A peculiar kind of fishing technique that developed during the Depression out of sheer desperation was ‘noodling’. Catfishing tips will come handy here. Though this technique carries many different names its practice comprises of three distinct stages that are adhered to by all noodlers.
The first stage is locating the prey. For successful noodling, it is essential to spot the hideout of your potential prey. As Catfish are bottom dwellers, shallow waters with plenty of submerged rocks and logs offer sanctity and perfect lodgings. A noodler gets into the game unlike a typical pole and line fisherman. Wading in shallow waters and fighting the cat fish until it gives in is a sport not many would care to try. Since noodling poses a risk of drowning, most anglers prefer noodling with spotters.
The second stage of noodling is ‘verification’ probing inside holes in shallow, murky waters is simply asking for trouble. What might look like a natural catfish dwelling might turn out to be an alligator’s den. Besides, there are venomous snakes that lurk around submerged rocks and logs. It is critical that the noodler makes sure that the hole is safe from such dangers, before thrusting in with his bare hands. When the noodler’s hand starts prodding about inside a catfish hideout, the catfish takes offense and lashes out.
Once a catfish latches on to the hand, it keeps the hold for quite some time, allowing the noodler time to get the ‘cat’ out of the water. Sounds easy enough, but it is actually a life threatening sport that requires courage, strength and presence of mind. The team of spotters help the noodler pull the fish out of the water and also provide backup if things get out of hand.
Catfish gets the name from the uncanny resemblance it shares with the feline land dwellers. The long, tactile projections that cover the chin and the mouth area in pairs work as sensory organs bearing foreign taste buds. Catfish are bottom dwellers and mostly live in murky waters. The Barbells whiskers help the catfish to screen the water and check it for hidden dangers. Another crucial function is leading the catfish to food and forage in less visible surroundings.
The dorsal and pectoral fins of catfish are sharp with serrate edges. A hollow leading ray which works as a defense mechanism is connected to these fins. Whenever a catfish feels threatened it emits a deadly protein from its glands that can leave a man mangled if not dead. Not all catfish carry the stinging protein glands. Those species which are devoid of these glands are provided with another potent shield —- a well developed electrogenic organ. The electric catfish are nocturnal hunters and use the organ’s electric discharge to incapacitate their prey. Found abundantly in the Nile and the waters of Africa, the electric catfish has the ability to produce a devastating electric shock of up to 350 volts. So, you better follow those catfishing safety tips when trying out noodling!