In tonight’s episode of Hillbilly Handfishin’, entitled Say Hello to My Little Friend, we follow another three pairs as they embark on a wild and crazy adventure to learn and participate in catfish noodling!
This week Skipper Bivins and Jackson are fixing to get everyone a big fish. It’s noodling season in Cotton County and the hunt is on. They’re out scouting so that they can find the big ones for the groups coming on this week’s excursion.
Our first pair is Tony and Nick, and they’re Italian boys from the big apple. Tony is a hairdresser and his son-in-law Nick talked him into it. They’ve never been on a trip alone together so this is a first in many respects for them. Then we have Ken the mortician and his daughter Natalie. They want something to do together and have a good bonding experience before Natalie heads off to college. And lastly we have the retirees Valerie and her husband John.
Jackson and Skipper’s daughter Heather meet everyone along with his wife. Natalie is a little quiet, but Skipper seems to like a challenge. The pairs enter Skipper’s place and they see a replica of the biggest fish they’ve caught, a whopping 111 pounds!
The pairs are a little nervous but getting along very well. There’s some trepidation about sticking their hands and feet into holes, and Natalie thinks that Tony is going to get scared since he’s been freaking out.
Day 1 is a starting point. They’re heading to Red River to start. Skipper’s wife, Heather, his son Christian, and Christian’s girl all join to help out these new greenhorn’s. They head to a spot where the fish aren’t that aggressive. Valerie has the first shot at catching a fish.
Valerie sticks her hand in to feel for the fish. The team is blocking all of the holes so the fish has no exit point. She feels the fish. She changes holes and she catches one! It’s a 4 pounder, type blue catfish. It’s the start of building everyone’s confidence.
Skipper takes them down the river a bit where there are a lot of holes. And Ken catches a 4 pound flathead! Next Jackson and Skipper work with Nick to catch a fish. And Nick catches a type channel catfish weighing 3 pounds. Heather is working with Natalie and she sticks her hand into the hole. She gets it, but she lets it get away. It’s a 5 pound channel catfish.
Tony finally gets the nerves to stick his hands into a hole. The fish bites him and now he’s totally determined to get this fish. Revenge is sweet as they say. And he gets him! It’s a 11 pound channel catfish. It’s a great first day, but the next day is on the horizon.
Catfish Corner asks which body part do catfish have more than any other animal on the planet. The answer is taste buds. They have up to 200 taste buds on their body.
Day 2 brings them back to Red River. John is the only one that hasn’t caught a fish so it’s redemption time. He’s got something on his toe. He looks a little afraid. He’s determined though, but the fish is playing a game of hide and seek. So the team moves on.
Natalie has now worked up the nerve to catch a fish all on her own. She sticks her hand into the hole. The fish bites her and she has its mouth, pulls it out and catches a channel catfish of 6 pounds!
Now the team is in fast moving waters. And it’s once again John’s turn. Skipper pins the fish between his legs. He gets ahold of the fish and Skipper strings him and he pulls him out and it’s a 15 pound blue catfish. It’s a big one. But the next day they’re hunting for a big one.
On day 3, the folks are catching on to noodling. So they’re heading to the lake to fish. Lake fishing is where the big fish are. It’s a man-made lake. They work as a team. Natalie goes down to check a hole. She’s got a foot in the hole and she gets bit hard. She’s got a chunk missing out of her finger. Now its Ken’s turn. Heather goes in to try and push the fish back to her. But Heather’s bit badly. She looks like she’s going to cry, but she toughs it out. This fish is tearing everyone up. When all is said and done though, the fish gets away and isn’t caught.
Nick is now trying to get a big one. He’s up and down in the water fighting with the fish. He’s having a hard time with the fish. But he’s got him. And after toughing it out, he pulls him out. He lands an 8 pound channel catfish.
Now it’s time for a cook-off. It’s the Italian boys against the Oklahoma clan. The Oklahoma clan deep fries the catfish and Nick and Tony bakes the catfish Italian style. Skipper enjoys the baked lemon catfish, but when all is said and done, it appears as though Joann’s deep fried catfish is the winner. But everyone gets to taste something new.
It’s the last day before everyone heads home. Skipper and Jackson find a big one and call the teams over. Tony is called over to the hole. Skipper gives him the hole and he’s feeling for the fish. And the fish bites down hard. Now it’s Nick’s turn and he gets bit hard. He pulls him out and it’s a whopper. It’s a 70 pound flathead!
But not so fast, this time of year the fish usually have a mate. So Ken is after the other fish. Ken has his foot in the fish’s mouth. And he gets a 65 pound flathead! This is two of the biggest fish anyone’s caught all year.
And the winner of this trip is Nick with his 70 pound flathead catfish. Everyone’s excited and had a great time.
Until the next episode..
Hillbilly Handfishin’ Related Articles:
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Check out our Interview with Skipper and Jackson by clicking here.
Check out EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS for the FULL SEASON by clicking here.
Learn how to speak Hillbilly 101 by clicking here.
Find out more about Skipper and Jackson by clicking on their bio page by clicking here.
Review: Episode 1
Review: Episode 3
Review: Episode 5
Review: Episode 6
Review: Episode 7
Review: Episode 8