Rusty and Paul,
Noodlin’ (sp?) is an accepted technique especially in Kentucky. Many of the guys (it tends to be a man-thing) who do it mark their favorite places..or dig out prospective locations along the river banks during the summer ‘low-water’ time, then when the water level rises they have ‘pre-set’ spots to do their groping. In the book "Catfishing Techniques" it reminds you to wear gloves as more than one finger has been lost during the man/fish battle. Tugging an 60 lb catfish out of a submerged cave when it doesn’t want to go is a real WWF type of skill!