Noodling is a great way to catch catfish with nothing but your arm and your willingness to place it in potentially dangerous situations. Most of the time, noodlers who catch a fish escape with nothing more than a slightly cut up arm and dinner for that night.

Unfortunately, sometimes there are dangers you didn’t expect. Destry Mitchell found that out the hard way when he got bit by a cottonmouth while seeking out some catfish.

WARNING: Video contains graphic content

Despite having several years of noodling experience, Mitchell isn’t certain he’ll ever noodle again.

“I put my hand on top of a rock and I guess that snake was on the other side of the rock, and he saw my hand and just attacked it,” Mitchell said.

The snake was a 3.5-foot-long cottonmouth that bit right into Mitchell’s finger and sending him to the hospital, where he ended up recovering for almost a week and received 14 doses of anti-venom.

“Honestly, probably the (most scared)  I’ve ever been in my life,” he said.

“I thought I was going to lose my hand.”

He’s lucky doctors were able to save his finger, especially since his hand blew up to the size of a softball and his finger was even worse off.

“I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ, and I had full faith in him, which is what got me through, pretty much,” Mitchell continued.

For any noodlers out there, Mitchell has some advice: “Make sure to be careful.”


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