A mesmerising video of handfishing filmed by the author Robert Earl Woodward to support the publication of his book, The way it was back then. See for yourself on the short video below.


The idea is to train the fish – in this case a 12lb bass – to come to the surface over a period of days or even months, then once it has lost all fear of the hand that feeds it, to simply reach in and grab it by the gills.

There are dozens of other examples of this technique online – most of which show the fisherman grabbing the fish first time rather than patiently training it. There are also numerous other species including catfish, salmon and trout that are frequently caught by hand using techniques such as tickling, noodling and grabbling.

For more advice on choosing a fishing boat, read Dave Barham's guide to fishing boats.

For more fishing guides, see: Fishing luck: 3 unusual ways to improve your catch on boats.com.