Catfishing Jugs by Jtrew

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Whistler, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Original post made by Jtrew on March 6, 2002

    I normally use 3 hooks on each of my jugs, and don't have any trouble with them tangline, unless they are run over by a barge, or tangled by a fish (gar are bad about this).

    I only use 2-liter soda bottles for jugs, unless I'm jugging for crappie, when I may use quart or 20 oz jugs, because I'm right there with them. I paint my jugs yellow, because I can see that color better at long distances and/or low light. I usually jugfish in the Arkansas River, and my juglines are made for fishing this depth. Very much change in depth requires a change in the length and setup of the jugline. I use 96# test twisted nylon cord for my lines. Twisted line doesn't hold up on trotline drops, but I haven't had any trouble with it on jugs; maybe there's too much give to a jug. I tie the line to the neck of the jug, measure down 6' and make a 4"-6" dropper; down 30" and make a second dropper; down 30" and make a third dropper; down 12" and tie on a 16p nail for a weight. It's heavy enough to sink the bait without being too heavy; it doesn't hang up as bad as a lead weight; it's cheap; and it will fit inside the jug. In the past, I have always used trotline hooks on my jugs, but I have recently finished changing over all my hooks on my set of jugs to kahle hooks. I hope they provide better hookups than the trotline hooks, but I haven't tried them yet. To store the jugs, I wrap the line around the neck of the jug, with the droppers/hooks hanging down, drop the nail inside the jug, and put the cap back on to hold the line in place. I then put hard foam pieces over the hooks. Arkansas allows each fisherman to have 20 jugs, and that many will just fit nicely into a plastic yard bag. Bare hooks destroy the bag quickly, while covered hooks allow the bag to be used for several trips. I also put 2 fistfulls of CLEAN pea or crushed gravel into each jug. As I put out each jug, I hold it on its side (like it will be floating) and give it a couple of shakes to spread out the gravel. When a fish hits, the jug tips up, the gravel slides down into the neck, and keeps the jug in an upright, or "flagged" position, so you can tell that you need to check that jug. An additional benefit is that the gravel keeps the wind from blowing the jug around so bad. For night fishing, add reflective tape, available in auto departments/stores. As I said earlier, different conditions often require different setups. I tried using this same setup on the Tennesse River below Chattanooga, where the water was 60'-80' deep, and had very poor luck, until I added about 40' of line to each jug. Then I began to catch fish.

    Anchored jugs in Arkansas are considered to be trotlines, and fall under trotline regs rather than jug (free-floating device) regs. I haven't fished with anchored jugs very much at all, but I have found a number of good fishing spots with free-floating jugs, so I would think that anchored jugs would also be a good way to prospect for fish. After all, if you catch 2 or 3 cats next to a log or rock with an anchored jug, you can do the same thing with a rod & reel. I'm in the process of making up a bunch of jugs that will be anchored...some in fairly shallow water, some in deep (30'-40'). While I will have several hooks on droppers near the bottom, any hooks I have further up the line will be attached with trotline clips, so I can remove them as I pull in the line. Holding a jugline with several hooks behind you is just asking for it.