Best Fishing Hole - 2003
Elk Fork of the Salt River near Paris, Missouri
Yeah, it's a bit of a trek, but we can explain. The best fishing hole must be sufficiently remote to allow the best form of fishing, of which the indisputable stylistic king is noodling. Noodling is an inexplicably illegal, positively Paleolithic form of fishing that essentially consists of a semi-crazy fisherman diving to a river bottom and wrestling a giant, sharp-toothed jumbo catfish out of the water with his bare hands. And you can't find these big flippers in your Uncle Jethro's backyard pond, so you've got to go where the action's at -- and where state conservation agents are likely to be in short supply. We recommend a road trip to "Little Dixie," in one of the many lost corners of the Show-Me State. And you thought fishing was a tranquil excuse to knock back beers and shoot the shit before sunset. Think again: Noodling is extreme sport at its most brawny.