Catfish Noodling

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

After watching these, you’ll understand why we decided it was time for us to try noodling (be sure and read about that trip below!) You can also read about some other noodling adventures and learn about some other interesting names for noodling.

 

(Andrew’s Catfish Noodling video transcript)

Catfish noodling joy

I think we might get him. Got him! Holy crap! Look at that, son! Look at that! Whoo! That’s a cat daddy right there, boy!

Shake it boy! Look at that. That’s a big boy. Hold him above your head if you can. That is a nice cat!

 

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

 

(Luke-Avery’s Catfish Noodling Moment video transcript)

Another Catfish Noodling Video Moment

Luke’s under there. He’s got a fish hitting. Let’s see what he’s got. Whoo! Yeah baby! Yeah baby! C’mon… c’mon. I got you. Who’s your daddy?

 

Watch our friend Aly noodle a huge blue cat below!

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(Aly From Alabama’s Catfish Noodling video transcript)

Aly From Alabama Noodles Big Blue Cat

It’s a big, big fish. It’s a big blue, I think. Or, a good size flat. It bit me good. It’s got to be a blue.

I can’t get my hand in its gill. I wish you could feel this fish right now. Can’t tell what’s going on.

It just swallowed my whole hand! My whole hand is in its stomach. It’s starting to go crazy.

That’s big blue. I didn’t even think it was a blue. It swallowed my whole hand like that.

It stinks! She’s a stinky one.

 

What Is Noodling Anyway?

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?

blue catfish noodling pic

Some call it hand fishing. Some call it grabbling (or grabblin), and some call it noodling. We weren’t sure what the buzz was all about, but we were fascinated to find out.

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

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 striper 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!

Optimal water temperatures for blue catfish is 70-84 degrees, while some believe that 81 degrees is the magical temperature for blue cats. Most believe that the flathead catfish spawn an temperatures of 66-75 degrees. 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!

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.)

catfish noodling giles picWe 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.

My first catfish noodling success

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 and I can’t wait to put a hand N1 again!

Another Catfish Noodling storycatfish noodling man

Summer is upon us and in Southern Illinois, and that means it’s time for catfish to start spawning, which means noodling! Catfish swim up in holes under all sorts of things such as stumps, boat ramps, and rocks.

With noodling, the first thing you do is feel around with a stick in the hole because fish this big will be in holes 15, maybe 20 feet, back. We found a big flathead catfish under a boat ramp and we knew it was time to Noodle1. So, I went under the murky water and put my arm in the hole, waving it around inside there and… Bam, I got bit!

So, I grabbed its bottom jaw and ripped it out of the hole while putting my other hand under it. We ran a stringer in it to see how big it was once he broke the surface. It was a monstrous 40+ pounder! I’ll never forget the day I put a hand N1! 

– By Charles Farmer

So, Can I Go Noodling For Catfish In My State?

You may have watched these videos and read these stories and said, “There’s no way I’m ever doing that!” But, you might love experiencing the thrill of catching a catfish with your bare hands and wonder, “Is noodling legal in my state?”

According to Wikipedia, as of 2002, noodling was legal in 12 states in the U.S.

If you live in one of the following 15 states, you may be ready to put a hand N1! (But, be sure to check your local game laws for legality and restrictions.)

• Alabama

• Arkansas

• Georgia

• Illinois

• Kansas

• Kentucky

• Louisiana

• Maryland

• Mississippi

• North Carolina

• Oklahoma

• South Carolina

• Tennessee

• Texas

• Wisconsin

Have fun, be safe, and put a hand N1!

Shed Hunting in Georgia

N1 Outdoors® co-founder Josh Wells talks about shed hunting. His search finds him in close with some unexpected visitors. He sure wished he had brought his bow!

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(Shed Hunting In Georgia video transcript)

Shed Hunting in Georgia

Alright guys and gals… Josh Wells with N1 Outdoors here doing a little shed hunting. It’s March the 4th in central Georgia. Hoping to find a couple sheds that will make you midwestern folks jealous. We’ll see how that goes. I’m not real confident.

I’ve got a new piece of property to hunt next year. I’m not extremely familiar with it. I know that there’s has been a couple good deer killed on it the past couple years. This 10-point was killed this past year. You can see, he’s a pretty nice deer. I would guess in the 14o” range. Looks like, I would say, probably a 4-year old deer based on the mass. Here in Georgia, a deer with mass like that normally doesn’t get that in the first three years of its life. Normally, if you see mass like that, you’ve got a 4-year old or older. So, I’m just going to say he was four. Stick around. I’ll let you know if we walk up on any sheds.

Deer trails, scrapes and rubs

Alright folks, you can see this heavy trail here. That’s the good thing about shed hunting this time of year. Trails are very defined, and beat down. Most of your brush is laying low, so you can see a lot better than you can when it’s green earlier in the season. I just walked up on a big cedar tree here. See this big licking branch right here.

I don’t know if you can tell, but that branch is broken right there. Underneath is this nice size scrape that’s been worked in the past few days since the rain. It rained about three days ago. You can even see where the deer urinated right there… and some small tracks. But, at least we know it’s a good trail that gets some action. It’s some good sign going into next year on this new property.

Hey folks… walking along here on this same trail that I saw that scrape and that big cedar tree on a while ago. I’ve gone about 100-125 yards since that spot. I just came up on a nice rub. Looks like it’s definitely rubbed earlier this year. It’s got fresh sap dripping down. It was, I would say, rubbed even last year also. You can see my hand beside it. My hand is probably about 5-inches wide. That tree is a good 3-inches wide. Good sign. 

The first shed

Ok folks, I’ve moved a little bit on this property. I’m off the creek now. And in the northern part of the property, which is a tall stand of pines… about a 200-acre piece of property here. There’s a ditch. See the ditch on the left. There’s a trail that follows this ditch along this transition. I’m just following this trail and I get here to a couple cross trails. If you look right up here you can see this old shed. You can see it right there. Let’s go check it out and see what we’ve got. 

So, it looks like a small 4-point side that’s a couple years old. As you can see, it just broke in half because the squirrels have chewed it in half. It’s the first horn of the day. I’ll take it.

The second shed

Alright folks, I haven’t gone far since I just picked up that first shed of the day. About maybe 50 yards and I have come down to where this ditch dumps into this old beaver swamp and if you look right there, you’ll see some tines sticking up. Let’s see what we’ve got. Looks like a pretty good one. Reach it. Oh yeah. Yeah. Pretty good. It’s old. It looks like it’s been in this water for a couple years, but its a very nice 5-point side, with a kicker. That’s encouraging. Good mass

A dead deer skeleton

I have walked around. Just circled this big pond, working my way around. There’s a trail that kind of follows all the way around the edge of it. And I walked up on a deer that has died, I’d say a year ago. It’s a doe. You can see the skull right over there. By the looks of the teeth, this was a young deer, fairly young. See how sharp those points are. I’d say that this deer was, was probably, a 3-year old deer. Here’s the skull. It was a doe. I don’t see anything wrong with the skull that would make me say there was some brain abscess. So, I’d say she probably got attacked by coyotes or shot and came over here and died and nobody found her. We’ll keep looking.

Wild hogs

I wish I’d brought my bow and arrow with me. See them right there, look. They’re about 40 or 50 yards. Let’s get closer.

Alright I’ve gotten a littler closer to these hogs. You can see that one right there. That hog is 22 yards. I sure wish I had my bow and arrow. I’m sorry about the shaking. I’m holding my cell phone in my hand. Let’s see if I can get a little closer. A little pig. There’s hogs everywhere in here. Let me stand up and see if I can something else. You can see those pigs over there. There’s about three or four pigs. A white one, a couple black ones. There’s a big old boar right there. About to come through that hole right there. About a 200 pound hog. 

The end of the shed hunt

Alright, so here’s the two finds today. The one good shed. A big 6-point side if you count the kicker up here off the G2. Good mass. That shed’s probably 3 years old. I don’t even know if that deer is still living. And then this one that broke while I was picking it up would have been a small 8-point. And that’s also two or three years old, so that deer could potentially be a good one now.

Maybe next weekend if we have good weather, we can do it again. 

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