I’m not entirely sure that this qualifies as ‘noodling’, the sport where you catch fish (usually catfish) by hand in a muddy river but it’s definitely a close cousin of that sport.
This elderly angler uses a delicious minnow while hanging off of his wooden dock to catch this absolutely MASSIVE largemouth bass. He dangles the minnow in the water like bait to get the bass’ attention and when the fish strikes he then finds himself locked in an epic battle between man and fish with nothing but his hands.
I don’t have any background info on this video besides what we can find in the YouTube description but I have some thoughts. My hunch is this guy has groomed that fish and fattened it up. He’s been dangling those minnows for quite some time but when the fish strikes he’d typically pull away his hand and let the fish take the minnow. That’s how the fish has gotten comfortable with this process…This is my hunch.
Here’s what the video’s description says:
“This broke the record for the largest bass caught by hand. This bass weighed 16 pounds 7 oz. This broke my previous record of 16.03 which was caught by hand in 2016. It takes a lot of time and effort to catch a bass of this size by hand. This was very exciting for me and it took every bit of my strength and energy to control and pull this bass in. She was released and was not hurt making this video.” (via)
Possibly my favorite part of this video is how the guy’s wife is filming. I’m sincerely enjoying imagining what the minutes leading up to this were like. ‘Hey ‘Ma, let’s go out back and you can film me wrassle a fish with my hands!’ or something like that.
Anyway, big shout out to this dude for weighing the fish and releasing it back into the lake unharmed so it can continue getting fat and breeding.