Tips for Catfish Noodling Beginners

Catfish Noodling pic
Catfish Noodling

Edgar Gentle works as an attorney and partner with Gentle Turner Sexton & Harbison, LLC, a legal services firm headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. In his free time, Edgar Gentle enjoys getting outdoors and noodling for catfish.

Catfish noodling goes by many names, including tickling, stumping, and hand-fishing. Whatever the nomenclature, noodling for catfish involves getting down into the catfish’s muddy habitat and drawing it out with one’s bare hands. In contrast to traditional fishing, not much is needed to begin catfish noodling. The main requirements are a strong grip, tight clothing that won’t snag or impede movement underwater, and first-aid materials in case of a scrape or bump underwater.

Also, before you make your first noodling trip, make sure it’s defined as a legal practice in your state, and if at all possible, begin noodling during spring and the first part of the summer, as this is spawning season and catfish be fairly easily found while protecting their eggs.


An Introduction to Catfish Noodling

Catfish Noodling pic
Catfish Noodling

Edgar Gentle, an accomplished attorney and a partner in the firm of Gentle Turner Sexton and Harbison, LLC, in Birmingham, Alabama, enjoys spending time outdoors, particularly near his homes on Logan Martin Lake and Weiss Lake. Though he is an avid bass fishermen, Edgar Gentle has also engaged in catfish noodling.

Catfish noodling, also known as catfish grabbing or fish grabblin’, is a method of fishing with one’s hands rather than rods and nets. Catfish noodling is particularly popular during the spring months, when catfish move to shallow waters to lay their eggs. As the days grow longer and the water warms, more and more fish populate the shallows.

Individuals familiar with the behavior of female catfish know that the fish seek out hidden areas to deposit their eggs, such as under rocks or inside hollow logs in the water. As the females depart, male catfish move into these sheltered egg sites to guard the developing young. During this time, the males rarely leave the shallow water, eating infrequently and doing little more than watching the nest. They become highly aggressive, lashing out at anything that comes too close to their nest, including a human hand.

Most catfish noodlers follow catch-and-release practices, noodling for the thrill of the catch. Though noodlers prefer to use only their hands whenever possible, some will at times make use of a slightly angled pole to help leverage fish from tight places. To learn more about the art of noodling, visit

The Traditional Art of Catfish Noodling

Catfish Noodling pic
Catfish Noodling

Practicing as an attorney with Harbison, LLC, and Gentle Turner Sexton in Birmingham, Alabama, Edgar Gentle is known for positive client results in the area of settlement administration. Edgar Gentle enjoys outdoor activities outside of work and finds time to noodle for catfish.

Typically conducted in shallow water, noodling involves identifying catfish nests or hideouts, which tend to be beneath fallen logs and rocks as well as within mud banks. Spring and summer spawning season finds catfish guarding their nests, where their eggs are located. Once an ideal noodling spot is discovered, noodlers block potential escape routes and test the hole with some type of stick, which will identify what type of animal is in the area. If the catfish is within that space, the noodler inserts his or her hands to grab the fish.

Catfish are strong and can bite, and they share their spaces with potentially dangerous turtles and snakes. For these reasons, noodling is not for novices and is valued as a skill handed down between generations.

AZDPS and USDOT Conduct Vehicle Inspection Event at Grand Canyon

Edgar Gentle pic
Edgar Gentle

Edgar Gentle serves as an attorney and partner at Gentle, Turner, Sexton & Harbison in Alabama, where he practices mass tort law. In his leisure time, Edgar Gentle enjoys visiting Grand Canyon National Park.

Grand Canyon National Park recently teamed up with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) and the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) to conduct a park-wide event in which all commercial traffic was inspected to ensure park safety and adherence to highway road standards.

Of the 208 vehicles inspected during the two-day event, 142 passed inspection and were awarded Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance stickers. Among the other vehicles, inspection officials found 237 violations. Among the violators, 12 vehicles were deemed so unsafe that they were actually taken off the road. Issues found among the most unsafe vehicles included inoperable brakes and a bus with a cracked frame.

Participants in the event included 17 Grand Canyon National Park employees, 50 AZDPS inspectors, and four representatives from the USDOT.

The Academy of Court Appointed Masters

Academy of Court Appointed Masters pic
Academy of Court Appointed Masters

Attorney Edgar Gentle is a partner at the office of Gentle Turner Sexton & Harbison in Birmingham, Alabama. As a special master, Edgar Gentle often serves as a neutral for courts. He is also a member of the national Academy of Court Appointed Masters.

The Academy of Court Appointed Masters is a group of the legal profession’s most talented and experienced authorities. All of the Academy’s members have served as special masters in court, and many have presided over state and federal courts s well. Together, they work to improve the legal profession and expand the use of masters in litigation.

Among its many accomplishments, the Academy created a Benchbook to help judges and attorneys utilize special masters most effectively. It explains the differences between and specialized uses of different types of masters, and provides guidelines for deciding when it is appropriate to call upon a master. The Benchbook also addresses ethical and practical issues that may arise within work with a court appointed master.

The Academy’s invaluable Benchbook is available free of charge online at:

A Look at Some of the Best Bass Fishing Spots in Alabama

Lake Guntersville pic
Lake Guntersville

An experienced attorney, Edgar Gentle devotes much of his free time to bass fishing. Edgar Gentle splits his time between two lake houses in Alabama and participates in about a dozen bass tournaments annually.

Alabama is home to a number of great spots for bass fishing, including Lake Guntersville, which has earned a worldwide reputation as a great place for big bass. Another great spot is Pickwick Lake, which has 490 miles of shoreline where anglers can catch smallmouth bass. Lay Lake, located close to Birmingham, is a popular option for both spotted and largemouth bass.

Alabama natives often travel to Lake Eufaula on the Chattahoochee River. Lake Eufaula produces some of the biggest largemouth bass in the state.

In September, Wilson Lake on the Tennessee River tends to have large numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass along its 154 miles of shoreline. Some other popular choices for bass fishing include Wheeler Lake, which has both largemouth and smallmouth bass; Logan Martin Lake, which has largemouth and spotted bass; and Weiss Lake, which has both largemouth and striped bass.

Bass Fishing Myths

Bass Fishing pic
Bass Fishing

Edgar Gentle serves as an attorney and partner at Gentle, Turner, Sexton, and Harbison, LLC, in Alabama, where he practices mass tort law. In his leisure time, Edgar Gentle is an avid bass fisherman.

Bass fishing is a wonderful leisure activity, but unfortunately there are certain myths and misconceptions that can keep people away from the sport. Here are two of the most common myths about bass fishing.

Big boat manufacturers will tell you that you need the largest, most expensive watercraft in order to be an efficient bass fisherman. The truth, however, is that the best anglers tend to use smaller craft. They are better equipped to handle shallow and smaller streams where the largest bass tend to congregate. Larger craft can’t get into the shallow areas, and areas with downed timber or heavy vegetation are all but unnavigable for huge bass boats.

Also, bait manufacturers have perpetuated the myth that bass strike at red hooks more frequently because they resemble the color of blood. That’s why there’s a craze surrounding every sort of bait and tackle in red. While research indicates that bass can detect the color red, there is no data at all that suggests these fish are more attracted to the color.