Monday, July 20, 2009
I don't know if any of you have been noodling, but my family is a bunch of noodlers from way back. I'm talking about catching giant catfish by hand. PBS has a great documentary about noodlers in Oklahoma. I thought it was well worth seeing. Noodlers wade in rivers searching for holes in in river banks and river beds, where large catfish hide. You put your bare fist in the hole and wait till the catfish bites it and then wrestle it out of the hole. You've got to have tungsten &%$!#s to fish like that IMHO.
Anyway, the branches of my mother's family (Rachuig & Schulz) that live near the Bosque River in Clifton, Texas have noodled catfish since they moved there in the late 1800s.
The first picture was taken sometime in the 1930s. The man on the far right is my great-grandfather, Julius Herman Rachuig. The other men are his sons, sons-in-law, and brother-in-law. There's another picture of the same group with more fish, so that's not all they caught.
This second picture was taken in the '40s. The third man from the left is my grandfather, Herbert Albert Rachuig. I'm not certain who the others are except for the man on the far right. He's my grandfather's oldest brother, Walter Alfred Rachuig, Sr. My aunt says they filleted these fish, covered them in corn meal, and fried them in a cauldron of oil. She says they were delicious.