MISSISSIPPI GRABBLING AT ITS FINEST
Grabbling is the act of catching catfish with your bare hands. It has many names, other than grabbling, such as hogging, noodling, and I have even heard it called frogging (don't know where that one came from.) But no matter what you call it, the idea is the same. You reach into the unknown and grab a catfish by the mouth and then hold on for dear life! Some say you have to be a little crazy to even try it. I will never forget my first grabbling trip with my dad, I was fifteen years old. I didn't actually catch one that day, but just watching I knew I wanted to try it for myself. At that time, I had no idea what that trip would turn into. I started researching how to grabble and what was involved and thru my reaserch I found that catfish like to hide in stumps, rock beds, brush piles, and anything that provides cover for them to spawn. During the late spring you can reach into these holes where they are spawning and catch these very large catfish. (With the use of your hands only, no pole needed!) I began grabbling in rocks in Enid lake located in Water Valley Ms. The one thing you will never forget, is getting bit for the first time! Once I had gotten bit and caught my first fish I was hooked. After the first season of nothing but checking all natural beds I found out how to catch bigger fish and that was by building boxes for the fish to spawn in. By building boxes and putting them in the lake for the fish to spawn in you can determine how big of a fish can use the box. The bigger the box, most of the time, means bigger fish. With that being said, I build my boxes 4 feet wide by 5 feet long, and at least 16 inches deep with no bottom. It is always smart to have a partner with you. So, that gets me to my next story. I found my new grabbling partner last year, Tony Vaughn. We met at the fire departmet where we live in Oxford, MS. where we both work. He went grabbling and caught his first fish for the first time last summer and loved every minute of it! I will never forget his first real fish, it weighed about 42 lbs. He came out of the water with a huge smile on his face and has been loving the sport just as much as me ever since! Since then, he has caught several 30 to 40 pound catfish, and this year he even caught one that went over 50lbs.! My biggest catfish to grabble was 67 pounds. After grabbling together for some time we decided to see how far we could take the sport. So this year we push ourselves and started the First Annual North MS Grabbling Tournament. We had 20 teams participate and over 300 spectators. If everything goes as planned we hope the tournament will just get bigger and better from here!
Brion Whitten 662-809-5676
Tony Vaughn 662-832-8669