by Jenny McGee 2/4/13
In case I might have misrepresented the “noodling” for catfish description, I would like to give you the facts.
Hello all, I now have an Oklahoma drivers license, tag (plates), insurance, mailing address and home phone, and have registered to vote so I am an Oklahoman once again.
The average temperature for Jan is 52 degrees but we had several over 70 days. It is early February and we are expected to reach 77 this week. I am loving this now but will probably be house bound with the central air conditioning in July and August with temperatures as high as 117! All the stores are putting out the lawn and garden merchandise already and I am waiting to see when the last frost will be.
Noodling is fishing for catfish using only bare hands, practiced primarily in the southern United States. Aalthough the concept of catching fish with only the use of the arm in the water is simple enough, the process of noodling is more complicated.
The choice of catfish as the prey is not arbitrary, but comes from the circumstances of their habitat. Flathead catfish live in holes or underbrush in rivers and lakes and thus are easier to capture due to the static nature of their dwelling. To begin, a noodler goes underwater to depths ranging from only a few feet to up to twenty feet and places his hand inside a discovered catfish hole.
If all goes as planned, the catfish will swim forward and latch onto the fisherman's hand, usually as a defensive maneuver, in order to try to escape the hole. If the fish is particularly large, the noodler can hook the hand around its gills. A typical weight for a flathead catfish caught by noodling is 40 lb. My nephew Jeremiah is a noodler as is my brother Joe. This year I will spend my birthday in June at the Annual Okie Noodling Tournament held in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma watching Jeremiah compete! .
The Okie Noodling web site is http://www.okienoodling.com and there is a video at http://vimeo.com/25731591 if you are interested. According to Jeremiah, noodling is an Native American tradition not just a sport.