For some, the thrill of sticking a hand into the mouth of a huge catfish and pulling it from its muddy hole surely includes the element of danger. An Iowa man recently discovered that the practice, known as “noodling.” was harmful to his wallet as well.
Larry Finstad, 48, of Harlan, Iowa, was so proud of the 30-pound flathead he caught in the nearby Nishnabotna River that he had his photo published in the Harlan Tribune. “It was tough work,” he said, “and wrestling him took about 15 minutes.”
A reader who realized that the practice was not legal in the state notified the DNR via the Turn-in-Poachers hotline. Now Finstad faces fines and civil damages of $177 for taking a fish by hand.