Thursday 29 December 2022

Saltwater Catfish sting

Whether we are out checking our crab traps or just doing a spot of fishing, I pride myself on being brave and tough out on the water.

Last week however, something happened that tested my mettle - plus we both got a little reminder in peril and preparedness.

I was pulling in catfish after catfish. Rather strange as (a) I'd never seen them in that spot before and (b) Patrick wasn't catching any [catfish].  

Anyway, all this stuff I read about later on the internet, but unknown to me at the time: if you get stabbed by a catfish fin it has venom in it which really hurts. And also, they wriggle around a lot, which means there is a higher chance of getting stabbed. And of course this happened to me! 

So there I am, in quite a bit of pain, and goddammit I am struggling with getting the hook out of the fish. They also all seemed to swallow the hook quite deep. So I'm just working away trying to get it out. Whilst also saying to Patrick how painful the puncture still is (bearing in mind neither of us know about the whole venom thing). Eventually the hook slips out and I grasp my hand to my stomach in pain. Patrick said to me, "do you want to call it now and we just go home?" It was about an hour earlier than we had planned to leave... I held up my hand with blood streaming all down my wrist "yep, I think we probably should go".  The poor fella got quite a shock "omg! Is that YOUR blood?" 

Lesson learned:
And of course we had nothing to clean my hand with: no neosporin, no wipes, no bandaids. I was a a bit disappointed in myself about that to be honest. We always joke that Patrick is the captain and I'm the first mate/safety officer. So since then, you will be happy to know I've put together a nice little First Aid kit in a good solid, sealed, fishing box and left it on the boat.

I rinsed my hand off with the hose when I got to the dock. The pain felt worse, which I thought was caused my the pressure of the hose but again, on the internet, found out that cold water activates the venom. And that hot water is good for it. Which makes sense because when I had a shower at home I remarked to Patrick that it felt so much better afterwards.

So that was the drama there! All good. It stopped paining after a few hours and that was that...until a few days later when my body rejected and pushed a tiny bit of fish spine/fin out the wound. Bleughh!! Lol. All good.

Second lesson:
Be extra careful around catfish!!!! 

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