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While the idea of sticking your hand in the mouth of a 40-pound catfish may not sound too appealing, some adventurous folks in Georgia are catching noodling fever. Newly legal in Georgia, hand fishing, also called noodling or grabbling, has been a method of catching catfish since the days of our Native American ancestors. We take a look at this unusual fishing technique and some of the places in Georgia that you can do it, and we examine the state of Georgia's catfish population.

Regulations regarding noodling

The following is taken from the 2007 Georgia Fishing regulations handbook:


  • Flathead, channel and blue catfish may
    be taken by hand, without the aid of
    any device, hook, snare, net or other
    artificial element and without the use
    of any scuba equipment, air hose or
    other artificial breathing apparatus.
  • Noodling is legal in the fresh waters of the state from March 1 - July 15 each year.
  • A sport fishing license is required to
    noodle (grabble) in Georgia.
  • It is illegal to take game fish (other than the catfish species listed above) and
    all other species of fish by hand.
  • It is not legal to alter any natural
    or man-made features in order to
    attract or capture fish by hand. It
    is not legal to raise any part of a
    natural or artificial device out of the
    water to aid in the hand capture of
    enclosed fish.

Read all the Georgia Fishing Regulations including seasons, safety and licensing.

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