Noodling safely

Is there anyway to go noodling safely?

It is well documented that noodling can be seen as an unsafe sport due to the nature of what the fisherman has to do to catch a catfish.

For those who are uninitiated noodling is the practise of swimming in water that is up to twenty feet in depth and putting your hand into catfish holes along the bottom with a handful of bait in your hand. The idea is the catfish will bite your hand or arm and you pull it out of the hole and swim with the fish to the surface.

Before advising you how to carry out noodling safely I must mention that noodling is illegal in many states in America so it is important to check your states laws before going out noodling as you could face a fine of five hundred dollars if caught.

Noodling safely

The best way to carry out noodling so you have the best possible safety net is as follows….

Always carry out noodling in pairs, this way should anything happen you have support with you. This works because many people do not realise the strength of a catfish and could possibly drown while try to swim to the surface with a heavy, strong fish. Having another person with you can also help as they can act as a spotter, telling you where the catfish holes are before you dive down in to the water meaning less time spent under the water.

Secondly you can wear a glove for safety. Because your using your hand and arm as your "hook" it is normal for cuts and grazes to occur, while many of these are superficial a glove can stop this from happening.

Third and final safety tip is to do a double chekc on the catfish holes before putting your arm in as it may not be a catfish that grabs your arm but rather a beaver or snapping turtle.


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

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