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Catfish Noodling

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Why do they say "caught hook, line and sinker" when really, the order of action would probably be more like, "caught sinker, hook and line"? The fish spots the sinker, gets hooked and then gets drawn on the line.

Wouldn't it be easier not even to mess with any of that crap? Heck yeah.

That's the basis for noodling, which is catching catfish barehanded. The noodler wades into catfish friendly water, which is often shallow and dirty, and looks for places where catfish might be hanging out, like mud holes and storm drain outlets. Once the noodler finds a good spot, she sticks her arm into the hole and wiggles her fingers until a catfish is tempted to bite.

Mostly the bite happens a good ways up the forearm, at which point the noodler grabs the catfish from the inside and pulls. Or she just pulls, anticipating that the catfish will not be smart enough to let go once it's got a hold of her delicious arm. Ideally, the fish comes up and onto the boat. Usually, there's a little bit of a fight while the fish attempts to pull the noodler back into the hole, presumably to eat him.

The documentary about catfish noodling actually has a soundtrack by the Flaming Lips, which just increases the weirdness of everything. There's also a sequel, which makes it twice as weird.

I bet you could make a pretty decent urban version of this by sticking your pinky finger into holes in sidewalks where you think rats might live. Or if you suspect there to be a possum in a tree, you might try to noodle the possum on out, which would make for something this side of spectacular as well.