East Texas “noodler” Ronald Murdock says he has been fishing that way for 14 years. Noodling is reaching down into dark water and grabbing a catfish with your bare hand. Murdock says he loves fishing that way.
“Man, I tell you, noodling catfish is one of the best adrenaline rushes you could ever have,” Murdock says, “because you never know what's going to bite you when you get down in the holes.”
He says he’s never been bitten by a snake or a snapping turtle – not yet.
Noodling has only been legal in Texas for four years. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says it is working on a plan now to ensure a healthy catfish population while also helping fishermen make the sport better.
Murdock does his noodling near Nacogdoches.
“We normally look for stump holes, hollow logs and concrete structures submerged on the water,” he explains.
Using their bare hands, some noodlers have caught catfish weighing more than 80 pounds.