There's something crazy and alluring about watching people fish for massive catfish with their bare hands. It's called noodling, and it's popular enough in the southern U.S. that it was the subject of a The Flaming Lips-scored documentary in 2001. That documentary spawned an annual tournament in Oklahoma that bears the name of the documentary, Okie Noodling.
And Oklahoma is exactly where swear-y chef Gordon Ramsay went to learn how to noodle and get the freshest catfish he could find in the south. He was led into a cloudy, clay-filled lake by local noodling champion Lee McFarlane. There, Ramsay was his usual boisterous self as he stuck his hands inside the mouth of massive catfish, which is a completely fair time to be a giant curse-filled donkey piñata.
Ramsay set out to noodle because the kind of catfish he was getting in restaurants and stores were farm-raised. He wanted to taste some of the big, wild-caught flatheads that he says simply taste better.
After they caught a few, Ramsay and McFarlane bled and skinned the catfish before cooking them into some amazing looking blackened strips right on the side of the lake. The McFarlane family said Ramsay is officially a redneck now, but they jump in the lake in t-shirts and shorts. Ramsay used a wet suit and gloves. He may have a little ways to go before he's winning any tournaments.