Hey Jtrew

Discussion in 'LOCAL ARKANSAS TALK' started by treemydog, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. treemydog

    treemydog New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    Conway, Ar
    Jerry,

    Sounds like you have a bunch of experience jugging on the AR river.

    Would you mind sharing some of your experience with us? I'm talking the basics here.

    Like how you spread your jugs out.

    And how much line you put out.

    And how much weight you use.

    In general what you have in mind as your plan of attack.

    I'm sure that I could go out and just throw some jugs out and catch a few, but I'm also sure that you have learned some things along the way that worked better than others.

    I would really appreciate it and I know others here would too.

    Thanks,

    Tommy
     
  2. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Since you're in Conway, you're convenient to both Toadsuck and Bigelow. I've always put in at Toadsuck, but the further I get down around Bigelow, the better the fishing seems to get, so I'm planning on putting in there some this summer. There's a little day park, but I'm going to try staying overnight; the worst they can do is run me off. If they do, I've found a wide spot in the road nearby where I can park my old motorhome.
    Putting in at Toadsuck, the first thing I do is float some jugs along the bluffs across the river from the ramp. You'll probably want to pick those jugs up once they get to the end of the bluffs, because there's almost always several trotlines set out from the bank just below there. About halfway down to Bigelow, watch the dikes on the right for one that runs parallel to the river, and has a big swirl at the upper end where the current runs down both sides of the dike. Caution! There's a shallow underwater dike running from the upper end of this dike toward the shore. Jugs and propellors won't safely pass over it. But the river side of the dike is generally very productive. I don't often pick up jugs to refloat them by a particular area, but this spot, and the bluffs are exceptions. I probably set my jugs totally different from most people. If I'm jugging alone, I bait up all my jugs; otherwise, I have other people baiting them up as we drop them. I pick my spot, say right below the bluffs, fairly near one shoreline. I put my motor in reverse and back across the river till I get fairly near the opposite shoreline, dropping jugs as I go. How far apart depends a lot on how many jugs we're dropping jugs as we go. Running in reverse means that I don't have to worry about a jugline getting wrapped around my prop; it also means that the boat does a better job of going where I'm pointing it. Going forward, the current is always trying to sweep the front downstream; adjust for that, and suddenly you find that you hit a spot where the current slacks off, and the front is swinging upstream. At any rate, I try to set the jugs out at least 20'-30 feet apart; far enough that they don't get tangled, and close enough that a cat can't swim between them without smelling bait on one of them. Of course, if I'm fishing alone, I have to space my 20 jugs out so they'll reach all the way across. Then I let the current float them downstream. This is where the work comes in. Not only do I have to watch the jugs for bites, but I have to watch for jugs that get hung up or drift into slackwater and start to get left behind. Gotta go retrieve those jugs, check the bait, and drop them off at the head of the 'pack' of jugs. So, the jugs are spread out all over the river, and up and down the river. To watch out for all the jugs and keep them within a reasonable section of the river, I have to continually run up and down the river to check on them. What is reasonable? Well, IMO, 1/4 mile would be super, but when 2 or 3 of us have jugs out, it actually is more like 1/2 mile. That's why visibility of the jugs is so important; even with binoculars, it's hard to see a jug at 1/2 mile. My jugs are 2-liter soda jugs painted bright yellow on the outside. I did a lot of experimenting with colors, and the yellow works best for me. Fluorescent green is just as visible, but only after painting the jug white before painting it green; too expensive, and too much trouble. Inside each jug, I place 3 or 4 ounces of clean gravel or lead scraps. When there's a bite, the jug tips, the weights slide down into the neck, and the jug stays in a tipped, or 'flagged' position, letting me know I need to check that jug. The weights also help to keep the jug from being blown by the wind so badly. For my jugline, I use 100# test twisted nylon; heavier line would be too hard to break off when I get hung up and can't get it loose. To attach my hooks, I make 3"-4" dropper loops in the jugline. The droppers are made by doubling the line at that point and making a double overhand, or 'surgeons' knot; that won't slip under pressure. I put a dropper 3' below the jug; another 3' below that; another 3' below that, and another 3' below that. So, my fourth and last hook is 12' below the surface. A foot or so below the bottom hook, I attach a 16p or 20p nail for a weight; it's cheap, and doesn't hang up as often as a regular lead sinker. Also, I can make up spare juglines and just wrap the line around the nail for storage; 3 half-hitches keep the line in place. I prefer to use 5/0 Big Eye Trotline Hooks (Walmart), but I'll go a size larger or smaller if there's much difference in price, or I have trouble finding 5/0 hooks. To store the jugs, wrap the line around the neck of the jug. NOTE: Wrap only in a clockwise direction (looking down on the jug). This way, the cap tightens the wrapped line onto the neck of the jug; wrapped the other way, it will loosen the line and cause a mess. As you come to each dropper/hook, hold it down against the jug, rather than winding it up around the neck. When you come to the nail, drop it inside the jug and put on the cap. You should now have a tightly wound jugline around the neck with the droppers/hooks hanging down so you can bait them without taking the jugline loose. To put out the jug (with hooks already baited), take off the cap, remove the nail, replace the cap, and pull the line off the end of the jug, letting it drop in the water. Once it's all out, drop the jug when you are in position to do so. Remember, running in reverse, you don't have to worry about the line in the water getting wrapped around the prop. I genereally use a chunk of skipjack about the size of the end joint of my thumb for bait; I'll go a little smaller before I go bigger.
    When you have a fish on the jug, do NOT grab the jug and try to fight it. Often, the fish are lightly hooked, and a hard pull will lose you the fish. I tell new jugfishers in my boat to grasp the jug by its bottom end, using only their fingertips, so that if a fish makes a run, the jug will pop out of their hand. Let the jug fight the fish! I've had to chase down a jug 6 or 8 times. And any fish that you want to keep needs to be netted; remember, it may be lightly hooked. For the little fiddlers that you want to release, use your needlenosed pliers to grab the hook shank just above the bend, then give the fish a circular flip. It will flip, rotating over the pliers, and pop right off the hook....well, most of the time.
     

  3. vetrock

    vetrock New Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    ar
    Excellent detail!
     
  4. RAMCTD05

    RAMCTD05 New Member

    Messages:
    108
    State:
    Little Rock, Ar
    I've never tried jug fishing, but have always wanted to. I often have to fish alone, so I guess that's one reason I have not tried this. If I ever do get the chance to go jugging, I know this post will help.
    Any experiance with the Little Rock pool? Or from Murry L&D to Terry L&D?

    Great post.
     
  5. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    David, I live in SW Little Rock, so it would be really convenient for me to jug between Murray & Terry L&Ds, but I prefer the upper and middle sections between Toadsuck and Murray. I've just never had much luck fishing below Murray, whether from shore, or by boat; with rod & reel, or with jugs. I've heard that once you get down toward I440 the fishing is definitely better, but I've never tried it that far down. I do want to try where the barges tie up just below the I440 bridge on the Little Rock side, sometime this summer. There are some good spots down around Tar Camp, too.
     
  6. RAMCTD05

    RAMCTD05 New Member

    Messages:
    108
    State:
    Little Rock, Ar
    Let me know and maybe we can get together and fish that area. I havent had any bad luck around the grain elevator opposite the airport runway before you get ot 440, but never really went any further than that.
     
  7. porboy

    porboy New Member

    Messages:
    629
    State:
    TX Panhand
    Excellent post Jerry. I just thought I know something about jugging. Thanks.
     
  8. Rohaus

    Rohaus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    State:
    Vilonia Ar
    Thanks for the great info. Do you jug only during the day or do you jug at night. When I go it almost always at night and we almos always catch a mess of fish. We usually put in at Palarm and fish both ways, towarde Toad SAuack and back toward Murray.
     
  9. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    David, I'm a little surprised, because it's so similar to the grain elevator at Morrilton, and that's sometimes a great spot...but not always. I've been there and not had a bite.

    The particular technique I use for jugging is a result of years of experimenting with various ideas, for a particular type and depth of water. I used to run my jugs at night several times a summer, but I just can't handle that any more. I do sometimes set my jugs out at dusk and retrieve them come daylight, but I don't stay with them. Most of my jugging is now done during daylight hours, preferably from daylight to early afternoon.