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I was watching an outdoor show the other day and they were doing a special on "noodling" for catfish. This sometimes goes by the name grabbing or grappling. For those who don't know this is where you reach into holes in the bank, root jams or other structure usually closed at one end with you hands and feel for the fish. You entice the fish to open it's mouth. Then you grab the fish by the mouth or reach through and grab it behind the gill plate. I've done quite a bit of scuba diving and I know that visibility in these rivers is nonexistent at best which makes this a purely touch and feel operation. Who out there actually does this and would you please share some stories of your most exciting catch. I know other critters live in these holes and could only imagine the surprise of grabbing a snapper or a muskrat. My hat's off to you :D


Frog
 

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I've never done it but the practice is quite common down here. We call it handgrabbin. In many instances grabbers will submerge lengths of pipe in lakes and periodically dive down, reach in, and drag the cat to the surface. I also know of a few that are a bit more traditional and do the holes in the bank and other areas as you described. Regardless, I have never been tempted to abandon the security of my boat.
 

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Hoggin'

Done a bit 'o' hoggin, but in clearwater lakes in AR. Like to see where I'm sticking my hand! We set out catfish pipes and boxes. They love them. Caught some in holes in the rocks, too!
 

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My step-son's boss is famous for hand grabbin' around here. They will set out weighted hollow logs, boxes, pipes, and other things that big fish like to hole up in and also know where every natural hole is in all the lakes in this end of the state. He only weighs about 140 pounds and some of the fish he hauls out look as big as him! I never had the desire to join them though.

JEB/Ms
 
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