Tess Maune

Tess Maune

Tess Maune, News On 6 anchor and reporter, is arguably the most popular noodler in the state. She recently appeared on Tulsa Talks: A TulsaPeople Podcast and talked about the adrenaline rush she still gets a decade after first trying to catch a giant catfish with her hands.

“If it’s a smaller fish, I might not get quite the same rush, but when I know it’s a big fish I’m about to go and catch with my hand, my heart will be beating. I’m still not sure what the sound is I’m hearing in the catfish holes, but underwater you can actually hear a thumping, which I think is the fish. Sometimes they’re worked up and it has nothing to do with me being there. They’re in this hole and they’re guarding their territory.

“I just can’t describe that feeling, especially when it bites, and then you really feel it — and it maybe bites you up to your elbow. There is nothing like it. I do wear gloves. And I wear sleeves now because early on in my noodling career, so to speak, I was getting so chewed up on my wrists by the catfish. Their ‘teeth’ are like sandpaper, and so when I say chewed up, it’s just them rubbing against your skin. It just leaves these awful marks. I have scars, and it was becoming distracting on the news, so I was like, ‘I have to do something to keep from doing this,’ so I wear a double protection sleeve just to make sure I don’t get chewed up.”

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