Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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May 5, 2014

Noodling thrill leads to challenge — Before the thrill of yet another noodling hunt again makes its way to Pauls Valley this summer local officials have been busy helping with a similar event being established.

With PV now known worldwide for its noodling tournament each year a few local tips were offered to officials in a Texas town wanting to set up their own event just for noodlers.

Those tips came when Pauls Valley officials with the city, tourism and the local chamber of commerce recently met with representatives of West Tawakoni, Texas.

They were interested in finding out from the experts here the best ways to establish their own noodling event.

“This is their first ever tournament,” said chamber President Sherri Wing.

“They needed some guidance so they turned to Pauls Valley,” she said. “With us having the history they wanted guidance.

“We gave them some information, tips they should or should not do to put on a noodling tournament. We had a good exchange bouncing ideas back and forth.”

Ironically enough it was last year’s big winner at the PV tournament who sent the Texas folks here for advice.

Lucy Millsap was 19 years old when she landed the biggest catfish last year, a whopping 72 pounds, during the 2013 noodling event in Pauls Valley.

Millsap just happens to come from Quinlan, Texas, which is located near Lake Tawakoni in northeastern Texas.

Apparently city officials there were looking for a new local fundraiser. It was Millsap who suggested a noodling tournament.

“She had given them some information about the festival here,” Wing said.

Soon the idea of holding the Tawakoni Noodling Tournament was born. The event there is now set for June 6-7.

Once the Texas officials got the information they were looking for in Pauls Valley they were quick to post the information about their festival online. The response was just as quick.

“They had a huge number of hits in the very first day.”

Even more came from the exchange as now there’s a challenge with a friendly wager.

When the Texas officials got their brand new tournament set up they extended a challenge to the Pauls Valley festival to see which event winds up with the biggest catch when the catfish are weighed in.

Put simply, the challenge is on to see which festival produces the largest fish.

With the Texas festival set for early June the event in Pauls Valley will come a couple of weeks later, specifically on June 21 again in the heart of the local Wacker Park.

According to Wing, the friendly wager involves losing chamber officials wearing T-shirts from the other festival.

There will also be some pies and wine waiting for the winner, she added.

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