Anderson: Fishing wound takes an ugly turn

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 15, 2012 - 7:15 AM

Fishing isn't dangerous. But as Twin Cities guide Steve Carney can attest, complications can arise while casting, jigging, hooking -- or unhooking.

Carney has guided 32 years, and his boat regularly can be seen on lakes statewide. Not this week, however, because he's recovering from an infection, a virus -- something -- resulting from one or perhaps two fishing mishaps that seemed routine enough at the time.

The first occurred Aug. 2, when a treble hook became impaled deep in a finger. As luck would have it, he didn't have his wire cutters with him. So Carney inquired among other boaters until he found a pair. He then forced the barb further into his finger until it punched through the skin under the finger nail.

"I cut off the barb and pulled the hook back out,'' washed the finger off and doused it with antiseptic, Carney said. "And went back fishing.''

The following Tuesday, Carney and a different group of clients were into some big bass on a lake not far from the Twin Cities. In the process of handling a 5-pounder, he took four or five razer-like slices to a thumb.

"That wasn't unusual,'' he said. "I kept fishing.''

The next morning, however, the thumb oozed pus, was bleeding and he had a fever. A trip to the hospital -- his first in about 50 years -- was rewarded with giant shots of antibiotics.

But he didn't get better. His heart rate rose to 134, with a 103-degree temperature. He's still recovering.

"Doctors don't know if the fish caused the infection,'' Carney said, "or perhaps afterward, when I was reaching into the lake, and something was in that water, or perhaps into my live well and something was in that water. The doctors say they know how to treat bites from rats and everything else but not cuts or bites from fish.''

Saltwater guides often use special gloves when handling fish, and in some cases freshwater guides and anglers do, also. But typically no one in the north country expects complications to arise from handling fish, or from dipping cut hands into lakes or other water.

Perhaps in a hot summer when algae is commonplace on many Minnesota lakes, and when fish and fishing seem otherwise in transition, with talk continually about invasive species, that's no longer a safe bet.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland 4 Top 12th Inning
LA Angels 4
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question