Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Art of Noodlin

What is it? Well, if you are from the south you know immediately what it is.  However, the farther north you travel "noodlin" is done only by the really hearty and hard core outdoors person.  Joni is a good friend of ours, and she does it all; from fishing to hunting to noodlin.

Joni with her Grandson, the future master angler, hunter and all around sportsman.
The art of "noodlin"

The fish of choice is the catfish, and the process is a little more complicated than just sticking your arm in the water.  The choice of catfish is the flathead.  The fish lives in holes and under logs and overhangs close to the bank.  The process is to locate where the fish might be hiding and stick your hand down into the hole.  Sometimes this takes a little practice.  The fish will become startled and try to escape.  It does this by latching onto the person's hand in a defensive maneuver.  You have now caught a catfish and can pull it up and throw it on the bank.  Fresh catfish, skinned, filleted and deep fried is excellent.  Shown below is the choice of batter I use.

Uncle Bucks Fish Batter Mix - Original
The greatest threat to noodlers is from other creatures that might be living in the same spot as the noodler.  Snakes, beavers, muskrats, and snapping turtles are just to name a few.  In the deep southern states alligators can become a problem.  The primary problem though comes from minor cuts and scrapes.  Joni wears gloves and does not use her bare hands.  Also diving into deep holes ten to twenty feet deep can increase the risk of drowning.  Joni never goes above her knees and still gets her share of catfish. 

Catfish.  Skinned and filleted, provides excellent fare.

Southwest Iowa is blessed with a lot of small streams and rivers that drain the rolling hills of farm ground in the area.  There is a lot of opportunity to go "noodlin."

Good fishing, good huntin, and good noodlin.  Hank

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