Noodling — a term for fishing for catfish using only one’s bare hands — has increased in popularity in Oklahoma and abroad, perhaps due in large part to native Oklahoma filmmaker Bradley Beesley’s 2001 documentary on the oddball sport, “Okie Noodling,” and its 2008 sequel, “Okie Noodling II.”
“I think people just have an insatiable appetite for watching people catch giant fish,” Beesley said. “Whether it’s the whaling shows or shark shows, there’s just something about it that’s endlessly fascinating.”
Contestants will bring their caught fish from places around Oklahoma to have them weighed at Rock A Way Tavern. An award ceremony will follow, and the person with the largest fish will be crowned the winner.
Beesley said he feels that not many people realize how popular noodling is, and that a tournament like this is worth checking out.
“It’s just an opportunity for a community, the community of noodling, to celebrate something that isn’t always celebrated,” he said.
The tournament is part of a series of noodling events being filmed for a television series — the identity of which is currently a well-kept secret.
Badlands will provide musical entertainment for the event, and a cookout will feed guests. The festivities run from 3 p.m. until dark.
For more information, call 282-5777 or visit okienoodling.com.—Ryan Querbach