Tagged: noodling

Pool Noodling for Catfish – the Other Kind of Noodling

Picture by Catfish Sutton

OK, something is going to have to change.  When it comes to noodling for catfish, there seems to be two different kinds that are competing for the same name.  One type of noodling is to catch a catfish by finding where the catfish is held up in a hole, and then you reach your hand or arm down into the hole and stick it in the catfishes’ mouth.  When the catfish crabs on, you pull your arm out of the hole with the catfish attached and there you have it.  Well maybe not quite as easy as that, because it usually includes a lot of chomping and yelling.

But then there’s the other type of noodling, but maybe it can be distinguished when some call it pool noodling.  It’s called pool noodling because it’s a method of catching catfish using one of those noodles you see in just about every swimming pool these days.  It’s just a long foam plastic tube that you can buy just about anywhere for real cheap.  This method is really just a newer conversion of jug fishing (or jugging) where they just use any old nasty plastic jug with a line and hook attached.  And sorta related to limb line fishing, throw line fishing, or maybe a single hook version of trotline fishing.  Everybody’s got to do something different.

Anyway, for pool noodling, you make your noodle by tying the fish line to the end of a 1-2 ft length of noodle.  But a couple of different ways have been devised to keep the line from tearing through the noodle.  One is to put a small metal or plastic tube through the end of the noodle (across the diameter) and thread the fishing line through the tube. Another way is to put a PVC pipe (with same outer diameter as the ID of the noodle) through the length of the noodle (with a little gorilla glue to hold it in).  Then you can put two holes at one end of the PVC pipe to tie the fishing line through.  Or as Gobblin tom shows in this video, you can put two caps on the ends of the PVC pipe, put a weight in the pipe, and screw an eye-bolt to one end to attach the fishing line.  The tube is laid flat on the water and when the bait is hit by a catfish, the tube tilts, the weight shifts and the noodle stands up.  With some reflective tape on the top end, it’s easy to see, even at night.  The weight shift idea may cause a few false positives for catches, but I don’t see a problem.  Even if a little nibble turns some noodles upend, they can still catch catfish.  If you wanna be real sure, watch the noodle bob underwater or be drug around to verify the catch.

Also be sure to write you name and address on the noodles or in some states, like Oklahoma, you could get in deep trouble.  This type of noodling is a lot easier method of catching a catfish than the catfish-in-a-hole type of noodling, and doesn’t require all the yelling from the pain of being ravaged by a catfish.  But there is still plenty of yelling many times just because its so easy to grab a nice catfish with a pool noodle. Maybe we should call it Pooloodling or Poodling???

Noodling For Flathead – Catfishing – Tips and Techniques Used By Pros

Picture by bigtncats.com

Picture by bigtncats.com

Flat head catfish are the largest variety of catfish found in the United States. They are extremely popular with fishermen as a game fish all across the United States. This species is also a known invasive species in some parts of United States having known to have depleted the native sunfish and eel populations in some regions.

They have also rid some areas of the native bullhead catfish population and are threatening the bass in some areas as a competing species. If you do not live in the great lakes area, Mississippi basin area, or the Ohio river system area, do not catch and release these fish; instead keep them in the freezer. You will have saved the American eel or the bullhead catfish population with your thoughtful actions. It is also a good idea to tell more people about this problem; this will stop people from introducing these fish in other ecosystems.

These large catfish can grow to be over a hundred pounds and can put up a good fight when you try to haul them into your boats. It is therefore a good idea to carry a monofilament 20 pound test line with you when you go fishing for these monster cats. It is also a good idea to carry crayfish or shrimp for bait. The best kind of bait for flatheads is live sunfish, shad, or goldfish. You will also need Kahle hooks of sizes bigger than 7/0 for these fishes. A medium to heavy action rod is a must.

Flathead catfish are active predators feeding primarily on smaller fish like shad, sunfish, eels and minnows. They usually come out at night to feed. The anglers will have better luck hooking them if they go fishing after hours. Drift fishing with live fish as bait during the night will yield best results. These fish can also be caught during the twilight hours and cloudy days.

They usually hide at the bottom during day time. It is therefore important to weigh the line properly when you go fishing during the day. A 5 oz roll weight will be good. These fish grow up to be considerably bigger than channel cats and blues and can break your rod or line when they are giving you a fight. Expect aching arms and fatigue after a day (or night) fishing for flatheads. These cats make the best trophy fish, so do carry your camera with you, if you plan to catch and release.

Some people also go noodling to snag these fishes. Noodling involves catching the flatheads with your bare hands. Needless to say, noodling is an extreme sport and should be approached with caution. It is a good idea to go with some friends when you go noodling for catfish; they can help you haul in the monster once it has clamped its jaws on your hand.

Always wear mittens when you go noodling; the catfish bite can hurt and its bite has also been known to draw blood.

by George Landrail