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Method of Take

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What’s Legal When Noodling?


  • Using only the hands to take catfish and nongame fish, which includes buffalo and carp.
  • Using a stringer to secure a fish
    once it has been caught.

Not legal to use to help catch fish:

  • Any object other than your hands used to help you catch a fish.
  • It is unlawful to place into any lake or reservoir any container that will attract, entice or lure fish into an open cavity within that container. Containers include, but are not limited to, drums, cans, tubs, boxes and barrels. It is also illegal to noodle within such containers.

Not legal to possess when noodling:

  • Hooks, gaffs, spears, poles with hooks attached, ropes with hooks attached.

Season & Limits:

  • Noodling is lawful year-round in all waters only during daylight hours unless restricted under “Special Area Regulations” (see Appendix). From May 1 to Aug. 31, the daily limit for noodling is three blue, channel or flathead catfish in any combination, of which only one may be 30 inches or longer. From Sept. 1 to April 30, the daily limit for noodling is five flathead catfish. There is no statewide daily limit or size restriction for buffalo, carp or any other nongame fish.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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