This alligator snapper is a true giant!
When it comes to the many times of outdoor adventure one can partake in, noodling ranks up there as one of the wildest. One must be brave to jump into the water for the first time and start sticking their bare hands into underwater holes, under logs and stumps trying to pull out giant flatheads and blue catfish.
There are all sorts of hazards under the surface. Because one never knows what critters may be lurking in a muddy river. It may be the fish they are seeking, or it could be an angry muskrat. Still, that does not deter a lot of people in places like Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and more from trying this style of hand fishing every year.
One major hazard to watch for is snapping turtles. Both the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle pose a hazard. However, it is the alligator variety that is the most frightening because of those big, sharp beaks that can easily lop a finger off. The guy in today's video is apparently noodling for snapping turtles on purpose because he is thrilled with the dinosaur he pulls out of a deep mud hole.
We should note that scientists have theorized these turtles can live for 200 years, however it has not been proven in the wild as this guy stated in the video. We do know that 80 to 100 years of age is not uncommon.
This noodler had to let this turtle go because alligator snapping turtles were historically overhunted for their meat. Many people liked to make turtle soup out of them. Most states have regulations that now protect them. Still, there are a brave few who like to catch and release these big alligators for fun like this guy did.
While we think catching big fish in this style looks like fun, we will pass on trying to catch snapping turtles in this manner. Even the little ones are likely to have a bite that hurts quite a bit. Noodlers who target snapping turtles are a bit less common than those who are more into catfishing. For obvious reasons!