Is noodling to catch catfish legal or illegal?

Is noodling to catch catfish legal or illegal?

Before you head out onto your favorite lake or river, it is important to know a bit about noodling. Take our advice and check with your local authorities before you participate in this activity just to be on the safe side. The fact is, there are plenty of different laws to follow and they are different in each area. Noodling for catfish is nothing more than catching catfish by hand. This way of fishing dates back to when the Native Americans caught fish in this manner. In fact, it probably dates back farther than that. The practice has gained notoriety in recent times largely due to the publicity it got when it was legalized in Missouri. Missouri is actually one of several states that have legalized the practice of noodling for catfish. There are currently eleven states in which it is legal to hand fish, or noodle, for catfish, though state to state regulations do apply, and you should check your state laws and regulations before noodling. Noodling is legal in the following states: Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, and Missouri. Noodling involves fishermen going out into the water, diving down, and reaching into submerged hollow logs, underwater hollows, or specially designed boxes that have been made ahead of time and placed in the habitats of these fish to entice them to nest there. The fish then in turn bite the hand of the angler, and the fish is hauled out of the water and onto the bank, which often results in injury, sometimes serious, to the fisherman.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

2 Responses to “Is noodling to catch catfish legal or illegal?”

  1. Sarah says:

    You may want to check your information. Noodling is definitely NOT legal in Missouri. Don’t take this guy’s info as law.

  2. 120mm fan says:

    ;,. that seems to be a great topic, i really love it ,~*

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