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noodling aly from alabama catfish over shoulder

Catfish Noodling [A crazy fishing method!] | Learn How To Catch Catfish Bare-Handed

“I stuck my hand down in this hole and pulled out a giant catfish.”

Wait… WHAT??

If you’ve ever heard about noodling for catfish, you might wonder what in the world might possess someone to stick their hand into a dark hole and hope something latches on.

This is… noodling!

two men holding giant flathead catfish

Does the thought of grabbing a big catfish with your bare hands make you want to learn more? Read on!


You can jump straight to any of the following sections of article:


two hands holding up a noodled catfish

Grabbing a catfish with your bare hands will definitely make you want to raise your hands in victory!

So, what exactly is “noodling?” Well, it’s basically catching a fish with your bare hands. VIDEOS BELOW…

Noodling defined

Some call it hand fishing. Some call it grabbling (or grabblin) or hogging, and of course, some call it “noodling.”

The bottom line is that you are catching a fish with your bare hands!

Even though it might seem scary at first, it can be fun like you’ve never experienced when you #putahandN1!

So, How Can I Learn to Noodle A Catfish?

Do you want to learn to Put A Hand N1? Read below for a step-by-step noodling tutorial!

Time needed: 10 minutes.

How to noodle for catfish:

  1. Safety First!

    Always have at least one person in the water with you, spotting you, when you noodle for catfish. Noodling can sometimes require you to go under water and holding your breath.

    Don’t overestimate your ability to hold your breath. Also, catfish are extremely powerful fish, so be sure you don’t underestimate their strength. You may also want to wear gloves to protect your hands. They bite hard!

  2. Find where they’re hiding…

    Check under boat ramps and in holes in the bank. Some people also noodle in man-made catfish boxes that have been submerged to attract catfish during the spawn.

    You can use a stick to probe in the holes. If there’s a catfish in the hole, it will often bite the stick with a distinct “thud.”

  3. Stick your hand in the hole

    This can be the most unnerving part of noodling catfish. Be sure to keep your 4 fingers together so you don’t break a finger unnecessarily (see picture below!) Slowly move your hand around in the hole and get ready to get bit!

    hand placement when noodling

  4. Grab it!

    Once the catfish bites your hand try to close your hand, grabbing its lower jaw. Once you get a grip on it, try pulling it from the hole.

    Once you are able, slip your other hand up under the catfish’s gil plate (see picture below). This helps prevent the catfish from “rolling” and getting away.

    The roll is very powerful, so don’t neglect this step. On larger fish, you may want to wrap your legs around its tail to lock it up.

    men holding flathead catfish caught noodling

  5. Celebrate!

    There’s nothing like the rush of noodling. You’ll be able to handle this step with no problem! And be sure to shout, “Put A Hand N1!”

What Do Other People Say About Hand Fishing?

You might have seen people noodling for catfish on social media. Here’s what some of our friends have to say about this crazy hobby of catching catfish with your bare hands…

“I love noodling because there isn’t anything that can prepare you for it. Every aspect of noodling is based on your ability to conquer your own fears — you can’t prepare yourself and you can’t practice. There is a level of surprise that is untouched in any other sport or hobby, and the adrenaline rush is absolutely incredible.”

Aly “Aly from Alabama” Schreiber

“Noodling challenges me every time and the feeling of conquering fear is absolutely addicting!”

Jess Bond

“There’s just something about the adrenaline rush of going into a hole blind, but expecting to get bit every time! That’s what I noticed the first time I tried it a 12 years old! From the first bite of a little 3 lb blue cat, I was hooked on that adrenaline rush! It’s become something of a passion for me, not just a hobby! Couldn’t really see myself going back to not doing it at this point!”

Nate Kennedy

“It’s just the adrenaline you get from getting on a big fish, and the experience of having fun while doing it. But it all comes down to putting a hand N1 and that’s what I love the most!”

Lane Allen
huge catfish with large whiskers that was noodled

Since learning to noodle catfish, it’s now enjoyable to teach others how to grab big cats, like when I took one of our friends from FOB Archery. (Those whiskers though!) Learn more below about how I learned to catch these dinosaurs with my bare hands!

Is noodling legal and can I go in my state?

You may have watched these videos and read the stories on this page and said, “There’s no way I’m ever doing that!”

However, you might be one that loves the thought of catching a catfish with your bare hands and wonder, “Is noodling legal in my state?”

Find out if noodling is legal in your state. If so, you can click “more info” to visit that state’s department of natural resources to learn more about the local game laws for legality and restrictions on noodling for catfish.)

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If you want to see pure outdoor joy, watch these catfish noodling videos below of our friends, Andrew Urban and Luke-Avery Urban and “Aly from Alabama” as they noodle some huge catfish! The videos below will make you smile… we promise!

Now THIS is how you celebrate a catfish!

Check out this huge catfish and the ensuing celebration! Woo!

MORE VIDEOS BELOW THAT YOU WON’T BELIEVE…

Another Monster Catfish Noodling Moment

In this video, Andrew’s brother, Luke Avery-Urban, puts a hand N1! Check out this incredible catfish noodling video!

Watch Luke-Avery put a hand N1 as he grabs a huge flathead catfish from underneath a concrete boat ramp…


WATCH OUR FRIEND ALY FROM ALABAMA BELOW, NOODLE “A STINKY ONE…”

Aly From Alabama Noodles Big Blue Cat

When it comes to grabbing big cats, “Aly from Alabama” is no stranger to big cats. Check out what happens when this blue cat engulfs her arm!

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Once up a time, I was a first time noodler…

Watching catfish noodling videos like the ones above from the Urban brothers and Aly from Alabama made me want to put a hand N1 too!

What was it about sticking your hand into dark holes where you couldn’t see anything and hoping something huge would bite your hand?

We weren’t sure what the buzz was all about, but we were fascinated to find out what it was like to get bit.

So, we scheduled our first noodling trip with Luke-Avery Urban on Clarks Hill lake in Lincolton, Georgia.

After all, in addition to learning how to ice fish, is something we’d always wanted to try.

man holding flathead catfish that he caught with bare hands

A great day on the lake noodling for catfish! This was a nice flathead I grabbed with the five-finger death grip!

Tag-Team Catfish Noodling!

Sometimes the catfish are just too big for one person to handle!

But first, a limit out

Luke-Avery was generous enough to spend the whole day with us, teaching the N1 Outdoors audience how to fish for striped bass and hybrid bass.

So, we spent the first part of the day striper fishing and it turned into a striped bass and hybrid limit! 

Once we had limited out on striped bass and hybrid, we were off to some boat ramps that had produced some quality noodling trips over the years for Luke-Avery. 



Catfish spawning

Spawning time is the optimal time for noodling catfish. We learned that water temperature is key in learning when the catfish spawn happens.

The female lays her eggs in hollow logs, crevices or caverns under the bank, and in holes or openings under boat ramps, which is where we would be searching.

Once the female catfish lays her eggs, the male guards the nest fiercely until the hatch occurs. We found out that they will bite down hard on anything entering the nest!

Spawning of catfish can vary depending on location, however, temperature ranges of 65-84 degree water temperature will trigger spawning action of blue cats and flathead catfish. Some believe 81 is the magical temperature for some species, but again, that can vary depending on location.

Well, whatever the perfect temperature is for each, we were able to experience both species in one outing! 

Hurt at first bite

At our first stop, I got to experience what it feels like to get bit on the hand when trying to noodle a catfish for the first time. I learned quickly that it’s best to keep your fingers together when noodling.

The first bite was actually on just my little finger. It sure didn’t feel very good! If you have never experienced how strong the mouth of a catfish is, noodling will help you understand!

man holding flathead catfished that he noodled

Getting a big catfish to bite your hand and then pulling it out of a hole will get your heart beating at high speed!

Luke-Avery said he’s taken a lot of grown men noodling and most of the have yelled underwater the first time they get bit. I was determined to not do that. But, I will say I was certainly startled. 

I tried multiple times to grab the catfish in that first hole and just could get a grip fast enough.

Finally, Luke-Avery said to let him try. He stuck his hand into the hole and got bit as well.

When he came up he said, “that’s a blue cat. They bite harder than a flathead catfish does.” (Flathead catfish are sometimes referred to as mud cats, yellow cats or shovelhead catfish.)

We left that hole and moved farther down the boat ramp. Eventually, we were both diving down in 10 feet of water checking other holes. Luke-Avery was able to pull out a nice blue cat.

hand grabbing a catfish while noodling

To “put a hand N1” is a rush quite unlike any outdoor activity I’ve ever tried. I highly recommend it!

My first bare-handed catfish!

When we left there, we went to another ramp where Luke-Avery had noodled some 40+ pound catfish in prior years. We got bit several times but were having trouble landing any cats. Finally, I was able to get a hand N1 and land my first flathead catfish! It was a rush for sure!

I found out that noodling was definitely worth all the hype. Let’s just say that was the first of many noodling trips to come!

bow hunting tips picture of man with bow and arrow

Bow Hunting Tips From N1 Outdoors [So You Can Be Ready When The Moment Of Truth Comes]

Bow hunting is a fun and adventurous way to hunt wild game. Many who have experienced success at it will tell you that there’s nothing quite like it.

Whether you are looking for information on bow hunting for beginners or even a seasoned veteran, we hope to provide you with helpful bow hunting tips to help you in your quest to become a better bow hunter.

  1. Bow Maintenance
  2. Blind Bale Shooting
  3. Aim Small / Miss Small
  4. Hunting Stances
  5. Off-Season Practice

Check out the FIVE archery video tips below to get valuable information on how you can be sure you have an arrow that’s “Just Pass’N Through!”

Bow Hunting Tips: #1 – Bow Maintenance | Avoid Freak Accidents Like This One…

When you see this freak archery accident, you’ll want to learn what you can do to help prevent the possibility of it ever happening to you.

Bow hunting is more than just flinging arrows. bow maintenance checks in the off-season, as well as before your hunt, are an extremely important part of being sure you are able to bow hunt safely and avoiding injury.

In the first of our bow hunting tips, we’ve got details on how to do preventative bow maintenance, so you can avoid unnecessary accidents like this one when shooting your bow…

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Archery Accidents And How To Avoid Them

If you watched the above video, you’ll understand why bow maintenance is an important part of bow hunting.

Some of you are shooting your bow year round, but some of you put it into storage during the off season and because the temperatures can change in those environments, it’s very important to check bowstrings cables as well as your limbs before shooting.



Bow maintenance checklist [Pre-Shoot Checklist]

Here are some things you should check before you shoot your bow:

  • Be sure before every shoot that you check your strings and your cables for any signs of wear or fraying. Anything like that can be a potential for a broken string or cable during a hunt just like in the video above.
  • Be sure you check your limbs very carefully. You want to be sure there’s no signs of splintering, bubbling, or cracking. Extreme temperatures and sometimes even storage can cause limbs to weaken. And, you don’t want to have one of those limbs be damaged or break during a shoot.
  • Be sure all your screws and any bolts are tightened properly, so that you don’t have any of your accessories loose during a shoot.
  • Check your cams. Be sure you don’t have any nics or cuts that would affect your string in any way,  whether it be to cause a fraying or a cutting of the string, or else damage to a cam, where your string may actually even come off the track.
  • Be sure your rest is aligned properly.
  • Check cam rotation and be sure the cams are not warped and that they both reach letoff at the same exact time.
  • Be sure you get the proper arrow spine for your bow set up.

If you are not sure how to check the above items, we recommend you take to your local bow shop and have them look for you and inspect that, so that you can have the best chance of a safe shoot.

Tip #2 – Blind Bale Shooting [Improve Your Archery Technique]

In this N1 Minute archery tips video, learn how closing your eyes can be the best way to see results in your archery and bow hunting technique.

bow hunting tips blind bale shooting

Stand back a few feet from a large target. Draw back and locate your target. Close your eyes and shoot. This drill will help grip, form, anchor point and release techniques. Put all these techniques together N1, and you’ll be seeing the results soon.

Tip #3 – Aim Small Miss Small [Improve Your Accuracy]

In the third of our bow hunting tips videos, 3D archery tournament shooter, Cole Honstead, shows you a “small” tip that could help you BIG during hunting season!



Tip #4 – Hunting Stances Can Make Or Break A Bow Hunt [So, Know Them All!]

In the below N1 Minute archery tips video, learn about various stances that can help you in all types of bow hunting scenarios.

For those of you who have bow hunted any amount of time, you know that some things can happen during a hunt that simple target practice can’t prepare you for. The video above will show you some archery tips to help you be best prepared when your moment of truth comes.



Archery Stances For Bow Hunting

Hunting stances can be used for everything from spot and stalk hunts in the West to using blinds and tree stands in the east.

For tree stand hunting, try your best to get to the elevated position. This is as simple as finding the hill and using the bed of a pick-up.

For spot and stalk hunts, try practicing using incline and decline slopes. When shooting from a blind, you’d better get used to sitting in a chair or kneeling position.

Practicing these stances throughout the off season will give you that confidence for a shot of a lifetime.

Tip #5: Off-Season Bow Practice [You’ll Hunt Like You Practice]

In this N1 Minute, learn some bow hunting tips on how to to keep your archery skills polished and sharp during the off-season so that you can maintain proper archery form.




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Archery Practice Tips

You know for us bow hunters, this is the time of year that we practice and practice for. But what about when the season’s over? How do you keep your skills sharp?



Archery exercise for bowhunters

Here’s a simple tip to keep those muscles active after hunting season and all it takes is a simple exercise band.

So many hunters put away their bows, after the fall, through winter, until turkey season. With, one of these exercise bands, you can practice your draw cycle throughout the winter and make that first draw in the spring a little easier.

Simply grasp one end of the band with your front hand and with your drawing hand, pull the band back to your anchor point. Repeat this ten to fifteen times and then switch hands. This will work both your back and shoulders. A few sets of this draw cycle exercise a day, and you’ll be ready to hit the mark on your next 3D shoot or Spring turkey hunt.

We hope you have found our bow hunting tips to be useful in your quest to become better at your craft. We hope you have an arrow that’s Just Pass’N Through!

To view other hunting and fishing tips videos, simply click on the “videos” link in our menu.

Target Panic Archery Tips Pic

Don’t Panic… It’s Just Target Panic | How I Cured It

At the time of writing this article, I have been shooting bows for about 14 years. I remember the first time I heard someone mention aiming drills because they were “panicking” when they would shoot their bow.

I thought they were crazy.

Boy, did I ever find out that my time with target panic was coming.

target panic poor groupings

Ever have this type of result when shooting your bow? Maybe you are experiencing target panic.

So, What Is Target Panic?

Target panic is basically being afraid of missing the target, thus causing an anxiety of sorts.

It wasn’t until the Summer of 2018 that I found myself having a problem with target panic. I first noticed it at one of the Total Archery Challenges. My shot process would fall apart every time that I would draw and try to take aim at one of the 3-D targets.

As I fought through the rest of the summer, I forced myself into thinking I could just ignore it, shoot more, and it would get better. I did this nonsense all the way through late fall. 


Five Steps To Fix Your Target Panic

archery target panic picture

Target panic in archery and bowhunting is a real thing… so how can you fix it? Keep reading!

The first step to curing target panic… Admit you have a problem.

Time needed: 15 minutes.

Follow these steps to begin to fix your target panic:

  1. Aiming Drills

    Hold your pin on the target until you start to waver let down rest 15 to 30 seconds and repeat. Do this at least 30 to 50 times a day before you release a single arrow.

  2. Go Through Your Shot Process

    Know how to, grip, draw, anchor, aim, and squeeze the trigger. This is your shot process… master it.

  3. Stay Close

    Shoot with in 15 yards of the target and don’t go any farther for at least 2 to 3 weeks.

  4. Move Back

    Once you can go through the shot process and not experience any anxiety, then start with 20 yards and work your way back.

  5. Repeat

    Go Back and repeat steps 1 through 3.



From Bad To Worse… To Missing Completely

I somehow managed to harvest an elk in early September, with one of the best shots I’ve ever made.

Looking back it was a miracle or just luck. That’s the only way to explain it with all the struggles I was having. After elk season, I didn’t shoot much for a few weeks until I was getting ready for archery whitetail season.

This is when things got worse.

While shooting one day at a 3D deer target, I started missing completely at 40 yards. I was only hitting the deer every two or three shots! Needless to say, my issue was getting expensive very quickly, at the loss of several Easton Full Metal Jackets. From an archery standpoint, I was pretty much falling apart. I knew then that I had a big problem.

Obviously, everyone reacts differently, but the following is the detail on what happened to me.



Itchy Index Finger…

As I was going through my shot process, I would nock an arrow, attach my release to the D-loop, draw the bow and find my anchor.

After this is where I was a complete mess.

When I would go to acquire the target in my peep, my heart would begin to race, my mind would scramble, and the second that my pin would reach the desired spot on the target, my index finger would have a mind of its own and just yank the trigger.

This wasn’t just an errant arrow or two. Basically, I was shooting my bow the same way you would shoot at clay pigeons with a shotgun.

Those who have been in archery for any length of time know that, with all that movement, it was impossible for me to have any type of grouping. I was anticipating the shot so badly, that I simply could not be accurate.

So, If you cannot simply draw your bow, acquire and hold on your target, then squeeze your trigger without anticipating the shot, I am willing to say that you have some sort of target panic.

How I Cured It

First things first… you have to ADMIT you have a problem. When I finally came to terms with the fact that I was experiencing target panic, I began calling around to a few of my friends that have been shooting for years.  I got several different answers.  I also watched YouTube, read articles, Googled information, and tried a pile of other things.

This quick and easy to practice archery tip is helpful when working to cure target panic.


Archery Coach

Now, I’m not saying everything that I tried and learned didn’t work. For the most part, it was all great info. But, I wasn’t getting any better. Finally, once I got sick enough of not being able to hit the broad side of a barn, I got in touch with a local pro named Gregg Copeland.

Gregg is a phenomenal coach, who I had met at a few indoor, Vegas-style shoots. He had me to meet him at the local bow shop that had an indoor range, so he could see how bad things really were.

Thankfully, I don’t get my feelings hurt very easily, because my shooting was downright laughable. I also enjoy joking around and Gregg knew that.

After my first 3 shots he told me that he would let me shoot at him at 40 yards and not worry a bit. This is all the more funny if you’ve ever seen Gregg… he’s 6’3”, 350lbs!

“First things first,” Gregg said. “We start with aiming drills.”



Target Acquisition Drill

He placed me 10 feet from the target. He then had me nock an arrow, draw the bow, and hold the pin on the target until I started wavering. I would then let down, rest for a minute, and repeat.

I would say that we did this 20 to 30 times. By the end of the aiming drills, I was able to at least aim without completely losing my cool. A huge sign of progress already! Aiming was something I hadn’t been able to do in months!




Tension Release Drills

Next, Gregg had me tighten the tension on my bow release to as stiff as it would go. This forced me to squeeze the trigger until the shot went off, so I that I could no longer “punch” the trigger, as I had been doing.

Now, keep in mind, we never moved back any from the aiming drills. We were still only 10 feet away from the target.

We went through the release drills a good 20 to 30 times. By the end of those, I was able to make decent shots at 10 feet. At that point, Gregg could have told me to stand on my head and I would have done it, because the sequence he had me doing was working!

I was taking each piece of advice like it was gold, and to me it was.

He wanted to see how I would do if we stepped back to 15 yards. Sure enough, in that short time, I was able to repeat what he had taught me and hit right where I was aiming.

Archery Homework

After the lesson we shook hands and he left me with instructions of what to do once I got home. Gregg told me to go and set up at ten feet from a target and practice aiming drills every day before I shot a single arrow.  He also forbid me to shoot a single shot past 15 yards until I was able to make perfect shots at that distance. I did these exact drills for at least a month.

man nocking an arrow

Going through your shot process the same way every time is a critical to curing archery target panic.

So, Does It Work?

Following Gregg’s instructions, I rarely missed a single day of shooting. After about a month of nothing but the daily drills, the anxiety finally subsided and I was able to enjoy shooting my bow once again.

I am now able to shoot pie plate groups out past 80 yards. I am not saying I am currently the best that I have ever been, but I am well on my way.

One of the things that I took from shooting with Gregg was how much importance he put on the shot process.

He told me multiple times, “without a shot process, you have no shot.”  He said, “without all the right ingredients, you can’t cook what you desire, so you sure ain’t going to shoot what you desire with out the exact process every time.”

Look at it this way, if you are struggling with target panic, with the right methods, and hard work, you are only 3,000 to 6,000 shots away from it being “fixed”, and yes, it is fixable.





Final Thoughts

Now, I try and do things that might trigger target panic. For instance, I will shoot at a 3-D deer out to 70 yards, extremely quartered away. I also have a basket ball size target that I will try and shoot at farther distances as well.

By doing these things, I am simply just trying to make myself uncomfortable. This way, I can remember my shot process, regardless of the situation, and still make the shot smooth and clean.

You do the same things at 20 yards as you would at 80 yards, you just have to convince your brain of that. Through this process, I have learned so much about archery and have experienced a whole new love for shooting my bow.

So, having target panic wasn’t so bad after all. I guess you could say there was a silver lining. I have 100% come through target panic as a better archer. Come September, the Elk better be on their “A” game, because I will be on mine.



If you have interest in researching various types of archery broadheads, be sure to check out our in-depth broadheads blog post and also get reviews on expandable broadheads as well as fixed-blades.


Target Panic Kyle Mcdonald

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