October 26th, 1998
Doodel Socking or Just Plain Doodeling

by "old rupe"

Doodeling is fast becoming a lost art, like hunting bunnies at night off the hood of a pick up, or spearing pike, or jugging catfish. It's a southern thing, but it does have a certain appeal.

First you got to have the right equipment You need a 16-ft cane pole with a tip the size of your first finger. A stout stick that you could beat a hog to death with. A serious stick, not a pole for wimps. To the small end you tie 4 feet of 80-100 lb. nylon line and tie directly to the doodel fly.

The fly traditionally was a dressed treble on a baby bottle nipple. Now comes the boat. A wooden john at least 14 ft long. Most had tar poured along the seams. None were ever dry.

The sport sat in the front and the guide sculled and/or poled from the rear. The areas I fished this way were canals with rather steep banks, not too deep. Since this was done at night, the guide usually wore a miner's helmet with a carbide light.

The guide would pole or scull up to the spot, plant the pole and turn out the light. The sport would figure eight the spot for 10 to 15 minutes with the doodel fly.

Doodel Fly

Now comes the art. The size of the figure eight and the speed of the fly is critical. The guide would show you and make comments on your technique between shine hits. When the bass hit it was a gas.

The bass was popped onto the bank and the guide netted the fish with a long-handled bamboo carpet pole with a big net on the end. He netted it up on the bank, not in the water.

This was not a finesse sport and generally looked down on by sportsmen. It was not a thing you would admit to at a social gathering. In fact, some States outlawed the practice. But it was the most fun you could have on a dark night with a bottle of 'jack,' a carbide light, and hog killer bamboo...
~ "old rupe"

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