Five Tactics to try when Grabbing Catfish

There are several ways to catch catfish and one of them is called noodling or handfishing. This is a method in which the angler actually catches the catfish by grabbing it with their bare hands. This is a technique that was first used centuries ago and many anglers continue to practice it today. It’s a simple way to fish that doesn’t require any special gear but you will need an adventurous nature to give this type of fishing a try. You’ll also need to be fast, strong enough to hold onto the fish and have a pair of sturdy hands.

When you’re ready to embark on this adventure, choose a location and begin wading out into the water. Start reaching into holes and other places where the catfish may be, grab hold of the fish and pull him out. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. There are many things that could go wrong and you’ll need to always be prepared and ready to deal with the unexpected.

Grabbing catfish is not for everyone but if you decide it’s something you would like to try, here are five tactics that can help improve the amount of success you have:

1. Get to know as much as you can about the area and start fishing in places where the catfish are known to be. This will save you a lot of time looking for them and reduce the risk of grabbing something other than a catfish. Some of the best places to look for catfish are in deep holes, brush piles, underneath ledges and around rocks.
2. Never head out for a day of noodling unprepared. Keep in mind that if a catfish is large enough and gets a hold of you with his mouth it can rub your skin raw as it slides down your arm and hand. Some anglers choose to wear wetsuits and gloves to protect their body but others prefer to fish without this protection. The choice is yours but if you’re new to the sport, you may want to wear some protection until you get the hang of it.
3. When you grab the catfish make sure you reach out with both hands at the same time and get a good hold of the fish. Many times the catfish will begin rolling in the water as soon as you grab hold. If you don’t have a tight grip with both hands the fish could actually pull you off your feet. Use your body to help corner the fish in its habitat to keep it in a small area where it’ll be easier to hang onto.
4. Take along a partner that you can depend on and who can actually help you if you get into trouble. The catfish is a strong species and if you happen to get hold of a large one, they can easily pull you under and make it difficult for you to get up on your own. Your partner needs to be strong enough to help you get to your feet and regain your balance.
5. The best time to do this type of fishing is during the spring spawning season. This is when the catfish are the most plentiful and the closest to the surface. This makes it easier to find them but be sure and check the laws first. Some areas don’t allow this type of fishing especially in the spring.

Be aware of the dangers that grabbing catfish pose before you attempt this type of fishing. One of the most obvious things to consider is that you’ll be underwater sticking your hands into holes and structure that you can’t see in. This means that you don’t really know what you’ll be grabbing. It could be a snake or a snapping turtle, both of which can prove to be a serious problem.

You also need to be aware of the sharp spines on the catfish that can cause a lot of pain if you get stuck. Since you can’t see where you’re grabbing the fish, it’s easy to grab hold of the wrong place. Another thing to think about is the fact that catfish can and often do bite. Getting bit by a catfish will not be a pleasant experience.
Sometimes, they may even decide to ram into you and if it’s big enough, he could easily knock the breath out of you or knock you off your feet.

When grabbing catfish, you’ll need to be very patient because it can take a while before you find the fish and even longer to get the hang of actually getting one to shore. It takes practice and dedication to master this sport.
You must be willing to deal with a few injuries along the way because most likely, something will happen at some point in time if you go noodling frequently.

Noodling for catfish is one of the most exciting ways to fish but it’s also one of the most dangerous. Some people even consider it to be one of the strangest and most idiotic things anyone could do. But this is a matter of opinion and many anglers consider the thrill to be well worth the risks.

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