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MAKENZIE’S OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Noodling family traditions

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 11:25 PM CDT
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COMANCHE COUNTY, Okla. (KSWO) -For some, enjoying the outdoors is how family traditions begin.

That’s especially true for a couple of noodlers, who are hoping to pass on their love for handfishing to their kids.

It’s a special Outdoor Adventure filmed on Father’s Day -- and even my dad got in on the action!

“The first thing that I feel when I get bit by a catfish, is love. I have to tell you. It’s my favorite thing in the whole world,” said noodler Jesse Dalton.

Noodling is something Dalton has been doing for 20 years, but he still gets an adrenaline rush.

“If anybody that goes noodling tells you that they’re not scared, they’re lying,” said Dalton. “Because every time you go down to stick your hand in that hole, there’s that little bit of fear that keeps you coming back to do it again and again.”

Now he’s happy to share what he’s learned with his little girl.

“I hope that this is something she’ll remember in the future and as soon as she’s a little bit bigger, I’ll start making her stick her hand underneath stuff and grab a hold of one,” said Dalton. “But right now it’s just more about getting her to hold the fish, and getting her to enjoy the time that we have out here.”

Noodling is not something you want to do alone. It’s a group effort to block holes so the fish don’t swim out

It was 9 year old Kenzie LaRoche’s first time noodling. She says she wants to be just like her dad.

“Because he’s so cool and he’s not afraid of anything when he goes fishing and does the noodling, he’s not afraid of anything,” said Kenzie LaRoche.

“I was just kind of tagging along more than anything, helping block holes,” said her dad Justin LaRoche. “It was really more about trying to get her on a fish today more than anything. I couldn’t have thought of any better way to spend today than what we were doing with her and having a good time.”

A great day for everyone, making memories to last a lifetime.

“In my opinion, anytime you can share a first experience like that with your kid, it’s just like it’s unbeatable,” said Justin LaRoche. “So yeah, it’s definitely, today was a good day.”

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