If you are into some serious catfishing and are in tune with the catfishing world, you may already be familiar with Faun Collins. She is one of the featured ladies that grace the pages of Bare Knuckle Babes, which spotlights beautiful women who want to bring world-wide notice to the sport of Catfish Noodling, fishing, and hunting. Just as described in her BKB profile, Faun is a hardcore lover of the outdoors and outdoor activities. Capable of moving between the world of glamor and muddying it up in the outdoors in a heartbeat, Faun truly captures the hearts and imagination of male outdoor enthusiasts and represents the strength of women that favor the outdoor life.
Were you born and raised in Denver, CO and tell us about that experience?
I was born in Lakewood, Colorado just outside Denver. It was great growing up in Colorado; you get to experience every season possibly in one day. Colorado has its own type of lifestyle. It seems everyone who lives here loves the mountains, being in the outdoors, all Colorado sports teams, and any kind of festival that revolves around being a Colorado native. It’s something to be proud of!
When and how were you introduced to fishing and what is it about the activity you enjoy?
I grew up fishing rod and reel with my grandpa and dad, usually just trout. I recently was introduced to noodling by my brother in Oklahoma about three years ago. Since then, I can’t get enough of noodling big catfish. There’s something that draws you in, could be the adrenaline from sticking your hand in a hole you can’t see what’s inside, or the moment a giant flathead bites down on you and your only goal is to hold one as long as you can until the stringer is placed. It’s almost like a fishing rodeo.
Within the freshwater fishing community you have received considerable recognition for being one of the Bare Knuckle Babes featured women anglers. How did you end up working with the Bare Knuckle Babes team?
I was at a noodling tournament in Oklahoma where I met the founder of the Bare Knuckle Babes bikini calendar and pretty much told her, “I’m your next babe”. I wanted to be involved with the sport of noodling but also didn’t want to be just part of the guy’s team. I wanted to show that as a woman, I could muscle out a fish just the same. The Bare Knuckle Babes noodling team is a group of women who are country girls who can get dolled-up but have no problems getting dirty in the water.
What has that experience of working with the Bare Knuckle Babes team been like for you?
It’s been an amazing experience! Our group of girls come together from Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado just to share the fun of noodling. We’ve dropped jaws at tournaments from folks who thought we were just a pretty face but then we pull out a 48lb flathead from the tank to be weighed in and people start to applaud. It’s been inspiring not only to myself to show what women anglers are made of but also inspires young girls, wives, sisters and daughters to want to go out fishing and prove that girls can do it too.
Is noodling your primary technique for those awesome big cats we see you pictured holding? If so, how challenging is that technique (are there any dangers)?
For catching catfish I prefer noodling, it’s such an incredible experience. After I go fishing with nothing but my hands, it’s hard to pick up a rod and attempt to catch the same size catfish. My personal best in noodling was a 38 lbs. flathead. It’s challenging because catfish roll like alligators so when you have them cornered in a hole and they’ve got a hold of your hand, if they roll, they’re going to cut up your arm and take you down with them. That’s why it is always important to have a teammate with you, someone who can pull you up out of the water or help handle the monster cat holding onto your hand. Once you figure out the best technique that works for you, the most challenging part of noodling is making sure the fish doesn’t blow out the hole and to keep ahold of the fish. I’ve seen people get a two-second hold and the fish just takes off without them. My biggest fears are snakes and getting hurt on material in the water that could severely cut or harm me. You defiantly need to know what you’re doing before attempting noodling but it’s an adrenaline rush like you’ve never known!
Is catfish your favorite species of fish to catch?
I love catching all fish because they’re delicious. Catfish is probably the most fun to catch but I still enjoy a peaceful day at the lake with a rod and reel.
What is your favorite type of bait/lure?
For noodling you don’t need any kind of bait or lures but if I had to choose a bait it’d be chicken liver, but good luck getting that smell off your hands.
Do you have a favorite rod?
I don’t have a specific rod when fishing and of course when noodling I just need my strong set of hands. I do prefer a good rope stringer though just in case I pull out a heavy cat and don’t want the stringer to snap.
What is your best fishing story?
Best story was when we were out noodling and already caught a decent 30 lb. blue catfish and was pulling him on the stringer with us to check the next hole, and although I knew the fish was there on a stringer I screamed so loud when it came up behind me and tried biting my butt.
Do you have a specific aspiration or goal in mind for your fishing or involvement in fishing?
Well so far, I made it as a 2014 Bare Knuckle Babe Centerfold, which I never thought I’d have my fifteen minutes of fame by standing in a bikini with a 40lb catfish on my shoulders. However, currently my goal in fishing is to noodle out a 50+lb catfish, not only to compete in a tournament and hopefully place, but to show that a girl can pull out a monster as well. I know being a member of the Bare Knuckle Babes noodling team I can accomplish that goal hopefully next season.
It is apparent that you are in great shape and handling those large cats takes a bit of strength. Do you exercise to stay fit?
I stay active in the outdoors with hiking, snowboarding and hunting. But I try to hit the gym every so often in order to keep my strength up cause those fish are heavy and put up a fight.
How do you like spending time beyond fishing?
I am always ready for something new and exciting. Recently learning fly-fishing and possibly hog hunting this season. However, usually I enjoy being outdoors or having a few cold ones with friends.
What five words best describe you?
Adventurous, outgoing, family oriented, caring and comical.
What else would like people to know about you?
I absolutely love country music and would love to live in a place where I could wear a bikini all time.
We always have to ask – is catching the fish only half the fun?
Catching the fish is half the fun, I always remember the people I was with and the reactions of others when we pull out a massive catfish.
Be sure to check out the Bare Knuckle Babes Website
Follow Faun Collins on Facebook
EZ Angler would like to thank the Bare Knuckle Babes~