ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — It’s called grabbling, hand-grabbing or noodling.
Whatever it’s called, catching catfish by hand begins today in Mississippi. The season ends July 15.
State wildlife officials say hand-grabbers can catch channel, blue and flathead catfish.
John Skains is a biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
Skains says a valid sport fishing license is required for hand-grabbing. He says fish can only be taken using hands or by using a rope or stringer. No hooks or gaffs are allowed.
Skains says hand-grabbers wade around looking for cavities where catfish nest — usually natural, such as hollow logs and holes in a stream or lake bank, or artificial wood structures.
He says when they reach into a log the catfish attacks and they grab it and just hang on.