Every year, thousands of people head to the Hayward area for a vacation; and most take time to do a little fishing. While it’s unlikely they’ll catch a fish big enough to land them in Hayward’s Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, every year more than a hundred people who are hooked on fishing will get hooked while fishing and end up meeting Dr. Dayle Quigley, not at the boat landing, but in a fishing hall of shame, located just across town in the Hayward Hospital Emergency Room.
“We saw five in one day about a week ago,” says Dayle, the medical director at the E.R. “We do have some locals that come in but for the most part they’re tourists.”
They have boxes of old hooks removed from thumbs, necks, arms and….more sensitive spots. But some of the best lures end up in the emergency department tackle box, a display case on the wall. “This is two or three years of just the pretty lures,” says Dr. Bob Swenson, who built the case. “In the 90’s is when the lures started getting more colorful and pricey for muskies, and that’s why I said, ‘Let’s save, basically, as many lures, but give patients credit for it by having their name, body part and date.’”
The stories have similar beginnings; an errant cast, or someone fell down on their lure. “I would say a majority just maybe touch it and then they start hurting so much that they scream or grunt and they say nope, I’m going to the E.R.” says Bob.
“Most of them are embarrassed more than anything that they’re actually in the ER for this,” says Dayle.
Removing a treble hook does not require much in the ways of modern medicine. “That barb holds tissue and the connective tissue under the dermis is really tight,” says Bob.
Most fishermen come directly from the lake. Bob remembers a boy who hooked a fish who hooked the boy. “A large mouth bass and patient came into the E.R. with the hook on his right arm with the bass he was holding it with his left hand.”
They even weighed it after the hook was out of the angler and the angled. “Two and a half pounds, 16 incher, that’s a keeper.”
Since the hooks keep coming, Bob says it’s probably time to put some more trophies on the wall. “This display case is only for a couple years, and it filled up and I guess I’m going to build another one.”
Looking For Lures
Dr. Bob shows how dedicated he is to fishing when he wades in the water to look for a lure that came loose from Dr. Dayle’s pole.