Saturday, July 08, 2006

Noodling for Catfish

I am sure that at some time or another everyone has had a wish that they had taken up some exotic pastime, Paragliding, Gold prospecting in the Yukon, Tornado chasing in Kansas, rowing across the Atlantic in a 6 foot boat.

All of these activities take grit and determination, the chances of getting hurt, or even getting yourself killed are pretty high. The danger aspect sure gets the adrenaline rushing.

unfortunately most of us mere mortals do not have the money to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon, or scuba dive with the Great White Sharks off the Australian reefs.

My extensive research has found the ideal hobby for the penniless, it includes elements of danger, and costs nothing!

Noodling! noodling has it all.

According to my research,noodling is a technique for catching large cat fish. It seems to have its center in Oklahoma. The basic idea is to put on your swimming gear and jump in the local river or lake.

The cat fish live in holes in the riverbank. You basically feel around until you find a hole. Then you can start 'noodlin'. You stick your hand in the hole and wriggle your fingers around. The movement of your digits excites the catfish, who thinks that your fingers are dinner.

The catfish grabs onto your hand. Now the good news is that catfish do not have teeth, just some rather coarse plates of cartilage. So the damage to your hand and arm is minimal.
Once its locked on you can pull it out of the hole and throw it up on the river bank.
Easy eh?

The problem is that some of the catfish can be pretty damn big. And there in lies the rub! Large fish in its perfect milieu versus man in his less than ideal environment. The fish is not at all keen on spending quality time on the river bank while the happy noodler dispatches it to that great 'fish fry' in the sky.

The fish wants to swim off with its lunch. According to some sites I found, death by drowning is not unheard of in the noodling community!


prying1 said...

You didn't mention the spines those suckers have. Those big ones must be wearing swords on their sides and back. Hate to get stuck with one of those that is for sure.

Niwi said...

Noodling was actually on television on that "world's worst jobs" show not too long ago. The host spent the entire time begging people not to go noodling because of the danger -- aside from angry catfish you also have to worry about snakes and tutles in the holes, which can bite, poison, and cut your fingers off.

I really just wonder who came up with the idea of putting your hand into a dark, muddy hole.