The poor trout is just taking a rest from all that relentless swimming about, so it pops under a ledge or rock. Along comes the guddler or tickler, slides his hand in under the fish, and begins to stroke its belly. After a minute or so, according to the theory, the fish is 'hypnotised'. Then the guddler grabs the fish and gets his dinner without even needing a line.
In Scotland this is called 'guddling', in England it is 'tickling', and in the US it is 'noodling'.
It is illegal and was favoured by poachers, who didn't want to march around with lines and poles.
DAZZLED BY REGIONAL VARIATION?
PETER THE PROOFER IS HOME TO EVERYONE!