The Huntress Hannah Barron

Hannah Barron is as real as they come — a southern Alabama native who happens to be a social media sensation. Sure the hunting and catfish noodling have made her famous, but that’s just Hannah being Hannah.

The world of social media is awash in pretty girls monetizing their selfies and hashtagging their sponsors, living their #bestlife, feeling #blessed and fishing for praise with false claims of “I just woke up like this.” These self-proclaimed media mavens command audiences of thousands, courting new followers with every duck face and subtle down-the-blouse selfie.

Make no mistake, Hannah Barron is not one of them.

Instead, this southern Alabama gal built an audience on the strength of her relentless love of the outdoors, her mind-blowing skills as a hunter and fisher and her deep authenticity. The fact that she has a thousand-watt smile and usually noodles for catfish in a bikini is almost secondary.

“There are so many out there you see that, I guess, use their bodies and their faces to gain followers. And there are a lot of people who follow me because I noodle in a bikini. But that’s something I did when I didn’t have Instagram or Facebook or anything,” she said. “I’m in a bikini because you don’t noodle in long sleeves.”

It was the catfish noodling that first launched her viral fame, a video passed around the globe featuring Barron submerging herself in murky brown waters only to emerge several seconds later with a 30-pound catfish dangling off her arm.

“When my video went viral, I wasn’t thinking much of it,” she said in her cheery Alabama accent. The clip not only launched her into the spotlight, it put catfish noodling on the map. For the uninitiated, noodling involves sticking one’s hand into a catfish hole, wiggling your fingers, and hoping you’re not accidentally enticing a gator or a snapping turtle.

“It’s been pretty cool. I like having a voice, too. A lot of young girls reach out to me. I have dads with daughters who reach out to me because they want that close relationship I have with my dad. It’s nice being an inspiration when there are so many bad influences… I think there needs to be more positivity.”

“It was all an accident to me and I figure because it was mostly unheard of. Since then there’s been more people doing it,” she said. “It will spoil you as far as fishing goes, because you’ll fish all day long and you’re happy when you catch one. You go noodling for 15 minutes and you catch a fish three times the size of the one you would have caught on a rod and reel.”

For Barron, hunting and fishing are just a way of life and always have been. They were here long before the modern economy of Instagram fame made it a vehicle for making a living.

Follow Barron on Instagram @hannahbarron96.

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