|With: Dr. Red Luke: Ph.D/B.V.D/No.I.D
W.M.W.U A&M University and
Cracker Jack University
Head of The Medical Malpratice Department
University of Matagorda Health Science and Research Center
Here are the first of The Hammer-Time Fishing Pages Series of helpful medical fishing tips for the avid Texas fishermen. Thanks to Dr. Red Luke on all of his help in making these pages more informative and useful to all of our readers.
I'm sure that most everyone has heard the term tennis elbow. A disabling sports injury that many tennis players get from twisting their forearm while playing tennis. So common in fact the name of the infliction is even derived from the sport, 'Tennisidis." But few people are aware of another crippling decease that is growing almost as fast as the sport of Saltwater Fishing is the dreaded Fishermen's Elbow. In fact so little is known not only of the decease itself but what actually cause this sport ending injury.
With the every increasing number of anglers that doctors are treating on a daily basis, some interesting insights into this decease of the 90's are becoming clearer and their causes are starting to be known. For instance doctors have found much as in the case of tennis elbow, the fishermen's variety also has something to do with damage to the elbows ligament due to an excessive and repetitiveness unnatural motion. Some preliminary studies have shown some contributing factors that are part of the sport on fishing.. Doctors first look at the technique of actually casting lures / bait out on the water They found some lures / baits were actually worse than others. In particular the kinds that were not that appealing to the game fish species the anglers where after.. Doctors discovered that the constant casting motion one derives from throwing either cheap crappy lures or not so fresh bait, played a major role in whether a angler came into the office complaining of anglers elbow. This factor was also increased by a fish caught to cast ratio, and those that were able to break up the monotony of casting with actually catching a fish now and then, dramatically decreased their chance of contracting this disabling decease..
Other studies where conducted on those anglers with a belly to beer ratio on anglers elbow. They found although their casting arms had a tendency to be on the weak side than say a normal elbow. Their none casting arms did show signs of fishermen elbow due to some unknown repetitive motion, further studies are needed to draw a direct conclusion though. Although patients in this category and patients studied in another study of accidents aboard marine vessels seem to have a correlation although the elbow is not always the nature of the injury.
Finally although further study is called for Doctors have some come up with some preliminary advice on combating this ever-growing form of disability hitting our gulf coast anglers. One is to become ambidextrous. No this is not a new fad 90's version of fishing, but simple means switching hands when doing a lot of casting and not much catching. Secondly for those who drink a lot of cold beverages while enjoying their sport of choice, Doctors suggest investing in one of those popular beverage holding hats that enables the wearier to drink from a straw and keep his hands free. And lastly for those saltwater participants that seem to do more casting and less catching the Doctor suggest to fork over some damn money for a guide and get some lessons. After all beginners luck can only go so far!!!
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To quote from Jacques Cousteau, Jellyfish, Jellyfish, beautiful, transparent, glimmering jellyfish. Floating with the currents like a balloon on a summer breeze. With your shimmering blues and incandescent hues you hypnotize your enemies before inflicting your deadly venom.. With dangling tentacles suspended in mid air, if one should caress their beauty with the faintest of touch like this *#$@#$$Jellyfish,@#%#@Jellyfish, that stings like H#$$ you stupid Jellyfish
Although never seen on the original documentaries of the undersea world of Jacques Cousteau. This and other great Bloopers from the series are now out on video Included are Jacques sharing a croissant with a Great White, Sammy the seal sharing a bottle of Bordeaux with the crew, and Jacques blowing smoke ring bubbles from the Bermuda Triangle.. But enough of Mr. Cousteau silly antics we are here to help fishermen with jellyfish injuries.
First and foremost method of never having to feel the sting of one of the many varieties of jellafishious flotatious is to avoid them completely. A fact no worth even mentioning to any angler that has had the unfortunate pleasure of coming into personal contact with Mr. Jelly. But for those who have inadvertently brushed up against one the are some remedies both over the counter and old wives tales. Some of the over the counter medicine comes in an easy to store package for your tackle box. When spread over now ever swelling outline of the tentacles on your thigh. The chemicals help to counteract the protein which cause the burning by said #$%@# jellyfish.
Another cheap and reader available over the counter remedy is Meat Tenderizer. Ingredients in the product help to relieve the stinging sensation, at least enough to get to shore for some more effective medicines. This method is not only good to use in a pinch, but also gives the affected area a subtle glow and help prevent wrinkles too!! Being careful not to use a cajun flavoring spice though the cayenne pepper doesnt mix well with the wound, but will add plenty of flavor if bitten off by a shark.
The last home remedy is an old wives tale that really does work. And although plentiful, in fact more plentiful with certain saltwater fishermen should only be use as a last resort. Im sure we have all heard the saying full of piss and vinegar, well the latter reference is unfortunately not the one we use in this instance.. Yes we are talking about urine, Howard Hughes tonic water, and the old standby. If you have fished with as many beer guzzling fishing partners as I have over the years. There should always be enough reserves of this form of treatment handy to prevent and onslaught of an army of Jellyfish. With enough practice that cousin Bob has had with writing his name in the snow, hopefully his aim will be good enough to hit the said target with out staying to unaffected areas if you know what I mean. Just be sure he has had enough beers in him to become a primed candidate but not a drunken paramedic!! And if all else fail you can operate on yourself though this can be tricky at times and embarrassing if onlooker dont realize the circumstances!!
Although the many forms of Jellyfish are quite relaxing and almost memorizing to watch as the float along with the currents, with translucent bodies they can be dangerous. Just remember what old Jacques says, those @##$ hurt like @#$@## when they grab hold of you. So the best remedy is to give this particular species of marine life a wide berth.. Admiring all the hypnotizing colors from a safe distance!!!
The last in our series of SOB'S ( that really hurts) injuries. Great care
should be observered when handling any type of species that have a tendency to inflict
damages to one self when trying to unhook from your line. The use of gloves with a slip
resistant palm surface will help in keeping those slipper fish under control. If after
using the precautions you still find a fish sticking out the side of your hand immediately
slap the fish against the boat until it becomes dislodged. Then proceed to slap the
species against the hual of the boat until it is rendered unconscious, or life functions
have ceased, (this will teach the fish not to go around sticking people any more), it also
is helpful in relieve the pain in your brain synapses for a short period of time. Next if
the species of fish is worth keeping throw into fish box, if not, stand up and in your
best John Elway imitation chunk that burger as far as you can. For those you unfortunate
enough to come across a sting ray while wade fishing there are not many options that the
angler at his disposal. A good tongue lashing and a few slaps at the water with your rod
(unless you have a $125.00 castaway rod then I wouldn't advice it) are your only
alternatives. The wound should be cleansed thoroughly maybe this time with a little Jack
Daniels, these tend to smart quite a bit, and a little internal cleansing would not hurt
Probably the most common of fishing related health illiness we will cover in
these medical tips except for the last ailment on the bottom of the page. This condition
tend to effect mostly novice fishermen and not much can be done to remedy this unfortunate
situation except for time. Although there are over the counter products that can help
alleviate some of the severity of these conditions, such as drama mine, and sea sick
patches you wear behind you ear. In the case of the latter mention these patches are a
sure give away for other parties on the boat to stay clear of you during rough seas.
Although once you start hurling I sure they will be doing that anyway!! The other
suggestion, although not a cure will at least take advantage of the situation. Once you
see that said victim is going to be in this condition for the duration of the fishing
trip. And the fishing is too good to head back to shore for a cancellation. Feed patient
some thing that will help attract fish to the boat while he is heaving over the side. A
good choice is something greasy, like pork chops, fried chicken, or hamburgers. If victim
is really a good sport and you want to ensure of a good supply of fish to gather beneath
your boat, try some of the frozen shrimp or squid this technique really sends out that
dinner alarm and will keep patient hurling for hours. As a last resort have said victim
consume mass quantities of alcohol. Although this will not settle his stomach, it does
help his body conform to the swaying of the ship and hopefully he will eventually pass
out. This technique is not recommended for the Captain, although there are a many a
Captain that use this technique. Remember Boating and Alcohol don't mix!!! Have a
designated driver before leaving the docks!!! (Click here to see
It is always a good idea to take a current course from the Red Cross on C.P.R.
Although the actual situation may never arise where this knowledge is needed, it is always
nice to know you have it if the occasion presents itself. We will not go into all the
details of C.P.R in this article, these techniques should be learned from a professionally
accredited course. We can go over some of the common sense details that ever boater should
know. First get drowning victim out of water, (Duhh, you think)!! Next check for any
foreign objects lodged in air way such as crabs, jellyfish, mullet, etc... Then lie victim
prone on their back on the floor of the boat. Check for pulse and see if victim is
breathing, if not C.P.R should begin immediately. Now comes the tricky part if patient is
a stranger or brief acquaintance and is of the same gender as rescuer, then there may be
hesitation before starting this next step. If patient is of the opposite gender and
(Really Looka Great) then immediate mouth to mouth resuscitation is needed. Five, six,
seven or whatever it takes, just to make sure the patient is breathing. Then three
compression of the sternum to get the heart muscle to pump the blood. Then the ratio of
five presses to two breaths should be continued till you reach a hospital or help arrives
or you get really tired!!! If said victim is really gross then a good body slam should
work just as well!!!
In this section we will cover some of the wide variety of situations this form
of human abnormality can occurs. This injury is not confined to boating enthusiast, you
will find it exist in many mainland situations as well. It just seems there is a
disproportionate amount of these type of injuries among the fishing population of the
United States!!! The first situation the weekend angler may run across one of these
victims is at the local boat dock. There seems to be a recent outbreak of these situations
in recent years with the increase of the Texas population purchasing boats for the first
time. Said victims are easily recognized around the boat launches, in process of putting
their boats in or out of the water. Some of the characteristic attributed to this decease
are long lapses of concentration when performing even the simplest of task. With a seemly
lack of preparedness when it comes to launching or taking their boats out of the water!
People with this syndrome are also easily recognized from the blank look that comes across
their faces when someone tries to offer suggestions to them. Association with people
afflicted with this decease should be kept to a minimum, contact should only be brief
enough to get patients boat out of the your way and then left to fend for themselves.
Prolong contact has been known for the spread of the decease with whole boat launching
areas becoming effected!!! The next situation we will cover is actual on the water
experience of victims afflicted with this syndrome. Unfortunately people with this
condition will usually find you out on the open water. They love to come into contact with
normal people around their favorite fishing holes. And have been known to drive to within
a few yards of healthy people, unconcerned with the welfare of those in other boats,
another side effect of this decease. These afflicted victims can also be spotted along the
various shorelines or in the bays with arms waving and shouting loudly trying to gain
attention from unsuspecting normal fishermen. One final determining factor of people
consumed with this perticular syndrome is their constant need of boat repair and getting
stranded out on the waters. One method of curing these people with H.I.A is to calmly take
patient by shoulders, and with both feet on victims rear, pull with steady force until
head pops from cavity. But patients with long durations of this dreaded decease usually
resort back to H.I.A within a matter of hours. Remember to follow special guidelines when
coming into actual contact with these individuals. H.I.A is extremely contagious and
contact should be kept to a minimal amount of time as possible.This decease is curable if
caught early, be on the look out for young people afflicted with this syndrome. The most
recommended form of treatment is usually a good butt whipping when patients are showing
signs of the H.I.A syndrome.