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Twenty Years of Oklahoma’s Most Unique Tradition

Man holding large catfish at Oklahoma noodling competition at Lake Murray

It’s that time again, friends. For miles around, some of the world’s finest hand-fishers will be hogging, stumping, tickling, graveling and dogging their way to Pauls Valley for the 20thAnnual Okie Noodling Tournament presented by Chickasaw Country, June 14-15.

Family holding three large catfish at Okie Noodling Competition in Oklahoma

First, a little background. Noodling is a unique sport that is one part fishing and one part wrestling. Competitors have 36 hours to stalk the waters of Oklahoma, pursuing legendary blue and mud catfish that call the lakes and rivers their home. Once the angler has zeroed in on the fish of their liking, they slip below the surface and come face-to-face with the slippery monster, offering only their arm or leg as bait. The fish, no doubt intrigued, latches on with its large mouth and, as they say, it’s time to rumble. In a classic struggle of man and beast, the two splish, splash and tumble until the fish has been wrangled. This age-old method of fishing has recently become sport, and we celebrate it with the state’s largest noodling festival each year.

Dad and kids holding large catfish at Oklahoma noodling competition

If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience Okie Noodling, this is a year you won’t want to miss. The festivities begin Friday, June 14 with the 5thAnnual Okie Noodling Eve concert. The free event brings together Red Dirt Country favorites Casey Donahew and special guest Jason Boland and The Stragglers for one unforgettable night. Be sure to grab your lawn chair and arrive early to make sure you get the best seat in the house! 

Concert stage and performance at Oklahoma noodling competition

The party cranks up a notch on Saturday with a live catfish weigh-in from noon to 6 p.m. and a slew of other fun activities, like the Watermelon Crawl presented by the Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Men’s Only Wet T-Shirt Contest presented by Treasure Valley Casino and the 2019 Okie Noodling Queen Competition presented by Jet Stream Casino. Stick around, because once the tournament crowns a champion, we’ll party the night away with a live performance from Oklahoma’s own BC and the Big Rig.

Men holding large catfish at noodling competition in Oklahoma

Browse the complete schedule of events below and make plans to join us at Wacker Park in Pauls Valley for Oklahoma’s most unique summer festival! Be sure to document all the fun you’re having by using #VisitChickasaw with your photos of the event on your favorite social media platforms. We’ll see you at the 20thAnnual Okie Noodling Tournament presented by Chickasaw Country!

FRIDAY, JUNE 14

7 p.m. - Okie Noodling Eve Concert ft. Casey Donahew and special guests Jason Boland and The Stragglers

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 15

10 a.m. – Vendors open

11 a.m. – Okie Cornhole registration begins

Noon to 6 p.m. – Live noodling demos and tournament weigh-in

1 p.m. – Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce Watermelon Crawl

2 p.m. – CTS River Relay Team Competition

3 p.m. – Treasure Valley Men’s Only Wet T-Shirt Contest

4 p.m. – Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce Kids Catfish Eating Competition

5:30 p.m. – Jet Stream Casino 2019 Okie Noodling Queen Competition

6 p.m. – Tournament weigh-in deadline

6:30 p.m. – Okie Cornhole Finals

7:30 p.m. – Tournament winner announced

8:30 p.m. – BC and the Big Rig performs

Remember to use #VisitChickasaw when you post your pictures on social media! 

Have fun,

Kalli 

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