I saw this article in the NY Times over the weekend and remembered a colleague telling me about this odd southern pastime.
COWDEN, Ill., July 22 — Stripped to the waist and armed with nothing but his bare hands, John Burns plunged headfirst into a half-submerged hollow log in the Kaskaskia River, hoping to encounter a male catfish guarding its nest inside.
If all went as planned, the fish would attack and Mr. Burns would grab its powerful lower jaw and, with the help of his friend Howard Ramsey, hoist it to the surface of the river, just outside Cowden.
Mr. Burns and Mr. Ramsey were noodling, or hand fishing, a popular pastime on the lakes and rivers of the Southeast and Midwest. Noodling dates to the first American Indians. Depending on who is doing it and where, it may be called hogging, tickling, grabbling or stumping.
Then, there was a whole show about it on the GA DNR spot on public television on Sunday. Maybe somebody is trying to tell me something – not sure what.