HANDS ON FISHING!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: July 8, 2024

Real anglers do not always need expensive tackle, bait, flies, lures, or stuff to catch a fish. Sometimes hands on is the way to go. 

Survivalists often brag about how to Noodle or catch fish by hands. Noodling, or hand fishing is thought of as just a way to catch big catfish. Swimmers feel around holes in riverbanks for monster finned catfish. They find their mouth and gills then drag them out of holes or debris. They also need to be careful about what else may live in the holes and logjams. Snakes, critters, and who knows what else may be present. 

You can often catch most species of fish using your hands. I watched a friend catch trout out of a small stream in Yellowstone Park. The brook trout stream was full of brookies from 4-15 inches. He laid on the bank and felt underneath the dirt and grass bank. If there was no fish, he gradually crawled along the bank until he felt a fish. Once he felt a nice sized one, he slipped his hand under the fish’s belly, then gently squeezed, and tossed them onto the bank. Dinner was on hand!

Stealth is important when hand fishing. The best chance for fish is when they are against a bank, log, or rock. Approach the fish from downstream. The resting fish will be facing into the current. Move easily in the water or along the bank. Fish can feel vibrations along their lateral lines. 

Once you locate a fish, slowly get your fingers under its belly. You can feel the pectoral fins, just behind the gills. The fish will not see you. Their eyes are located on the side of their head, and they have a blind spot behind and in front of their head. Once you feel that your hand is in position, grab, lift, and throw the fish in one sweeping motion. 

Big fish are harder to catch than smaller fish. Average sized fish are easier to wrap your hands around. Catfish and other warm water fish have spiny fins. Be aware and take care. Wearing gloves can help protect your hands but you lose the sense of touch. 

Ber patient and move slow. Early morning and late evening are the best times to catch hand fish. Less light means less shadows. Patience is vital to hand grab a fish. Be slow and be slower.

Hands On is the way to learn!

Montana Grant

New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing