Battling through the heat and humidity, not to mention an outbreak of blue-green algae, Jay’s Tom Lane nearly pulled off the win at the 12th annual Okie Noodling Tournament held in Pauls Valley on Saturday.
Lane, along with teammates Juke and Terry Morrow and Rusty Williams, hauled in a 59-pound flathead catfish that led the competition for most of the day.
Unfortunately, Broken Bow’s Mark Rowan brought one in just a little bit bigger, winning the $1,000 prize with a catfish weighing in at 60.06 pounds. Rowan, aided by teammates Dalton Thompson, Keith Thompson and Jake Callahan, also won the $400 prize for largest stringer, with a three fish total of 150.56 pounds.
Rowan and company finished second in that category as well with 146.82 pounds.
Noodling is the art of hand-catching catfish. During the summer catfish will build nests under rocks and ledges in muddy banks of lakes and rivers. Noodlers use their own hands or feet as bait, grabbing the fish and hauling it out of the water when they attack the intruding limb.