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Noodling Oklahoma Style

Undoubtedly no sport is more uniquely Oklahoman, than noodling; and we accompany an experienced noodler on a recent outing.
Noodling Oklahoma Style

Noodling

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Show Dates

Show 1129: Noodling Oklahoma Style

Air date: July 17, 2011

 

Transcript

MCCLENDON:  WELL UNDOUBTEDLY NO SPORT IS MORE UNIQUELY OKLAHOMAN, THAN NOODLING.  SO WHEN WE HAD A CHANCE TO ACCOMPANY AN EXPERIENCED NOODLER ON A RECENT OUTING, OUR ANDY BARTH JUMPED AT THE CHANCE.

ANDY BARTH:  WELL ROB, I’M HERE IN NORTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA ON A NOODLING TRIP.  IT’S A LONG-TIME OKLAHOMA TRADITION WHERE YOU STICK YOUR HAND IN AN UNDER-WATER HOLE AND PULL OUT A CATFISH.  I TAKE YOU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL TO THIS UNDER-WATER ADVENTURE.

FOR MOST PEOPLE, A DAY ON THE LAKE IS SPENT BOATING OR FISHING IN THE TRADITIONAL SENSE; BUT, FOR SOME OKLAHOMANS THAT JUST ISN’T WILD ENOUGH.

KALEB SUMMERS:  RIGHT NOW WE’RE SEARCHING FOR EXITS; I JUST FOUND ONE.  WE GOT A FISH UNDER THIS ROCK.

ANDY:  KALEB SUMMERS IS KNOWN AS A NOODLING ENTHUSIAST AND JUMPS IN THE WATER EVERY CHANCE HE GETS.

KALEB:  IT’S NOT AS DANGEROUS AS A LOT OF PEOPLE MAKE IT OUT TO BE; IT’S AS DANGEROUS AS YOU MAKE IT.  THE BIGGEST THING YOU’LL HEAR ‘EM SAY IS, I’M NOT STICKING MY HAND IN A HOLE NOT KNOWING WHAT IT IS.  USUALLY YOU GET A PRETTY GOOD IDEA OF WHAT’S IN THAT HOLE BECAUSE YOU’VE GOT A TAP STICK AND YOU’RE FEELING AROUND AND YOU’RE TOUCHING.

ANDY:  AND THAT IS ENOUGH TO CONVINCE ME TO CLIMB IN THE WATER AND TRY IT MYSELF.

L J:  YOU’RE NOT PLAYING ON THE PEACE PROGRAM THIS TIME, THAT FISH IS GONNA BE MAD.

[LAUGHING]

ANDY:  AND MAD SHE IS.  WHEN THIS FISH CLAMPS ON TO MY HAND, MY PRIDE GOES OUT THE WINDOW AS A SCREECH COMES OUT OF MY MOUTH.

KALEB:  A FULL EXPERIENCE RIGHT HERE, MR ANDY.

ANDY:  OW!!  IT SCARED THE *.* OUT OF ME.

KALEB:  DID HE BITE YOU?

ANDY:  OH YEAH!

[LAUGHING]

ANDY:  WELL THERE HE IS; I FOUND HIM.

BUT THIS CATFISH HAS PLANS OF HER OWN.

OH, SHE JUST CAME OUT!

KALEB:  GEEZ, SHE JUST SHOT OUT OF THE HOLE ON US.

L J:  SHE DID TOO, I SEEN HER.

KALEB:  YEP, SHE’S OUT, SHE’S OUT IN THE LAKE.  IT’S ALRIGHT.

ANDY:  SHE SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME.

[LAUGHING]

KALEB:  WELL THAT WAS OUR FIRST FISH ON OUR FIRST ROCK THAT WE FOUND AND IT WAS ONLY A TWO OR THREE POUND BLUE, MAYBE A FOUR-POUNDER.  WE CAN’T KEEP BLUES, BUT WE CAN STILL HAVE FUN NOODLING ‘EM; AND THEY’RE MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN A FLATHEAD WHEN IT COMES TO BEING MEAN.  SHE BIT ANDY A FEW TIMES.

ANDY:  SHE DREW BLOOD ON YOU.

KALEB:  SO SHE SHOT OUT OF THAT HOLE, BUT THERE’S STILL SOME ROCKS UP AND DOWN HERE AND THERE’S STILL A LOT FISH LEFT AND WE’VE GOT A WHOLE LOT OF NOODLING STILL YET TO GO.

ANDY:  AND NOODLE, WE DO; WE FIND A FIFTEEN-POUND BLUE INSIDE A HOLLOWED-OUT LOG.

[LAUGHING AND SPLASHING SOUNDS]

ALRIGHT, SHE’S A GOOD BLUE.

THANK YOU.

[LAUGHING]

ANDY:  NOW THAT WAS FUN!

THAT’S AWESOME.

ANDY:  THEY’RE EASIER WHEN THEY’RE BIGGER ACTUALLY, THAN THAT LITTLE ONE.

SHE RIPPED ME A NEW ONE NOW.

[LAUGHING AND CELEBRATING]

ANDY:  BUT BECAUSE SHE’S A BLUE, I TAKE A QUICK PICTURE AND THEN, WE TURN HER LOOSE.

DID YOU SEE HER SPIN AROUND?

KALEB:  GOOD JOB!

ANDY:  THAT WAS COOL!

BUT AS THE WEEKEND PROGRESSES, LOW WATER LEVELS PROVE DIFFICULT WHEN FINDING FISH.

KALEB:  I NOODLED A BIG FISH OUT OF THIS HOLE LAST WEEKEND.  NOW THE WATER LEVELS DROPPED SO YOU CAN SEE THE CAVERN.

ANDY:  AND TRY, AFTER TRY, AFTER TRY, LEAVES US WATER-LOGGED AND EMPTY HANDED.

[BIRD SOUNDS]

BUT ON THE LAST DAY OF THE TRIP, WE GET LUCKY.

KALEB:  I THINK WE MIGHT HAVE US A FLATHEAD.

ANDY:  SERIOUSLY?

KALEB:  YEAH, SWITCH ME SIDES, TRY TO COME IN FROM THIS SIDE.

ANDY:  AND AFTER A QUICK STRING, IT SEEMS LIKE SMOOTH SAILING.

THE STRINGER’S STRUNG.

KALEB:  YOU STRUNG HER?

ANDY:  STRUNG HER.

KALEB:  WELL PULL IT OUT AND SEE WHAT YOU GOT.  PUT HER IN THE HOLE.

FLATHEAD.

FLATHEAD.

KALEB:  PUT IT BACK IN THE HOLE.

ANDY:  WHY?

KALEB:  IN THE HOLE.

ANDY:  DANG IT, I LOST HER.

KALEB:  SHE OFF THE STRING?

ANDY:  YEAH; HOW’D SHE GET OFF THE STRING?

AND AT THAT POINT, I JUST KNOW WE’RE DONE.

KALEB:  THERE’S STILL A FISH IN THERE.

ANDY:  THERE IS?

KALEB:  WE’VE GOT A FISH IN HERE.

ANDY:  SO, WITH A SMALL AUDIENCE WE SHAKE IT OFF AND GET READY FOR ROUND TWO.

KALEB:  READY?

[WATER SPLASHING]

ANDY:  THERE WE GO.

KALEB:  FLATHEAD.

ANDY:  IT’S WHAT WE’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR.

[LAUGHING AND CELEBRATING]

THAT’S THE ONE I HAD EARLIER TOO.

WITH OUR FLATHEAD CAUGHT, IT’S FILLET TIME, SUMMERS’ STYLE.

KALEB:  SO, YOU START GETTING MEAT ALL AROUND THESE EYE SOCKETS RIGHT UP IN HERE.  YOU GOT YOUR FILLETS DOWN AND THEN YOU GOT UP UNDER YOUR GULLET, THERE’S MEAT UP IN THERE.  SO YOU CAN GET A LOT OF MEAT OFF OF A FISH.

ANDY:  AND SUMMERS SAYS THIS IS A PREFERENCE SPORT.

KALEB:  SOME FOLKS, THEY PREFER GOLFING FOR A HOBBY.  SOME FOLKS PREFER OUTDOOR SPORTS LIKE DEER HUNTING.  AND, SOME FOLKS PREFER NOODLING.

ANDY:  YOU’RE PRETTY!

[LAUGHING]

KALEB:  ANDY BARTH, FROM WASHINGTON, COMES DOWN HERE AND IS LEARNING THESE TRADITIONAL THINGS FROM OKLAHOMA.

ANDY:  ON HOOK, NO PUN INTENDED.

[LAUGHING]

NOW THESE FISH COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES. THE FIRST BITE I HAD AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEKEND WAS A SMALL FOUR-POUNDER, BUT THESE UNDER-WATER GIANTS CAN REACH UP TO EIGHTY POUNDS, MAKING THIS SPORT AN ADRENALINE RUSH.

ROB:  SO ARE THERE ANY RULES TO WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN NOT DO?

ANDY:  WELL ROB AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, THIS SPORT HERE IN OKLAHOMA IS A TRADITIONAL ONE AND THEY LIKE TO KEEP THAT TRADITIONAL ASPECT. THEY’VE OUTLAWED THE USE OF NOODLING WITH BARRELS AND HOOKS HERE IN OKLAHOMA, AND IN SOME AREAS, NOODLING UNDER BOAT RAMPS. ADDITIONALLY THEY CONSIDER THE BLUE CAT A GAME FISH, SO IF YOU CATCH A BLUE CAT, YOU CAN TAKE YOUR PICTURES WITH IT, BUT THEN YOU HAVE TO LET IT GO.

ROB:  WELL, YOU’RE A BRAVE MAN, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

ANDY:  YOUR WELCOME ROB.