Admit it – at some point in your life, you’ve thought: Noodling for catfish would be cool. But then commonsense won out and you realized that jumping into a dark-colored river and sticking your hands into hollow underwater logs and holes in the riverbank was a good way to make it very difficult to count to 10 using your fingers and thumbs.
One man who has found a way to satisfy his redneck hunger for catfish adventure without losing a digit to a snapping turtle is Frenchman Pierre Alain Gillet. He targets Wels catfish, which live in large lakes and deep rivers throughout much of Europe. And this is not a misprint: Wels cats weighing close to 300 pounds have been landed by anglers.
While catching a monster Wels catfish on hook and line would certainly be thrilling, Gillet recently captured these amazing fish using only a snorkel and selfie stick.
If you were watching closely at the beginning of the video, you noticed it was made on Nov. 1, 2015. Gillet snorkels in a river named Loire during the fall because the water is quite clear if the region hasn’t received much rain. Of course, most catfish rivers in North America are far too murky to ever think about trying to film them underwater in this manner.
My favorite part of the video happens at the 2:48 mark when a big cat gives Gillet a “keep your hands to yourself” smack to the jaw.
Safety P.S.: Even though the Loire isn’t a fast-moving river, it does have powerful currents in places, and those currents combined with the many fallen trees make it very dangerous for snorkeling. In other words, don’t try this at home – or in France.