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Gone Noodling
January 14, 2004 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Noodling: Catching monster catfish with your bare hands. Personally, I'd rather go fishing with a pole. But, I still find this technique fascinating.
posted by studentbaker (14 comments total)

 
The fish in the snopes link are ridiculous. Jebus.
posted by dazed_one at 9:53 AM on January 14, 2004


Crazy Bastards. I can say I learned something today. Thanks
posted by putzface_dickman at 10:14 AM on January 14, 2004


I've seen this the last time I went kayaking at our reservoir.
Wasn't there some movie or documentary about this a year or two ago? Won some awards...
posted by fijiwriter at 10:26 AM on January 14, 2004


Cool link.

I'll learn this noodling way and go out to catch me a trout or two for dinner.
posted by troutfishing at 10:43 AM on January 14, 2004


I wonder how many of those guys went on to date and then marry those big catfish they caught?

I can recall hiking in Wyoming years ago, in one lake the fish were so thick you could literally reach down and pick them up. Just for kicks we caught like thirty in under five minutes (we tossed them all back though). Of course, they were all five to eight inch rainbow trouts and not the monsters in the Snopes pics.
posted by fenriq at 11:00 AM on January 14, 2004


What's kind of funny about this is, as a sport, its not much different than spearfishing or, say, abalone diving in terms of "why ya bother" and "dang, that seems kind of dangerous for a little bit of food."

The difference is that since its a bunch of rural white poor from the South the immediate connection is "hee-haw". I would argue that noodlers are probably a soberer group than a bunch of 'boys in the boat with the cooler.

Perhaps a bit more "alternative", but what the heck, they aren't fouling the waterways with line and gear, nor polluting the water and air with transportation (mostly).

I, for one, salute and welcome our new Noodling overlords.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:26 AM on January 14, 2004


Noodling for Flatheads
posted by TedW at 11:47 AM on January 14, 2004


I have caught catfish as big as in the snopes link in South Carolina. By hook and line. Never heard of noodling, looks like a hoot. Fish that big are a challenge to clean you can't filet them, basically what you do is pull the skin off with pliers.
posted by stbalbach at 12:15 PM on January 14, 2004


The hole you reach in may be an old muskrat or beaver burrow, a crevice beneath a rock, a hollow log or any underwater cavity. Catfish occupy such nooks at times year-round, but are most likely to hole up during spawning season when laying, guarding, and fanning their eggs.

Catfish fan their eggs to supply the necessary oxygen for them to hatch in low-oxygen waters. If they don't fan them the eggs will not hatch.
Not to get too editorial here, but to me nesting females never seemed like the best of all possible food sources, assuming you want more of the same kind of fish next year.
posted by milovoo at 2:02 PM on January 14, 2004


The difference is that since its a bunch of rural white poor from the South the immediate connection is "hee-haw". I would argue that noodlers are probably a soberer group than a bunch of 'boys in the boat with the cooler
Guess you missed Discovey channel's show about this. In Texas noodling is against the law, iirc, only 4 states allow it. Supposedly you can lose a finger or hand if done incorrectly. This I do know, catfish have barbs by their mouths, which are very sharp.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:41 PM on January 14, 2004


The Okie Noodling film (http://www.okienoodling.com/) is brilliant. Plus, the weird-country soundtrack is by The Flaming Lips. Check it out.
posted by trigfunctions at 3:57 PM on January 14, 2004


Two of my neighbors have told me their stories about this practice, which they call 'grabbing' and not 'noodling.' They claim that hollowed-out stumps are the best places to grab, and it's very important to drink plenty of cheap beer before engaging in the sport.

I would argue that noodlers are probably a soberer group than a bunch of 'boys in the boat with the cooler.

The 'boys' I know probably hold their liquor better than most.
posted by F Mackenzie at 7:59 PM on January 14, 2004


those big catfish remind me of a character in an old japan anime (1973) series named Kerokko Demetan.
posted by titboy at 11:09 AM on January 15, 2004


There are reports from European historical chronicles, of catfish in the Danube big enough to swallow a man whole. Catfish have been caught with whole human bodies inside. Big catfish.

Noodling is for wimps, unless the catfish can turn the tables completely.
posted by troutfishing at 8:20 PM on January 15, 2004


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