When Is The Best Time To Noodle Catfish

Conclusion for the Best Handfishing Times

A spoof for proof from tournament catfish noodling anglers:

A while back, I was watching a television episode of a catfish grabbling tournament. One group of guys claimed that nighttime was the greatest time to catch catfish. They stayed out all night on the water and returned empty. Yes, at last they caught on, but it was long after the sun had broken the horizon.

So there you have it. Daytime and spawning are the optimal periods for catfish to spawn.

Good luck wrestling around with those giant catfish. Most importantly, be safe out there in the water. You never know what else could be there, waiting to bite something, lurking around with you.

If you’re new to noodling, you might want to get in touch with a guide. It should be possible for you to pick up some tips and methods as well.

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A Hand Grabbing History

For the uninitiated, catfish noodling, also referred to as grabbling, hogging, catfisting, graveling, or stumping, involves swimming or wading into the water and using your bare hands to probe underwater holes in order to make an enraged catfish chomp on them.

This saves you from needing a hook, line, or rod to catch the fish and bring it to the surface. It’s a primitive form of fishing that pits you against a massive fish on its home range, leaving you exhausted, hurt, and bleeding at the end of the day—but not broken.

I felt like I had just been put in a watery cage with Andre the Giant when I went noodling for the first time and ended up manhandling a 30-pound flathead catfish to the boat. However, by the time we arrived at the next fishing location, I had cleaned the blood off my wrist and expelled the water from my lungs, ready to go fishing once more.

Many consider noodling to be a relatively recent practice because of the surge in popularity of outdoor culture on social media, primetime television, and streaming networks. It’s actually among the nation’s earliest known techniques for fishing. The first account of it was written in 1775 by Irish trader, historian, and immigrant James Adair, who described various Native American tribes harvesting catfish by hand in the rivers surrounding South Carolina. Subsequently, many Scottish immigrants from the 18th century adopted noodling, having previously employed a technique known as “tickling” for hand-catching salmon and trout in their own nation. ”.

The American Great Depression saw a peak in the popularity of oodling as it became the most convenient way for low-income and struggling families to put fresh food on the table. However, this popularity ultimately contributed to the sport’s demise because numerous states realized how harmful catfish noodling was to anglers and how it was affecting catfish populations, which are typically spawning at the time noodlers target them. Due to the numerous deaths of noodlers trying to stock their freezers with catfish fillets, noodling was eventually outlawed in all states but four.

Still, noodling remained a clandestine activity, evolving into an illicit fishing technique that gained traction behind the scenes of fishing communities. To the extent that the South and Midwest appeared to experience a noodling renaissance at the start of the new millennium. Between 2001 and 2018, 12 more states approved the practice of noodling as a result of numerous state laws that acknowledged the sport’s validity and its enduring ties to fishing culture. As of right now, noodling is acceptable in the following states: Wisconsin, Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Oklahoma Many catfish enthusiasts have been inspired by this massive expansion to put down their heavy rods, limb lines, and stink bait and don swim trunks in an attempt to try their hand at hand-catching catfish.

Best Times and Places For Catfish Noodling

This is essentially a two part answer…

The greatest time of year to go handfishing is during the spawning season. This is the time of year, from spring through early summer, right before the temperature starts to rise.

Those massive catfish would have established a den in the cavities of large rocks and boulders or inside hollow stumps. They will sit inside there to protect their spawning beds.

Fall and early winter, when the summertime temperatures return to more moderate levels, are also excellent times. About 70 degrees is the ideal temperature to pursue those whiskerfish.

The best part of a 24-hour day to be outside is during the day.

As the sun sets in the evening, catfish start to move around. They wander around during the night in quest of food to eat. They will have completed their meal and returned to their cozy den by the time the sun rises in the early morning, serving to keep their nests and themselves safe from predators like catfish noodlers.

Those big catfish stage themselves during the day. It is probable that they will be concealed by some form of obstruction, such as large rocks or boulders, beaver dams, heavy timber piles, cypress tree stumps, or deep, shelf-like crevices in the waters edge.

The best time to noodle for catfish will be during the day since you know that they should be motionless during the day and most likely moving throughout the night.

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