By Burkhard Bilger
About the Author
Has written for all the usual suspects: The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and the New York Times.
"Bilger kicks off the tour from his hometown in Oklahoma, where he 'noodles'--thrashes a limb around in catfish-thick waters--hoping to land a fabled 80-pound monster with his bare hands. In Louisiana, he challenges the misgivings any nonenthusiast might have about cockfighting.
Even though it's illegal in most of the country, the bloodsport is thriving in the Bayou State, replete with trade magazines, well-produced venues, and American Kennel Club-worthy breeding strategies. The same passion for efficiency goes into the moonshining business, where Bilger is taken under the wing of one of the few shiners willing to lead him through his sourmash operation. A few nights later, however, Bilger is on the other side, on a raid with the local sheriff.
Squirrel-brain consumption is still popular in hamlets throughout Kentucky, even after a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine blamed a neurological disease on the dish. Bilger treats each eccentric character with a distant respect and hints at the melancholy of losing tradition, no matter how bizarre."
"tick tick tick
I'm nostril-deep in murky water, sunk to the calves in gelatinous muck.
Noodling, I know, is the fishing equivalent of a shot in the dark. For his master's thesis at Mississippi State University, a fisheries biologist named Jay Francis spent three years noodling two rivers.
All told, he caught 35 fish in 1,362 tries: 1 fish for every 39 noodles."
To "noodle" is to dangle your arm in the water until a catfish swallows your hand. The fish record catch includes one at 111 pounds.
"When clamped on your arm, catfish also have an unfortunate tendency to bear down and spin , like a sharpener on a pencil."
... "once that thing gets to flouncin' and that sandpaper gets to rubbin', it can peel your hide plumb off."
Here's the trailer for the movie
See all Topics