It seems that cutting Medicare and programs for the poor isn’t Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) only favorite pastime.
In an interview published by The New York Times on Sunday, the chairman of the House Budget Committee declared his love for Catfish noodling.
In many Southern states, Catfish “noodlers” use their bare hands to catch large catfish. During the spring spawning season, the female catfish deposits her eggs in holes underneath the water. While the male catfish is guarding the eggs, he will strike at almost anything, including bare hands and arms, according to Tennessee noodling experts Catfish Grabblers.
“We walk around the banks looking for holes,” Ryan explained to the Times. “And you get your hand inside the fish and they kind of — they come up on your hand. And then you just squeeze where ever you are on that fish and pull it out.”
“I know it sounds a little crazy,” he added. “But it’s really exhilarating.”
The practice poses significant dangers because the noodler can drown while being held underwater by a large Catfish. The fish’s teeth can also tear the skin. And other creatures like beavers and muskrats that also populate underwater holes can easily bite the fingers off fisherman.
Some experts argue that noodling is inhumane because eggs can not hatch after the adult catfish have been removed from the nest.
Ryan’s Wisconsin is the only one of 12 U.S. states where noodling is legal that is not in the South. Last year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed a bill legalizing noodling in his state.
During his interview with the Times, Ryan also declared that he never worried that he might be wrong about his economic policies.
“I’ve always figured I got three certainties in my life: death, taxes and attacks from Paul Krugman,” he laughed.
Watch this video from The New York Times, broadcast April 29, 2012.
(h/t: Talking Points Memo)