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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is everyone's opinion on noodling or hogging in a lake? I see the new thing here in Southern Illinois on Rend lake is that the so-called (fishing guides) are starting to take large groups of people (clients) out noodling here on Rend Lake in areas where the large catfish get under the old roadbed. I know people have been doing it for years and it is legal, but when they are getting paid to take the large breeding catfish out of the lake day after day it is not long before there are not many large fish left for fishermen to catch on rod and reel. It takes a long time for a fish to get up to 40 pounds. I was just wondering what others think about this practice?
 

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Of course everyone will have their opinion and I guess it depends on whether they are thinking in the moment or the future.

My opinion is that is the way to ruin a lake. Even if the fish are released, it would have an affect on the spawn and hinder new populations of fish.

Then, you would have some that would keep their fish which would be even more devastating to the fish population.

To me, it is the same as using fish traps or even worse because you are dragging the fish out at their most vulnerable time.

Just like commercial fishing that is not tightly controlled, a few make money and a resource gets destroyed.

All in the name of greed.

just my opinion.
 

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Do you know for sure they are removing them or do they release?
If they are removing them it鈥檚 pretty stupid as they are removing the very thing that is making them money. Even if they are releasing them, pulling them off nests can only be bad for sustainability.
Problem is, people like that are only interested in quick cash; the conservation of the resource is of no interest to them.
As with many things, just because it鈥檚 legal doesn鈥檛 make it right.
As you asked, my opinion is that it should be made illegal.

鈥
 

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Recently one of the neighboring states, think it was Missouri, outlawed the practice. When I looked into it, they referenced a study that indicated that even when released shortly after the fish did not return to the nest in a considerable percentage of cases. So although the nice breeding fish was not lost, it's entire brood was.
I think if I was working to feed my loved ones through a food crisis, I would do it and not look back but that is not the case for me and mine.
 

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ive caught the same fish outa the same hole within a weeks time. keep one or two but release most of them. really no different that keeping a fish caught on rod and reel, a kept fish does not spawn no matter how it was caught.
 

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I would suspect like many fishing guides they are being used as a teaching tool. While the guide him/herself may insist on catch and release the client who is just wanting to learn the how and where may be back on their own trying to fill a gunny sack for a fish fry. I know where you are talking about, several years ago a fishing buddy and I were anchored just off the old roadbed tight lining for channels when a group of hoggers started working the area, I would guess H.S. aged kids. I told them several times we had lines cast out with treble hooks on them and they were dangerously close to getting into them. No one got hooked but one did get into one of my buddies' lines, we hollered, he stopped, pulled the line up and over his head to free himself, looked over and shouted "sorry" then commenced back hogging.

We have quit fishing Rend, fishing almost exclusively on the Ohio but lack of concern for the fishery is no better there, talked to a guy who was launching at Etown, IL. with several nets in his boat last week. Just being social I inquired how he had been doing, he advised his catch had been declining the past several years but was way down this year so he went and bought eight more nets trying to get back to a 300lb per week average, then he said the Asian Carp are killing us. Yelp, was all I said figuring it best to leave it there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ive caught the same fish outa the same hole within a weeks time. keep one or two but release most of them. really no different that keeping a fish caught on rod and reel, a kept fish does not spawn no matter how it was caught.
I would suspect like many fishing guides they are being used as a teaching tool. While the guide him/herself may insist on catch and release the client who is just wanting to learn the how and where may be back on their own trying to fill a gunny sack for a fish fry. I know where you are talking about, several years ago a fishing buddy and I were anchored just off the old roadbed tight lining for channels when a group of hoggers started working the area, I would guess H.S. aged kids. I told them several times we had lines cast out with treble hooks on them and they were dangerously close to getting into them. No one got hooked but one did get into one of my buddies' lines, we hollered, he stopped, pulled the line up and over his head to free himself, looked over and shouted "sorry" then commenced back hogging.

We have quit fishing Rend, fishing almost exclusively on the Ohio but lack of concern for the fishery is no better there, talked to a guy who was launching at Etown, IL. with several nets in his boat last week. Just being social I inquired how he had been doing, he advised his catch had been declining the past several years but was way down this year so he went and bought eight more nets trying to get back to a 300lb per week average, then he said the Asian Carp are killing us. Yelp, was all I said figuring it best to leave it there.
I would like to fish tht fiver too but with gas prices it isn't worth it. It is 80 miles from me.
 

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I get what you are saying about cost of travel. It is 90 miles from home to our river camp but being retired when we go we usually get in at least three days of fishing. We like to go Wed. evening and come home Sat afternoon as soon as we get off the water. This is just a suggestion but if you decide to go, give somewhere below the Smithland dam a try as the fishing above has in our experience been in a rapid decline the past three years with this year being the worst.
 

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Here in OkC, noodling is illegal in the lakes themselves, but legal downstream of Overholser on the Canadian River

There are other restrictions on the water that people ignore: no trotlines, juglines, throwlines, no yo-yos, no castnets, no dipnets. In short, the only means of harvest is 3 rods per person, 3 hooks per line.
Also, no swimming or ski-ing. Boats, kayaking, canoeing and jetskis are legal. But, every weekend there are families with their kids swimming.
No campfires, no tents.
If the local game warden chose to, he could more than fill a ticket book every month.
But, his response,"It's a never ending battle." And I have seen an ODWC vehicle at Overholser in over two years.

Since it is enforced by OCPD, the only rule (law?) that is enforced is that, without required license/permit, the park is closed from 2300 to 0600.
 
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Well ....I wondered if I would weigh in Or not on this one ...I don't noodle anymore but really has little to do with ethics and all the different places I used to go ..Many variables ..( I never kept but a few big ones over the years ) .And never kept more than a couple at most per trip . just me .. I get the common sentiment about keeping any breeder some or maybe most disagree with ..The same water I noodled had commercial limb lines trotlines jugs and rod and reelers .A consideration ...Females lay the eggs and leave the nest ...The males ...do all the rearing ..So I wonder of female to male ratio is caught ? Now if the male gets pulled pending on age of fry ...all might be lost from that nest .. Ihaven't read any scientific data that says a male (Won't) return to nest .of put back . Now for the sake of thought ..If we fish during spawn months ...oh say July ...our bluegill swims by said hole and BAM !!! He fights and tussles pulls through limbs etc .cause that bluegill inadvertently got to close ? Maybe he gets snagged up and breaks off ...still might not make it to nest right ? Or ...he is within the size range you eat ?( if you eat any at all ). And by now some may say I am the devils advocate ...I'm not .. The key in my morals is to ONLY take what I need only ...If I choose to .. I'm not casting stones nor taking sides ...just food for thought .
Tight Lines .
 

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What is everyone's opinion on noodling or hogging in a lake? I see the new thing here in Southern Illinois on Rend lake is that the so-called (fishing guides) are starting to take large groups of people (clients) out noodling here on Rend Lake in areas where the large catfish get under the old roadbed. I know people have been doing it for years and it is legal, but when they are getting paid to take the large breeding catfish out of the lake day after day it is not long before there are not many large fish left for fishermen to catch on rod and reel. It takes a long time for a fish to get up to 40 pounds. I was just wondering what others think about this practice?
Further in the discussion, laws will come up. There oughta be a law. The folks who should be representing us have already made laws all over stuff that should be left alone, in my humble opinion. I think I am now supposed to carry a throw cushion life preserver in my boat. No. I just aint going to do it. Nor will I wear a helmet to drive my boat when THEY get around to that. Thing is, there are way way too many people for everyone to have all access to the woods and creeks and rivers and leave them like they found them. Some people are just the type to take or destroy anything they use; Anyone who has lived a few years knows some of them. No raising, maybe. Growing up using disposable styrofoam plates...probably contributed. You cannot fix it. Laws are nuts already, not representing anyone other than insurance companies and big money. Fish when you can. Put them back if you want to. Try not to get killed by hordes of idiots on jetskis and idiots in power boats that have no idea what a wake is, or what courtesy is. Count your blessings each day you survive. That would be my advice. Oh...and teach, your children well! Maybe down the road someone can do better.
 

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What is everyone's opinion on noodling or hogging in a lake? I see the new thing here in Southern Illinois on Rend lake is that the so-called (fishing guides) are starting to take large groups of people (clients) out noodling here on Rend Lake in areas where the large catfish get under the old roadbed. I know people have been doing it for years and it is legal, but when they are getting paid to take the large breeding catfish out of the lake day after day it is not long before there are not many large fish left for fishermen to catch on rod and reel. It takes a long time for a fish to get up to 40 pounds. I was just wondering what others think about this practice?
For noodling itself, all I can say is Florida boys learn quick not to stick their hands in places they can't see... Lible to find something with teeth!
As for your area, check your fishing regs. In many states like here in Alabama, they made changes to account for the growth, so here you can have any number of small cats, but only one over 32" per day. If you have the same there, and you see these guys taking more than 1 big one apiece, you can let the local warden know.
If they're not actually breaking the creel laws, I'd suggest that if they are doing this during the spawn, you could approach the guides and suggest politely that it's not good for the population to take them off the beds, as the males guard the eggs and the young until about a week after hatching.
You can also contact the state biologist for the area, and tell him of the practice, and see if he can tell you how to suggest a change in the regs for next year to protect the spawning fish
 

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I was surprised to learn that guides on my local lake Clarks Hill are doing the same thing as far as taking people out to specifically target large flatheads. I've faithfully upheld game laws ever since I started fishing, but I believe studies should be done to gauge the impact of removal of these large fish, and, if determined necessary, laws should be put in place to protect the resource.
 

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That's pretty much what we did in Alabama. You may be able to find the studies they did about growth rates, and present that to your DNR. In Alabama, now, you can have all the little cats you want, but only 1 over 32 inches per day. I really think it should be less than that, but since limits are either "per day" or "cannot take" at all...
 

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I'm in oklahoma and will go noodling in Beaver Creek that feeds Kaw Lake or Salt Creek that dumps into the Arkansas River every June. I have a huge family and they all come to the ranch for the 4th of July. We have a big fish fry and usually feed about 75 of us. During the big spring rains the flatheads move up Beaver Creek and get trapped by a couple of low water dams. When there is a drought like we have now several of the pools will all but dry up. I've seen thousands of dead flatheads this year along Beaver creek on the far upper north end. I never have noodled any lakes but I do scuba dive several. Been fortunate to see hundreds upon hundreds of blue cats stacked up feeding on shad balls. I've seen flatheads end to end laying on the bottom of lakes for what seemed like hundreds of yards. I can't say anything about east or west of me but I think it would surprise people how many fish there are in some of the Oklahoma lakes.
 
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