So the other day, some friends and I were talking about this little sport:
Now, I like fishing. Bass fishing. Deep sea fishing. Fly fishing. It's one of my favorite outdoor activities. And I even enjoy from time to time, catching a catfish. Oh, it's not my favorite, getting the hook out can be a nuisance and as an entree the flavor is, well, let's just say that I usually catch and release anyway but with this particular fresh water dump-truck, I really like the catch and release policy. They do put up a good fight though, and on a day where you're pulling nothing but bluegill out of their natural habitat, hooking one of these beasts can be a rather exciting change of pace. Hooking one. With bait on a hook, attached by way of fishing line to a rod and a reel. You can even use a bobber to indicate bait/hook activity.
Perhaps I'm a sissy though. I think the fellas in the video might think so. Yes, I'm pretty sure of that actually; they seemed pretty free about dropping the sissy bomb and I think I would have that one coming. It just seems, I don't know, unpleasant. And given the rod/reel/line/hook/bait technology, a little unnecessary. Yet, there is one undeniable truth about myself or my friends (to my knowledge or memory of our conversations on the subject), none of us have actually tried noodling, never even seen it done before.
Now let's be clear about something, the don't knock it until you've tried it thing is a bogus line. Some things need to be left alone, never tried by anyone. I don't want to go into too much detail on this subject, but let me give you an example: heroin. OK? Can we agree? Don't try everything? That said, I'm not sure noodling qualifies for this category. Granted, I've always been much more inclined to participate in random outdoor sports than I am drug-experimentation, but I don't think it would be too hard to justify my preferences. So, let's say for the sake of argument that, I and perhaps some of my more adventurous friends, decided to give this noodling thing a try. I'd like some questions answered first.
Where would we go? Mississippi? Oklahoma? We'd need a guide, someone that knows what they're doing. I mean, we're not exactly going to just tromp on into a random river or farm pond and just start feeling around for catfish holes. Would I Google "noodling tours" or "grabbing guides?"
Next, can we try using alternative methods first? Maybe the fish would like to eat something besides my hand. I guess the point of noodling very well might be just to be noodling, but to me it seems more like a tactic to be used after all others have been exhausted. It could go something like this, "Well, I guess the fishing pole thing isn't working today. We're going to have to noodle it." OK then, catfish master, then I guess that's what we're going to have to do. Just don't call me a sissy.
And who pioneered this concept? Is there a Naismith, a Doubleday of noodling? And how did they come up with it and why? I'd bet it was to impress girls. Did that work back then? Does it work now? I'm definitely in if it does.
And most importantly, why is it illegal in so many states? Is it dangerous? Do people really actually lose fingers sometimes? Or more often drown, I guess. But that's nonsense if this is the case. Rock climbing is dangerous. Racing cars is dangerous. Why would we single out the noodlers? More than likely I think it probably has more to do with the fish themselves. But catfish aren't exactly endangered are they? Is the tactic considered unfair? Couldn't be anymore unfair than say, I don't know, firing a shotgun at something! Is this a PETA thing?
Anyway, before participation, I'd like some of this cleared up. Even then I'm hesitant, but then I wouldn't want to be called a sissy, so you know if the opportunity arises, what the hell? If it does though, I'm not going alone on this one. Noodling anyone? Sissy.