The sport known as noodling comes with an unspoken warning sign. Anytime you’re intentionally sticking your arm into a mysterious hole to try and entice a big catfish to chomp down on it, there’s going to be some potential dangers lurking.
However, Destry Mitchell of southern Oklahoma, learned sometimes the dangers aren’t solely lurking below the surface of the muddy water.
Mitchell reportedly has plenty of noodling experience, but no amount of experience could help him avoid the deadly bite of a cottonmouth snake.
Check out the video below, but we should warn you some of what you will see is graphic:
“I put my hand on top of a rock and I guess that snake was on the other side of the rock, and he saw my hand and just attacked it,” Mitchell said.
A 3.5-foot-long cottonmouth sank its fangs into Mitchell’s finger, putting an abrupt ending on his noodling trip and sending him straight to the hospital.
“Honestly, probably the (most scared) I’ve ever been in my life,” he said.
Within 24 hours, Mitchell’s hand blew up to the size of a softball and his finger was in much worse condition, putting him in intensive care.
Mitchell ended up receiving 14 doses of anti-venom and spent nearly a week in the hospital. He’s incredibly lucky he didn’t lose his hand, and he’s not certain he’ll ever noodle again.