Flathead Catfish Handfishing Season Runs June 15-Aug. 31
Special fishing season offers anglers a more “hands on” way of catching flatheads
The increased popularity of television shows like “Hillbilly Handfishin’,” “Catfishin’ Kings,” and “Mudcats,” proves that handfishing for large catfish can be an exciting and fast-paced sport. Luckily,
is one of a handful of states that offer this special season. With a special permit, anglers can handfish for flathead catfish in select waters from sunrise to sunset June 15-Aug. 31. Kansas
Commonly referred to as “noodling,” handfishing consists of finding a suspected catfish hole, barricading any possible exits the fish might escape through, using your hands as bait and sticking your arm inside the hole to catch the catfish bare-handed. Although seemingly easy, this sport can prove to be very dangerous for inexperienced anglers.
Adding to the challenge of handfishing, no man-made objects that attract fish, such as a barrel, box, or bathtub may be used. Handfishing anglers are also prohibited from using snorkel or scuba gear, as well as any hooks. A stringer may be used, but not until the catfish is caught by hand and is at or above the water’s surface.
♦ the entire length of the
♦ all federal reservoirs from beyond 150 yards of the dam to the upstream end of the federal property, and
♦ the Kansas River from its origin, downstream to its confluence with the
Handfishing permits can be obtained for $27.50 at select license vendors or online. Anglers participating in this special season will need to have a handfishing permit in addition to a regular fishing license. New for 2013, handfishing permit-holders are no longer required to complete and submit a questionnaire following the close of the season.
To purchase a handfishing permit online, visit www.ksoutoors.com and click “License/Permits.”