Usually it’s a good thing when you feel something big pulling at the end of your fishing line. Not in this case. This guy was expecting to pull in a huge fish from a catfish noodle rigging near his campsite at Lake Fausse Point State Park in St. Martinville, Louisiana, but instead found that one of the most dangerous animals in the world had bitten the hook. When the fisherman found out what was on the other end of the line, he started paddling away faster than anyone has paddled before.
Are You Sure You Want to Pull Up that Catfish Noodle?
Chances are this fisherman will be hesitant to pull up a catfish noodle again after this experience. Using noodles like the one seen here, is a popular form of jug fishing. This unlimited class tackle method of fishing uses a floating bottle and line with a hook and weight attached. Though you can catch many different types of fish using the jug-fishing method, most people use it to catch catfish. Instead of using a bottle, however, a hollowed out pool noodle with a pvc pipe and attached eyelet inserted is typically used with this method of fishing. You can buy ready-to-go fishing noodles at various online stores including eBay, or you can make them yourself. But as you’ll soon find out, fish aren’t the only animals that find this bait attractive.
How to Rig a Catfish Noodle
There are different methods for rigging catfish noodles that vary in complexity based on the type of fishing. For lake fishing, you can use a fairly simple setup using these supplies:
• Catfish noodle
• Fishing line
• Egg sinker
• Barrel swivel
The initial step of rigging a catfish noodle is determining how deep you want your bait to be. You can then roll out that amount of fishing line, leaving 6 to 12 inches for tying knots. You’ll then need to cut 2 feet off from the tag end of that line. Next, you’ll need to tie one end of the main line to the eyelet using a clinch knot. The remaining steps are:
• Feed the other end of the line through the egg sinker and then through the eye of the swivel
• Tie the main line to the swivel with a clinch knot, then cut the tag end off
• Feed the 2-foot leader through the eye of the swivel, tie with a clinch knot, and cut the tag end off
• Feed the opposite end of the leader through the hook, tie with a clinch knot, and cut the tag end off
The Flight of the Kayak Paddle Boat
It’s kind of funny to see how fast this guy starts paddling when he first sees what pokes out of the surface of the water, and it’s probably a good thing he had a paddle kayak instead of a regular kayak with oars. Kayaks like the one you’ll see below are quite popular in the fishing world because they’re easy to maneuver and have a variety of features. With a boat like this, you would have something close to these specs:
• 12 feet long
• 3 feet wide
• 120 pounds fully rigged
• 350-pound capacity
Paddle kayaks designed for fishing like this one also typically have the following features:
• Rod holders
• Dual steering
• Livewell-ready cargo area
• Retractable rudder system
• Sail mount
What Was at the Other End of the Line?
You’ve probably already figured it out by now, but the dangerous animal at the other end of the line was a huge alligator. In Louisiana, most of the gator population is found in coastal marshes, but it’s not uncommon for them to inhabit lakes like this one as well. This particular gator is almost certainly a male, as male gators are much larger than females. Male gators can grow to around 13 feet long and weigh 500+ pounds, and this guy might even be bigger than that. The biggest gator on record was actually found in Louisiana, and was reportedly 19 feet long. In addition to boasting the biggest alligator on record, Louisiana has more alligators that any other state—around 2 million.
The Moral of the Story
The bottom line here is: be careful when you’re around or in any body of water in Louisiana—or any other state populated with gators for that matter. That being said, check out how big this gator’s head is and watch the fisherman and daughter’s priceless reaction.