Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

'Bare Knuckle Babe' wins 14th annual Okie Noodling Festival
newsok.com ^ | June 22, 2013 | HANNAH COVINGTON

Posted on 06/26/2013 6:27:24 AM PDT by BO Stinkss

PAULS VALLEY — When Lucy Millsap walked onstage in a hot pink tank top with a 72-pound catfish hoisted over her shoulder, the crowd couldn't help but take notice.

Several snapped pictures with the 19-year-old from Quinlan, Texas, on their cellphones.

“It's nice to come to Oklahoma and be famous for a big catfish,” Millsap said.

Millsap drove three hours hauling her dusty brown, whiskered catch in a red tub in her truck bed to claim the top prize at the 14th annual Okie Noodling Tournament.

She beat 200 contestants to win the $1,500 prize in the “Big Fish” category and was the first woman to do so.

“My dad asked me if I wanted to fish in the women's division and I said, ‘Heck no.' I don't want to fish in the women's division. I want to beat the men,” Millsap said.

Contestants had 24 hours to catch a catfish with their hands and bring it back alive to Wacker Park in Pauls Valley by the 6 p.m. Saturday weigh-in.

While the crowd waited for noodling teams to arrive, kids feasted on catfish in an eating contest.

Filmmaker and former University of Oklahoma film student Bradley Beesley works as the festival's coordinator. He started the event 14 years ago while making his documentary, “Okie Noodling.”

The first festival was supposed to be the last.

What began as a film promotion experiment with a crowd of 500 has turned into an annual summer festival that draws about 10,000 people from across the country, Beesley said.

“We never thought it would take off like this,” he said. “It was just a device for the film.”

Queens of catfish

For Millsap, noodling was more fun when it was still illegal in Texas.

In those days, sneaking around on a boat at night required someone to watch out for the game warden.

The former high school cheerleader and student council president still fishes at night to recreate the heady chase of an off-limits game. She pulled her winning flathead for the festival from Lake Texoma about 3 a.m. that day.

People wouldn't take her for a noodler, Millsap said. “I went through my entire high school career and no one ever knew.”Millsap said representing female noodlers made the experience worthwhile.

The logo printed across her tank top spoke of this cause: Bare Knuckle Babes.

At the festival, the Babes sold calendars featuring female noodlers from all over the country.

Millsap claimed the photo spot for May.

“Women don't think they can do a lot of stuff. And you get a lot of trash talk from the guys,” Millsap said. “I'm proud to justify the name ‘bare knuckle babes.'”

Staying connected

Noodling first gained national attention after Moore-native Beesley featured the offbeat sport in his documentary and his spinoff show, “Mudcats.”

He said the festival is a way to keep hand fisherman connected.

The festival “provides these guys with a sense of community that they wouldn't normally have,” Beesley said. “Noodling is normally a very secretive, clandestine sport.”

Over a decade after he made his film about noodling, Beesley has a lingering fascination with its participants.

“They are people that respect and revere these catfish,” Beesley said. “It's easy to go out, use a gun and shoot a deer. It's something else to catch the fish on its own terms.”

1st competition

Noodling can be risky.

Just ask Millsap. She has been to the emergency room a number of times from puncturing her foot with rusty nails while noodling. She still considers the hand-hunt for catfish worth it.

Even though she started noodling when she was 5, this was Millsap's first competition.

After turning her flathead in, she watched the muddy fish lumber and circle the bottom of an onstage pool.

Does the catfish have a name?

Adjusting her pink camouflage ball cap, Millsap stops and thinks.

“Dinner,” she said.


TOPICS: Hobbies; Local News; Outdoors
KEYWORDS: noodling
I think I'm in love.
1 posted on 06/26/2013 6:27:24 AM PDT by BO Stinkss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss
I think I'm in love.

Looks like she already has that covered, for now.

2 posted on 06/26/2013 6:34:53 AM PDT by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

>> I think I’m in love.

Does the catfish have a name? Adjusting her pink camouflage ball cap, Millsap stops and thinks. “Dinner,” she said.

Yep, Ms. Millsap is the entire package!


3 posted on 06/26/2013 6:36:04 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Without GOD, men get what they deserve.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: elkfersupper

>> Looks like she already has that covered, for now.

How do you figure?


4 posted on 06/26/2013 6:38:13 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Without GOD, men get what they deserve.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

I think I’m in love.


Methinks Mr. Biceps standing behind her might take some issue with that ;)


5 posted on 06/26/2013 6:38:46 AM PDT by freedomlover
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

6 posted on 06/26/2013 6:41:08 AM PDT by ThomasMore (Islam is the Whore of Babylon!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

He’s not really holding the fish as much as he’s flexing for the camera.


7 posted on 06/26/2013 6:42:54 AM PDT by albie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freedomlover; elkfersupper; BO Stinkss

Did you notice that there are two *different* “Mr Biceps” bringing up the rear, in the two pictures?

Methinks they’re “show props”, and B.O. Stinkss has a fighting chance.

I mean, it’s like “smuckers” jam, right? — with a name like B.O. Stinkss, he must have something on the ball... ;-)


8 posted on 06/26/2013 6:42:56 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Without GOD, men get what they deserve.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Nervous Tick; elkfersupper; BO Stinkss

If BOS wants to whip two Okies and who knows what else waits back in Texas, good luck!! ;)


9 posted on 06/26/2013 6:47:22 AM PDT by freedomlover
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

lose the illustrated punk, sweet-pea.


10 posted on 06/26/2013 6:48:18 AM PDT by schm0e ("we are in the midst of a coup.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

All I can say is get the sharp knife, get that fatty skin off, cube the catfish and get our the fryer; I don’t eat much fried food, but deep fried catfish chunks are awesome...especially if they have some cajun seasoning mixed in the batter. Any experts out there ...does the size of the catfish take away from the meat quality at 72lbs?


11 posted on 06/26/2013 6:50:42 AM PDT by CincyRichieRich (He thwarts the plans of the crafty so that their hands achieve no success...Job 5:12)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nervous Tick

12 posted on 06/26/2013 6:51:25 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist (Jeremiah 50:32 "The arrogant one will stumble and fall With no one to raise him up; And I will set)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Nervous Tick

13 posted on 06/26/2013 6:51:40 AM PDT by Daffynition (Stand Your Ground)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

“When Lucy Millsap walked onstage in a hot pink tank top with a 72-pound catfish hoisted over her shoulder, the crowd couldn’t help but take notice.”

She seems to be “hoisting” 5-10 pounds of the fish at any given time.


14 posted on 06/26/2013 6:51:48 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

I thought Noodling meant..... Oh never mind.


15 posted on 06/26/2013 6:58:30 AM PDT by duckman (I'm part of the group pulling the wagon!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nervous Tick
Does the catfish have a name? Adjusting her pink camouflage ball cap, Millsap stops and thinks. “Dinner,” she said.

I needed that.

16 posted on 06/26/2013 7:08:17 AM PDT by Standing Wolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: CincyRichieRich

“Any experts out there ...does the size of the catfish take away from the meat quality at 72lbs?”
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Certain parts need to be trimmed out and that would probably be more of a candidate for catfish stew than fried catfish. I don’t cook fish stew but when properly prepared there is nothing better on Earth than catfish stew. The best I ever recall was served under a shed at a backyard sawmill owned by an electrician. I just happened to stop by at the right time, I didn’t know the guy cooked but it was fantastic. My father used to talk about how they used to cook catfish stew in a big cast iron “washpot” on the river bank. One man actually choked to death on it because he was trying to eat it too fast. The smaller fish really are better for eating than the big ones though.

I’ve always been too much of a chicken to go “noodling”. Where there are catfish in holes there are usually Cottonmouth Moccasins and I don’t want to go feeling around in their domain. Anything that bites a rattlesnake’s head, dares him not to like it and then literally swallows him whole is too dangerous for Rip to play with.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ2l4owxC7s
I have twice seen a Cottonmouth emerge from a stream holding a ten inch catfish by the nose and swallow the catfish whole. The spiny fins on a catfish that size are like poison tipped needles but the snake swallows it head first so the spines fold back along the side of the fish.


17 posted on 06/26/2013 7:37:37 AM PDT by RipSawyer (I was born on Earth, what planet is this?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

If you take even one step towards my wife there, I’ll have to box your ears!


18 posted on 06/26/2013 7:47:09 AM PDT by Doc Savage ("I've shot people I like a lot more,...for a lot less!" Raylan Givins)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RipSawyer

These are activities I wish I had growing up.

A washpot, cooking under a shed. Our idea of fun was slapping the eels we caught in Sheepshead Bay against the pavement. Until someone from Randazzos saw us and asked us to give them all the eels we caught.

Noodling? Something we did with a can of campbells.


19 posted on 06/26/2013 7:52:33 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (The reason we own guns is to protect ourselves from those wanting to take our guns from us.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: CincyRichieRich
Not for a flathead catfish. Ate one I caught that was 44 lbs.Excellent firm white meat.
20 posted on 06/26/2013 7:58:35 AM PDT by smithandwesson76subgun (full auto fun)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

Babe!!!

I want to hook you up!

oh!, and not guilty of anything...


21 posted on 06/26/2013 9:00:54 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: smithandwesson76subgun

“Not for a flathead catfish. Ate one I caught that was 44 lbs.Excellent firm white meat.”

I am assuming that wasn’t in one sitting?

Sorry, been a long day with little coffee.


22 posted on 06/26/2013 10:24:01 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (The reason we own guns is to protect ourselves from those wanting to take our guns from us.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

There are some even better photos out there if you Google “Lucy Milsap” (in double quotes). This young lady can really fill out a bikini.


23 posted on 06/26/2013 5:46:25 PM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CincyRichieRich

Big flatheads and Big Blues are both great, just don,t try and fry the belly flap and you need to cut out the “blood line” down the side of the fish. I know!


24 posted on 06/26/2013 6:03:51 PM PDT by eastforker (Cruz for steam in 2016)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: ccmay

25 posted on 06/26/2013 6:06:25 PM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: eastforker

Oh, and cut the head off and throw it on the pit. After an hour or so just peel the skin off the head and pick at the head meat.


26 posted on 06/26/2013 6:07:26 PM PDT by eastforker (Cruz for steam in 2016)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: BO Stinkss

Redneck Girls Rock!


27 posted on 06/27/2013 4:03:04 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson