WICHITA, Kansas – It’s only been legal in Kansas for a couple of years now, but hand fishing has always been a popular sport in the mid-west.
With the season starting this weekend in Kansas, many fishers are not backing down despite the fear of the unknown in the water.
“I think it’s going to be a pretty good season,” said Bob Clark, noodler. “I think!”
Bob Clark is no stranger to noodling in the Arkansas River.
“You get your hands tore up pretty good,” said Clark. “Pretty nasty.”
Using his bare hands, Clark has managed to pull out his largest flathead catfish to date.
“62 lbs,” said Clark. “It’s a pretty big fish. His head was pretty wide.”
Noodling is only legal in a handful of states including Kansas.
We’re told you have to stick your arm into the hole and use your hand as a bait.
Depending on how big the fish is there could also be a power struggle to pull it out.
“It surprises you what kind of power they have,” said Clark. “Then you pull them out it’s pretty awesome!”
The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is encouraging fishers to have fun and be safe this season, but to also think about the potential dangers.
“First thing to come into my mind is you don’t know what’s sticking in that hole,” said Chris Stout, natural resource officer for Kansas Wildlife Parks and Tourism. “Getting trouble underway is probably something that could happen. It’s pretty dangerous.”
But dangerous or not, the Clark’s family are looking forward to this season of noodling.
The season starts Saturday in Kansas and runs until about late August.
In addition to having your fishing license you will also need to have a handfishing permit.
Both could cost you around $50.00 dollars.
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