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Method of Take

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.” The daily limit for flathead catfish is five, no size restrictions. The daily limit for blue and/or channel catfish is 15 (combined), only one of which may be 30 inches or longer. There is no statewide daily limit or size restriction for buffalo (except black buffalo, which the daily limit is one) carp or any other nongame fish, unless noodling in a river or stream, which the daily limit for nongame fish is 25.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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