Noodlers have gone from obsucurity to media darlings.
The latest show about catfish noodling in Oklahoma is the BBC production, “Gordon Ramsay’s F-Word.”
An episode showing Ramsay noodling for flatheads in Oklahoma airs tonight (July 15)…
One of the youngest noodlers at last weekend’s Okie Noodling Tournament was 15-year-old Quaddy Jones of Temple, who noodles with Skipper and Scooter Bivins, last year’s winners.
Quaddy also has quite a tale to tell about grabblin’ with an estimated 100-pound blue cat last year.
Quaddy is an avid grabbler whose grandfather Robert Jones of Temple was one of the best in the state, having caught by himself an 84-pound flathead from the Red River in 1976, that nearly cost him his life.
Quaddy is like a coon to water and fearless at going after any size of flathead. He will go fully underwater in the hole with the fish to get his catch.
Last year, at age 14 and weighing only 150 pounds, Quaddy wrestled an estimated 100 pound blue cat from a hole in a deep water creek in southwestern Oklahoma.
“You don’t know what your going to come out of a hole with until you see it,” Quaddy said.
While in that hole, the blue cat bit Quaddy, taking in his whole foot.
He was able to force the mouth open on the fish with his other foot and reach in with his hands and pulled it out of the hole, but not before losing the skin on his feet.
Blue cats cannot be noodled legally in Oklahoma so the fish was released.
“That catfish shook me like a rag doll and chewed me up,” Quaddy said…
Noodling is not just a man’s sport. Ever seen the “Grabblin’ Girls” video? Keely Crook, 19, of Stella, Mo., was the top female noodler at the Okie Noodling Tournament. Crook noodled a three-fish stringer of 86.8 pounds with the big fish being 32.6 pounds.