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If I were you I would try some of the smaller rivers around like the south Canadian or north Canadian. those are your closest options but if you go north canadian go far enough down river so its legal (past sw10th street I think) all the oklahoma river is off limits to noodlers now. If you want to go any further the washita river is good to the south and cimmeron to the north.
 

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well if you like cold water the traditional time is during the spawn. This starts in May and lasts through June but this is what noodlers catch a lot of criticism for because you are taking males of their nests and leaving them vulnerable to predators. Another option is to wait until mid to late summer when the water in the small rivers is hot and the current is very low. the fish are in almost a hibernating state during the day conserving oxygen because hot water holds very little oxygen. They will lay still enough for you to have a chance to get ahold of them most of the time but when they feel threatened the fight will be on. I hope this helps and if you decide to go during the spawn their is no reason you can't practice catch and release and ensure the next generation of flatties.
 

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Welcome to the BOC its great to have you aboard, ive thought about noodling some my self but im scared of sticking my hands and arms in some wholes where I dont know whats under there, is there a way that you can tell whats in the wholes without sticking your arm in them first.
 

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In the florida rivers I used to noodle you can see well enough to see the cleaned look to the entrance of the holes with fish in them. I did see a great big moccosin halfway in one of the same holes on another occasion. I wanted to kill it so it would not be there later when I might reach in on it. I shot it with a small speargun and then bailed as fast as I could. Once I got into water shallow enough to stand I got on out. I think the spear came off, if I remember right. Pretty hairy, they say those moccosins will attack in the water. I wasn`t too keen on that.

Another time I was reaching into a hole I always reached into and the gator who lived there jostled off my shoulder in his rush to get into his hole. Seems I snuck up on him while he was on the bank, I was under water and he didn`t know I was there till he smelled my breath and freaked. The next time I went there I brought a dive light and shined into that big hole, THERE HE WAS! I must have been reaching in and practicaly making him dodge my hand the other times. I was more carefull to look for catfish sign from then on.
 

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I always use a good wooden stick!Run it in the whole and feel for the fish. Experience will teach you what you are poking and what pokes or bites back! I would recommend noodling with an experienced partner! If you disturb a rock and it traps your arm you could drown without help! Welcome to the BOC! You might think of going to the Keystone gathering the last weekend in May?
 
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The best way to learn how to noodle, is to get a buddy, a case of beer and go to a body of water jump in and start noodling the more you do it the more you'll learn. As for me I'll rarely take rookies out to my noodling holes, because when you show people noodling holes the next thing you know the whole state is noodling there. I think noodling has gotten way to publicized. I don't know how it could have been a subject of "dirtiest jobs". I don't mind telling you where they were because since that episode that spot is noodled to death. It's the old 69 highway in lake eufaula, you can see the spot from the new 69hwy its only in about 4 to 5 feet of water depending on lake level. That old highway runs all through the lake. You don't even need a boat to get to it, just go to cardinal point turn right and the old higway runs right into the water. There is some really big catfish under that road if you can get them before everyone else and by big I mean 60+ are common. Just make sure you only keep flatheads, because that area is watched like a hawk by the game warden. I'm not sure he doesn't have a video camera stashed somewhere.
 

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I'm pretty new to the site myself, but have been handfishing for a few years now. Finding holes is the hard part. I like to use my feet as much as anything. Put on a good pair of wading shoes, and kick and poke around. When you think you've found something, dive under and reach in. Sooner or later, you'll reach in and be greeted with an ill-tempered flathead. Grab him by the jaw, secure another hand under his gill plate, and get his tail between your knees to keep it from thrashing. Have a buddy help you to the boat and pitch him in. Laugh about your cut-up, take pictures of your fish, eat him if you want, or ease him back into the water to fight another day.
 
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