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Handfishing daredevils: 'Mudcats' to History, Catfish wranglers

By April MacIntyre Jan 25, 2012, 23:01 GMT

Handfishing daredevils: 'Mudcats' to History, Catfish wranglers

It’s a cult and a culture, the disappearing remnants of a dangerous tradition that has played out on American rivers since the 1800s, man versus nature at its elemental best.

"Mudcats" is premiering on Thursday, February 9th at 10pm ET/PT, only in History.

Hillbilly handfishing is all the rage: It’s a practice that has been going on for generations – hand-fishing for giant flathead catfish. There’s no rod, reel or bait – just two hands and a whole lot of guts.

From History

It’s a cult and a culture, the disappearing remnants of a dangerous tradition that has played out on American rivers since the 1800s, man versus nature at its elemental best. 

Mudcats, premiering Thursday, February 9, 10pm ET/PT follows the men who compete with each other in an effort to showcase the best “mudcatters” in Oklahoma - “hands down”!

Deep in the heart of this historic state lives an adventurous group of people, who have chosen to hand-fish as their passion – these men have learned the ways of from their fathers and grandfathers, and who have every intention of passing the tradition down to their sons and daughters and grandchildren.  The drive to be the best runs deep.

The practice of catching a giant catfish may sound easy, or insane. The fisherman must get into the water, and then wait for a fish to bite him, at which point he wedges his hand all the way down into its gullet and then wrestles it into the boat.  Following them on their fearless hunts for big fish and even bigger thrills, viewers will enter a culture of natural recklessness, one-ups-manship and danger, where bites from turtles, snakes and beavers are just the price of doing business, and where losing your whole forearm down the maw of a sixty-pound catfish is, well, a smashing success.

The Mudcats:

    SCOOTER" BEVINS

"The Defending Champion" - The reigning champion of the 2010 Okie Noodling Tournament, Scooter is a man’s man and then some.  For Scooter, a fourth generation “mudcatting” is matter of defending his family’s honor.

    CATFISH JERRY RIDER

"The Father and Son Team" - Jerry has been a fixture on the Oklahoma hand-fishing scene for decades. Known as a risk-taker and a man who can bring in monsters, he’s ready to prove he’s the best. A cantankerous personality, Jerry has headstrong opinions on everything. His son and fishing partner Andy is proof that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” After spending the last decade apart, they’ve reunited in a bid to claim the crown. But will their decision to fish together again heal their relationship or destroy their chances?

    MARION KINCAID

"The Catfish King" - Catfish King Marion’s a Harley-driving, rough-and-tumble showman.  Everybody loves Marion, and it’s easy to see why – he’s loose and loud and easygoing, and he doesn’t get nearly as wrapped up in the backbiting and rivalries as the other guys do.  And yet, he’s still one of the best around. 


    TEDDY GOOD

"The Young Gun" - Teddy is the next generation of hand fishermen, and a volunteer fireman whose wife happens to be Mrs. Oklahoma 2010. A fourth generation, he learned from his grandfather when he was three years old, and he’s dedicated to continuing the legacy. Like Scooter, Teddy views his participation in the Tournament as a matter of honor and he’s vowed to make his family proud.
   

     THOMAS RIGGS

"The Veteran" - Straight out of central casting, Thomas Riggs is pure Oklahoma through and through - a walking talking study in self-reliance. Abandoned as a child in the tiny town of Jerome, Idaho, he has persevered on sheer grit, the epitome of the never-say-die Okie spirit. For Thomas hand fishing was once a means of survival but now it’s his passion. This salt-of-the-earth veteran will reach deep into his survival skills to prove himself.

Don "Katt Daddy" Brewer “The Challenger” -

To say Don is larger than life is an understatement; for one thing, he has the nickname "Katt Daddy" tattooed in nine-inch letters across this back.  "When I walk away, I want people to remember my name." 

Long known as one of the most competitive hand-fishermen in Oklahoma, his appetite for winning is unmatched. An expert deep water diver, “Kat” won’t hesitate to put it all on the line if it means getting an advantage over the competition.

Mudcats launches following the Season 3 premiere of Swamp People which follows the intrepid hunters and family men as they head out in pursuit of these most powerful beasts during the 30-day alligator hunting season, regulated by the state of Louisiana. The third season will premiere Thursday, February 9, 9pm ET/PT. 



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