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Noodling for Catfish - What is Noodling, and How to do it?

May 18, 2008
Handfishing is a very old technique that has been used throughout history for catching fish. It is sometimes referred to as "noodling". So what is noodling? It is a fishing technique in which you use your bare hands to catch fish. Handfishing has been around for centuries and requires no equipment, just fast and sturdy hands.

Obviously, handfishing is not for everyone especially when you are after catfish. If you are not careful you may find yourself in a lot of pain if you get struck by one of these fish. Many of them will also decide to bite, which would not be a very pleasant experience either.

How Do You Handfish?

So how do you perform the technique of handfishing? Well, you start by wading out into the water where you expect the catfish to be. You may want to wear some protective clothing to keep you a little more comfortable. Normally, the catfish can be found in logs, holes, under ledges, in grassy areas and under rocks.

Spawning season is the best time of year to go handfishing because the female catfish will lay their eggs in these areas and the males will guard them. Therefore, you have a better chance of finding more catfish during this time. After wading out into the water you then start reaching into the holes and under the rocks and so forth looking for the catfish. When you feel a fish you grab hold of him and pull it out of the water.

The problem is, if you are not careful you could be stung by one of the fins because you are reaching into these areas basically blind. You really don't know for sure what is down there and so you are taking a chance each time you stick your hands in one of the places. That is why handfishing is not for everyone. If you don't like adventure and taking chances you wouldn't care much for handfishing for catfish. On the other hand, if you love fishing and excitement, then handfishing could be the adventure you have been searching for.

Tips and Tricks That Make Handfishing Easier

There are several tips and tricks that you can learn to make handfishing a littler easier. One of the biggest tips you need to consider is that you it may not be as simple as it seems. The basic principal of handfishing for catfish is to wade into the water, find where the fish are located, stick in your hands and pull him out. It sounds easy but you have to be prepared for the unexpected. For instance, what if that catfish decides he does not want to leave and he puts up a fight. He has the advantage since this is his natural habitat, not yours.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best catfish fishing information possible. Get more information on Noodling For Catfish here:
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