Louisiana Outdoorsmen Rejoice as Catfish Noodling Is Now Legal
Maybe I am late to the party here, but I never thought that noodling was illegal. Catfish noodling that is.
What Is Catfish Noodling?
Basically, you find out where the catfish is nesting. Then you shove your arm down into the hole and most catfish are very territorial so they attack your hand. From there the fisherman uses their hand as a hook. So yes, you put your entire arm into muddy water knowing there is an angry swamp monster waiting for you.
Catfish Noodling is Popular With Many Louisiananians That Love the Outdoors.
So it was a shock when we heard that catfish noodling was legalized in Louisiana on August 1st. This was just one of the many laws that went into effect so we may have missed it, however, who knew it was frowned upon up until now?
State Representative Jack McFarland teamed up with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and created House Bill 419. The new law covers multiple ways that we can take fish out of the water and how catfish can be harvested. Louisiana is now the 16th state where noodling is legal. The law says "Catfish may be taken by means of snagging devices and hand-grabbing." So this means noodling is fair game.
A Shreveport Noodling Expert Vince Wozniak is Excited About the New Law.
"Noodling has been around for a long time, it's great that this is finally being acknowledged as a means of harvesting fish and most of us do it for sport." Wozniak went on to explain that most of the time he and his team keep the small fish for meat and most of the time they let the big fish back into the hole so they can go back to protect the babies.
My friend Vince left me with one last quote that had me laughing. "Well, there are two types of catfish people noodle for, the Blue Catfish or an Opelousas Catfish. You ain't a real noodler until you get bit by a blue catfish. It feels like thunder has struck your hand, those are the most aggressive and they bite hard."