Fishing for salmon in Alaska -- done that. Bone fishing in Belize. Excellent. Angling for sea bass -- what a nice day on the boat. When I'm not writing, I'm fishing. Fly fishing, spin casting, salt water. It relaxes and sustains me.
I took the sport up in earnest when I lived in New York's Adirondack Mountains back in the 1980s. I'd climb aboard my buddy Eddie V's boat every spring, summer and fall day after leaving the newsroom. The two of us would earnestly work the bass and perch grounds of northern Lake George or southern Lake Champlain. Oh, what a time. I didn't even mind when Eddie hooked the meaty end of my left shoulder instead of a smallmouth.
I've even ice fished, for about, let's see, two minutes. It seemed more relaxing to walk across the frozen shelf of Lake Champlain and into the warm bar on Route 22.
Fish stories? I got a million of them.
One day, not that long ago, I was researching a book I was writing. I came across something called "noodling." It was a strange sounding name. I had never heard of it before. I soon learned it had nothing to do with Chinese food, fettuccini or sex. It had everything to do with fishing. Bare-handed fishing, to be exact. And not just any fish. Catfish. Bare-handed cat fishing. Have you ever seen a catfish? Their faces and bodies resemble the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Tasty, oh yeah. Ugly, you bet. Some have heads as big as soccer balls.
Grabbing a catfish with your bare hands is not my idea of a good relaxing time, but who am I to judge. It's just one of the wacky and sometimes dangerous ways people fish. Go to the next page and find out more.