noodling and other methods of fishing (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Fri Jul 20 17:30:48 UTC 2007

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The local PBS station ran the documentary "Okie Noodling" last night.
Noodling is the practice of catching fish, usually catfish, by sticking
your hands into underwater holes and hoping a fish latches on.  Then you
pull the fish out.  Of course, you may catch a snapping turtle,
poisonous snake, beaver, or other less benign animal.  The "sport" seems
to be centered in Oklahoma, Missouri, Ohio, and other Midwest and
Southern regions.  Noodlers seem to resent that they are held in less
esteem than bass and other sport fishermen (the reality of such disdain
may have something to do with the fact that bass fishermen tend to have
more fingers and less scar tissue than noodlers), so they are now having
their own tournaments.  Note:  Noodling purists don't use scuba tanks,
but current tournament rules don't seem to forbid them.  Is a schism

I don't think that Bassmasters (TM) is fearful (yet) of the competition.

You can imagine my disappoitment that "noodling" has been neglected by
both the HDAS and the OED.  If the average noodler was one to regularly
consult dictionaries, this would only add to his feelings of
persecution.  In an attempt to rectify this sad state of affairs:


"Tells Habits of Favorite Grand River Flathead "Cat" ", Gilbert Weiss,
_Chillicothe [MO] Constitution Tribune_ 8/11/1953, p 2. col 8.

"The flathead's habits of nesting and loafing in cavities makes this
fish especially vulnerable to handfishing or "noodling." "

"The Sportsman" Larry Bauer _The Greeley [CO] Daily Tribune_  Jun 1 1936
p. 7 col 5
"The there is night time "noodling."  This is a very primitive method
and is frowned upon by the law.  The "noodler" strips, goes into the
water and feels around logs and under rocks until he finds a catfish."

"Hook, Line Not Only Way to Catch Fish,"  Joel M. Vance _Jefferson City
[MO] Post-Tribune_ July 3 1973, p. 10 col 2
"Noodling is another esoteric fishing method that is not legal -- and
definitely is not for the squeamish.  It involves reaching into
underwater holes and crevices and carefully extracting the fish that
live there. "


"Noodlers Pay Through Nose"  _Dallas Morning News_ 8/22/1976 Sec: B Page
9 col 4
"Noodling, gaffing, grabbling, snagging and jerking are all ways to
catch fish, but none are legal means."
[later in the same column]
" "Grabbling is catching fish with your hands," Mitchell said."

"5 Fish Poisoners Fined $100, Costs"  _Dallas Morning News_, June 6
1963, Sec 2 p. 4 col 3
"The office also said three other persons had been arrested in East
Texas on charges of grabbling, or taking fish by hand."


"Big Fines Shock Fish Shockers "  _Dallas Morning News_, July 11 1954,
Sec 2 p. 5 col 4
"The report contained twenty-two cases for taking fish illegally.  Most
of these involved "telephoning fish." "

"143 Anglers Learn Texas Has Fishing License Law " _Dallas Morning
News_, Aug 22 1956, Sec 2 p. 5 col 3
"Seven cases were made for using electrical devices to take fish, more
commonly known as "telephoning fish." " [this term comes from the
practice of using an old magneto from a hand-crank telephone to
shock/stun the fish, and they rise to the surface where you pick them
out with a dip net]

[note:  OED has grabbling, but not in this sense]

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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