I still don't believe people do this. But it's pretty common in Louisiana. It's called noodling. You use your bare hands to catch catfish. It can be painful, but can be very worthwhile when you land that big one.

YouTube

Watch as A.J. from Louisiana tries his luck at a tiny creek and he gets quite the fish. A.J. gets quite a gash on his arm to bring in this 50 lb monster.

Here's how you properly noodle:

You stick your hand inside a catfish hole that you have located in a lake. You wiggle your fingers to attract the fish to your hand. The fish will then bite your arm. While your hand is inside the fish's mouth, you grab the gills to make sure the fish does not get away and pull him up to the surface.

I have tried to find out where the name noodling comes from and really couldn't find a good explanation.

One thing I have learned in researching this hobby is you have to be extra careful and watch out for gators. Many lakes and creeks in Louisiana have lots of alligators and they might be attracted to a guy just hanging out in the water with his arm stuck down a catfish hole.

As of 2002, noodling is legal in some form in fourteen states and Louisiana is one of those states. Since that time, noodling has also been legalized in Texas. You might find some restrictions on the size of fish you can catch while noodling.

If you are looking for a little noodling on vacation this summer, check these folks out.

My only bit of advice if you want to try noodling, bring lots of band-aids.