Since this got removed from my actual story in print, I will say it here.
Noodling is basically one big ‘That’s What She Said” Joke.
Ah! Ok, I can breathe now.
Seriously though, when I got a hold of the noodlers that fellow intern Zach Gray and I would be following around, I couldn’t even imagine what would be in store for us for the weekend. I’ve been to the Okie Noodling Tournament in Paul’s Valley before, but to now be in cahoots with two guys who are allowing us to go watch the process of catching these river (and lake) monsters, I was more than just your average excited.
Zach and I met Tell and Chris in the parking lot of Mazzio’s Pizza in Stillwater, and we set off toward lake McMurtry in Payne County. Arriving just before 7 p.m., which was the start of the actual alloted time for the tournament, Zach and I climbed into the boat set off with Tell across the lake just as the sun was starting to set.
The actual process of getting in the water with thousands of dollars in camera equipment was much, much trickier.
With no water protective housing to aid us except for a camera that wasn’t producing the pictures Zach wanted, we both used the strategy of keeping one hand dry and praying to God that the tricky lakes of Oklahoma didn’t surprise us with some massive drop off.
Only once did things get hairy and that happened when I tripped over a fishing line that was left from a previous fool… but thankfully I had four feet of monopod to hoist the camera into the air while I took in too large of a gulp of tasty Canadian River.
No fish were caught the first night we went out, which was a real shame as the light was beautiful and the water felt great. Upon our return to shore, we struck up a deal with Tell that we would meet him and Chris the next morning in the hopes that we would find an unlucky fish or two along the Canadian River.
The whole experience was amazing and while I was riding in the boat under a setting sun with way too many people in it, all I could think about was how lucky I am to be in this funny profession of journalism where I can go and hang with guys that just like to have a good time and stick their hands in holes so catfish will bite them… seriously they want to do this!
Noodle on noodlers.