|Written by Bill Hanks|
Hoggin goes by other names. It is sometimes referred to as Loggin or Grabblin. For those of you that don't know, Hoggin is a form of fishing. However, not just any type of fishing. It is fishing with your bare hand and arms. This article deals with that type of how to go Hoggin fishing.
I had often heard of this, but never believed any of it until I met Crowbar Russel. He is one of the stars of the television show "Ozarks Outdoors." I was fortunate to spend several hours with him and view a video tape of how Hoggin is done. This is how it is done.
First make sure that it is legal in your State. Some States forbid it. If they do let you do this, they probably have a set time of the fishing season.
Scout your area. Wherever you decide to do your Hoggin, checkout the holes along the banks early in the Spring. When the weather gets hot, Catfish will sit in these holes. Most times these holes are along the river banks and under old logs submerged in the river or creek bed. Sometimes there might be a small or low hole in the middle of the stream, too. Do your homework and find these holes.
Next, make sure that you are a good swimmer. Wear a good pair of tennis shoes with good soles. You might also want to invest in a thin pair of leather gloves. You will also need a boat, preferably a John or Flat boat. You need at least one person to handle the boat and two people in he water. Some swimmers will use goggles to see under water with.
Now you wade slowly to the area of the hole where the Catfish might be sitting. Move your hand slowly through the fishes mouth and push it through the side gill of he fish. With your free hand, either grab behind the other gill or wrap the entire arm around the fish. Lift the fish and have your partner help you toss it into the boat. It helps if you are a good swimmer. It is very easy to slip and fall while Hoggin.
The person in the boat is very helpful. He must keep the boat still and as close to the Hoggin individuals as possible. He is critical to the success of the Hoggin fishers. Getting the fish into the boat quickly is very important.
Hoggin isn't for everybody. It takes practice with an expert to improve your Hoggin skills. It is not unusual for Hoggin individuals to come up with Catfish as large as 30 pounds plus.