These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands… But #12 and #13?!? Now That’s Impressive.

So, there is an annual event in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, called the Okie Noodling Contest and it’s an odd spectacle. People gather from across the region so that they can plunge themselves into lakes and rivers, hoping to pull out a prizewinner in the shape of a big catfish. OK, so far, so not-so-extraordinary, I hear some of you say.

Fair enough… But take a look at the contestants below. Now tell me, did you really expect to see #12 and #13 there. Did you, really?

1. A father-son team shows off their impressive catfish catch, which noodlers catch by coaxing fish that approach 100 pounds to chomp down on their bare arms.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

2. “The Okie Noodling project was inspired by a Mike Disfarmer portrait I saw a number of years back. I found out not long after seeing his portrait work that Brad Beasley, a film maker from Oklahoma, had made a documentary on hand fishing (Noodling) and helped run a yearly tournament in his home state. I love photographing interesting people and odd festivals (I had a lot of success with an earlier project on competitive facial hair titled BEARD) so I decided to do an entire portrait study paying homage to Disfarmer with a nod to Avedon’s In the American West series.”

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

3. The Okie Noodling project.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

4. The Okie Noodling project.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

5. The Okie Noodling project.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

6. A noodler risks losing a hand to giant alligator snapping turtles or even their lives to poisonous water snakes.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

7. The Okie Noodling project.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

8. The Okie Noodling project.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

9. The Okie Noodling project.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

10. The Okie Noodling project.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

11. ‘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.’

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

12. Not your ordinary contestant.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

13. Another less than ordinary contestant.

These Huge Fish Are Caught With Bare Hands... But #12 and #13?!? Now That's Impressive.

Source: The Daily Mail.

Share these amazing photos with your friends below and see what they make of contestants #12 and #13.