot water; I didn’t know that.
My dad used to tell me a story of when he was a teenager walking on the beach kicking his feet through the sand. There was a dead catfish just underneath the surface and he kicked his big toe right into the barb. Said he was throwing up sick for the next 24 hours. You can’t be too careful with rays and cats and getting poked bad with shrimp heads. All those barbs are nasty.
Glad you’re good to go now.
Nothing good there! Sorry for ya! If you can reach it safely while traveling the Pee tube on the engine can supply some warm water while your headed to the hill.
This may be bad practice, but most every stingray I catch I cut off the tail spike with a long pair of dykes before doing anything with it. Seen too many swing up that tail while attempting a de hook. Glad it did not get infected on you!
Been hit by 1 back in my early twenties and 1 time with a saltwater catfish…back then i was a firm believer regarding pain was drink it off or walk it off! So i drank it off…and it still is a pain i never want to experience a 2nd time
WOW, I always worry when i’m de-hooking them.
Sorry to hear this! Nothing is worse than being in pain that can’t be managed. Hope you can get back there soon to enjoy fall fishing.
Pull into shallow water & get out & hold your wound under the motor pee stream. The hot water from the motor will help.
Back when we could catch enough Black Sea Bass to make it worth while I stabbed myself with a dorsal fin spine while cleaning I thought nothing of it until the next day. My index finger was about 3 times it’s normal size and the rest of my hand Was swollen to where I couldn’t move my fingers I went to the nearest ER and luckily they had a hand specialist near by. X rays and zylocaine and the dr dug around for about 30 minutes and couldn’t get it out. They gave me bug killers and the dr said it will come out soon by its self. It took about a week but it did come out rather quickly. Lots of pain. If I bring a ray into the boat I whack the spike off with the longest knife I have. I saw one that had 3 spikes
About 40 years ago, Tom’s Cove Campsite, Chincoteague Island, Va. Two of the youngins in our group were at the dock when someone reeled in a ray unhooked it and left it on the dock. One of the youngins tried to move it off the dock overboard with his feet. The Ray flipped around and stabbed him in the leg. That kid got bad off, to a point they were considering amputation. He was laid up for several months but did make a full recovery.
Glad you’re ok. Maybe I’ll see you in the creek one day.