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:
NOODLING or GRABBLING
- 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
Read all the Georgia Fishing Regulations including seasons, safety and licensing.