What is Catfish Noodling?

For those who don’t know, catfish noodling is the practice of hand-catching catfish using only one’s bare hands. This unique method of fishing has been around for centuries and is still practiced today by many people who enjoy the thrill of the catch.

In this blog post, we’ll take a brief look at the history of catfish noodling and how it has evolved over time.

Catfish Noodling Origins

The origins of catfish noodling are somewhat murky, but it is believed that the practice originated in Asia. It is thought that fishermen would use their bare hands to feel around in the mud for catfish, which they would then catch and eat.

The first recorded instance of catfish noodling was in 1607 when explorer John Smith wrote about seeing native fishermen catching fish with their hands.

The practice eventually made its way to North America, where it was adopted by Native Americans. During the 1800s, white settlers began to take up the practice as well.

At first, it was mainly seen as a way to put food on the table, but over time it became more popular as a sport. Today, there are even competitive tournaments for those who enjoy catching catfish noodling-style.


Catfish noodling is a fascinating and unique way of fishing that has been around for centuries. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no denying that it takes a certain level of skill and bravery to be successful at it.

If you’re ever feeling adventurous, why not give it a try? You just might surprise yourself at what you’re capable of catching!

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