Catfish Spine Causes Angler Eye Injury

   02.01.17

Catfish Spine Causes Angler Eye Injury

A Florida man was fishing when the catfish he pulled from the water hit him in the face and caused an eye injury that has kept him from working for almost two-and-a-half months.

Kory Williams, 29, was fishing in Sarasota when he gave his rod a jerk after feeling a tug from the water. Williams catapulted the fish towards his face, hitting him in his right eyeball with its inch-long spines.

After three surgeries, Williams  has yet to return to work as he is unable to drive or do any physical activity.

“It’s time I get out of the house and make some money for my family,” he said. “This has been crazy.”

An injury to the eye from a catfish spine is an “extremely unusual injury,” according to Dr. Joshua Mali, who said he commonly sees fish hooks being the perpetrators for fish-related eye injuries. “I believe the eye is the most delicate organ in the body,” he said.

Dr. Mali and Williams agree that the biggest takeaway is remembering to wear eye protection when fishing, with Gary Morse of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission adding that protection is imperative. “Eye protection can go a long way to prevent such injuries,” he said. “I wear polarized eye protection. Others wear safety glasses.”

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