Kansas Catfish Handfishing Season

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With a special permit, anglers can handfish for flathead catfish in select Kansas waters from sunrise to sunset June 15-Aug. 31. Kansas is one of a handful of states that offer this special season.

Commonly referred to as “noodling,” handfishing consists of finding a suspected catfish hole, barricading any possible exits the fish might escape through, using your hands as bait and sticking your arm inside the hole to catch the catfish bare-handed.

Adding to the challenge of handfishing, no man-made objects that attract fish, such as a barrel, box, or bathtub may be used. Handfishing anglers are also prohibited from using snorkel or scuba gear, as well as any hooks. A stringer may be used, but not until the catfish is caught by hand and is at or above the water’s surface.

Kansas waters open to handfishing include:

*  the entire length of the Arkansas River

*  all federal reservoirs from beyond 150 yards of the dam to the upstream end of the federal property

*  the Kansas River from its origin, downstream to its confluence with the Missouri River

Anglers participating in this special season will need to have a handfishing permit in addition to a regular fishing license.

For 2013, handfishing permit-holders are no longer required to complete and submit a questionnaire following the close of the season.

Handfishing permits can be obtained for $27.50 at select license vendors or online at www.ksoutoors.com

source: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism