Noodling goes prime time

The sport of noodling is growing in popularity, and cable network shows hope it can be the next ‘Swamp People.'
By Adam Kemp, Staff Writer, akemp@opubco.com Published: July 16, 2011

Tell Judkins said noodling's reputation of being a sport for country boys with no teeth is about to change.

With the success of several popular cable TV shows like “Swamp People” on the History Channel, the sport of Noodling appears to be next, and Oklahoma will be right in the spotlight.

Judkins has been an avid outdoorsman his whole life but just recently started noodling. He said he can see why someone would be interested in making it into a show.

“The best kinds of characters are noodlers,” Judkins said. “It takes an interesting person to want to get bit by fish.”

Animal Planet had a show that premiered in 2010 called “Hillbilly Handfishin,'” and now Bradley Beasley, famed Oklahoman and director of the documentary “Okie Noodling,” said plans are in the works for a new show.

According to an interview in the Tulsa World on July 2, Beasley said the series will be out in the fall, but that the details about the show, the contest, names of all the participants, and the name of the cable network are confidential.

Judkins' teammate Chris Pulchny said in his 12 years of noodling experience, he has seen the sport grow from oddity to one of the most popular fishing events in the world.

“The Okie Noodling tournament used to attract a couple hundred,” Pulchny said. “This year there are thousands and it's because it's so much fun.”


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