Saturday, 7 April 2012

Fish fry

A Tame way to catch fish, 
very hopeful too....

The way the locals catch cat fish... (source wikipedia)Noodling is fishing for catfish using only bare hands, practiced primarily in the southern United States. The noodler places his hand inside a discovered catfish hole.

For more about the dangers of Noodling, see the end of this post.

 The fish fry, an American tradition with British roots... aka the British "chippy".
Note the buggy in the background, driven by Billy-Bob (a good southern name).  It is perfectly legal to drive the buggy on the open road, only in the land of the free!
 Luckily we never caught catfish, a favorite here.  Alligator steaks are also a local delicacy, and a number of people have asked if we have had an alligator tail yet.
The "Chef", James, also a Fireman.



Although 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 under brush 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.
Most noodlers have spotters who help them bring the catfish in, either to shore or to their boat; noodling in pairs is considered important for safety, and also makes it a more social activity, with noodling partners often forming long-term partnerships.[1]
A typical weight for a flathead catfish caught by noodling is 40 lb (18 kg).[1


Noodling can result in superficial cuts and minor wounds to the noodler. This can be reduced by wearing gloves and other protective clothing. Losing fingers is also a risk, whether from the bite or infection. Most holes are deep enough that diving is needed, so there can be a danger of drowning. A person with confident swimming abilities may be caught off guard by the sudden added strain of carrying a large fish to the surface. Spotters can alleviate this danger, but it is still present. A wounded noodler ten to twenty feet underwater might not be able to return safely to the surface, and drown. Clothes may get tangled or snagged on roots or rocks, so some noodlers wear only shorts.
The greatest physical threat posed to noodlers, however, comes from other forms of aquatic life found in catfish holes. Far more dangerous than catfish are alligatorssnakesbeaversmuskrats and snapping turtles, who will take over abandoned catfish holes as homes of their own.

1 comment:

  1. very interesting. I can imagine Alex wanting to give noodling a try.......x