Handfishing season runs June 15-Aug. 31; only flathead catfish may be taken; other restrictions apply

PRATT -- The Kansas handfishing season -- often referred to as "noodling" -- opens June 15, and die-hard outdoorsmen are looking forward to the opportunity to take flathead catfish using this unconventional method. Although such anglers may be few, the season offers a special outdoor opportunity for the most intrepid outdoorsmen and women.
In addition to a limited season, there are a number of special restrictions during the handfishing season. Only flathead catfish may be taken; legal handfishing hours are sunrise to sunset; and the season runs June 15 through Aug. 31 at only two locations: the Arkansas River from the John Mack Bridge on Broadway Street in Wichita downstream to the Kansas-Oklahoma border and the Kansas River from its origin downstream to its confluence with the Missouri River.

A special $27.50 permit is required in addition to a regular fishing license. Handfishermen may not use hooks, snorkeling or scuba gear, or any other man-made device or possess any fishing gear except a stringer. Stringers may not be used until the fish are caught by hand and are at or above the surface of the water. In addition, no man-made object that attracts fish -- such as a barrel, box, bathtub, or any other object -- may be used.
Anyone who purchases a handfishing permit will be given a questionnaire they must complete and submit no later than 30 days after the close of the open handfishing season. Handfishing permits may be purchased online or at select locations across the state. To find vendors or purchase permits online, click here.