Catfish noodling contest comes to Texoma - - No One Gets You Closer

Catfish noodling contest comes to Texoma

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PAULS VALLEY, OK -- If you enjoy noodling, you're in luck.

The nation's largest catfish noodling competition is coming to Texoma this weekend. And while a noodle-eating competition will actually be a part of the event, we're talking about a specialized type of fishing here... grabbing underwater prey with bare hands.

"You just get to kind of marvel at these huge catfish that live at the bottom of these lakes and rivers," said Jaclyn Hull with Jetstream Casino. "Many people are not brave enough to go down, stick their hand in a hole, and pull one out."

More than 100 participants will attempt to noodle their way to the top of the podium this weekend in Pauls Valley at the 18th Annual Okie Noodling Tournament. Up to 20,000 people from all over the nation will take in the festivities.

Okie Noodling tank

"It's the largest noodling event in the country," Hull said. "But on top of seeing these big catfish that unless you noodle yourself, you're never going to see out of the water, we have a lot of great daytime events."

Kevin Fowler and Brandon Jenkins will entertain the crowd with live country music, while a number of other activities will create the Okie noodling atmosphere.

"It's a huge event for the City of Pauls Valley," police Chief Mitch McGill said. "Brings a lot of people to town. I think because it is a free event, it gives everybody in the area the opportunity to come out, have a good time, and hopefully it's a safe good time for everybody."

Okie Noodling welcome banner

He added that the Pauls Valley Police Department wants everyone to stay safe, so to prevent attendees from drinking and driving, the city has arranged transportation from the event to local hotels.

"We want you to have a good time, but we want you to be safe and to be courteous," McGill said. "Obviously, we want it to be a family event, too."

The event begins Friday night with concerts; the noodling competition is set for Saturday.

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