For centuries, a unique breed of fishermen has been catching monster catfish with their bare hands in the rivers and lakes of Oklahoma. Today, the tradition of "noodling" still has Okie ... See full summary »

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For centuries, a unique breed of fishermen has been catching monster catfish with their bare hands in the rivers and lakes of Oklahoma. Today, the tradition of "noodling" still has Okie anglers hooked. This documentary by Bradley Beesley features interviews with hardcore handfishing veterans as well as footage of real noodlers in action. Set against an original musical score by rock band The Flaming Lips, Okie Noodling offers an anecdotal look at a most unusual piece of Midwest American culture. Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

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No Hooks, No Bait, No Fear

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Documentary

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10 March 2001 (USA)  »

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Followed by Okie Noodling II (2008) See more »

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fish like a man!
31 July 2002 | by (Seattle, Wa) – See all my reviews

My dad used to work with this guy when he worked for the railroad who was missing part of his pinky finger. Both his hands would sometimes be riddled with scabs and scrapes when I'd see him while visiting my father at the depot. He was a noodler. Cuts, scrapes, missing digits and toes (he also had less toe than normal because of his hobby) are all part of what it means to be a noodler. What is noodling? It is the little known art of catching giant sized catfish with nothing but your bare hands and feet while submerging yourself in muddy creeks, rivers and lakes and letting the catfish clamp down on whatever it feels like chomping. It's part fishing, part swimming, part hunting, part wrestling and part crazy to the uninitiated.

Okie Noodling is a terrific slice of Americana documentary that flaunts its ruralness with pride. I'm an Okie, born and raised in the eastern part of the state. I've never noodled but have relatives who do and have dined on their catch willingly and with glee at the tastiness of the catfish fried up good and right. I like the fact that Okie Noodling was obviously made by Oklahomans who never condescend or wink smugly to the camera as sometimes happens with Americana based docs. Music by The Flaming Lips too.


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