This is Passport to Texas
Noodling or hand fishing is a preferred way to land big catfish, for some.
15— What they do is they find holes that are typically on the bank, or in structure timber, what have you. And, fishermen will search around in the water blindly, feeling in holes until they find these fish, and then they’ll pull them out with their hands.
Whether the anglers get the catfish, or the catfish get the anglers is up for debate.
07— Some of them will tell you they’ll be as gentle as a kitty cat, and some of them will meet you at the door, ready to snap on.
Kris Bodine is a research scientist at Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center.
09—They [hand fishers] tell me that actually blue catfish are a little more aggressive than the flat head catfish, and a lot of the hand fishers don’t want to catch blue catfish because they’re so aggressive.
Although hand fishing is not a new sport, it only became legal in Texas in 2011, which means researchers are in the beginning stages of studying this unique user group.
16—It seems at the outset right now, in terms of the data we’re collecting, that we don’t have a very big user group. There’s probably not a lot of folks going out there hand fishing. In fact, they don’t even have a very long window to do it. It’s typically during the spawning season, so they only have a couple months to hand fish.
A survey for hand-fishing enthusiasts. That’s tomorrow.
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and is funded by your purchase of hunting and fishing equipment and motorboat fuel.
For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.