A tradition unlike any other
begins May 1 in Mississippi.
handfishing, or noodling—whatever you call it—catching catfish with your hands
is a popular way of fishing for a lot of people in the state.
The season runs from May 1 through July
Handgrabbers catch channel, blue,
and flathead catfish, depending on which one is spawning at the time.
"People wade around looking for cavities
where catfish nest. These can be
natural, such as hollow logs and holes in a stream or lake bank, or artificial wooden
structures," said MDWFP Fisheries Biologist and avid handgrabber, John
Skains. "When you reach into a log, the
catfish attacks, and you grab it and just hang on."
Anglers must have a valid sport
fishing license to grabble for catfish.
Artificial structures can be used but must be made of wood. Structures may not be raised out of the water
to aid in the capture of the fish. Fish
can only be taken using hands or by use of a rope or stringer. No hooks or
gaffs are permitted.