Jug Fishing for Catfish

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Whistler, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Original post made by Wally Husak(Wally) on May 18, 2003

    Jug Fishin’ Wally’s Way

    While every one has a favorite way to fish, to me, jug fishin’, has to be the most exciting form of fish catching that there is today. Ride up on a jug, at night, when you start to pull up on the line, and something pulls back…friend, it will raise the hair on your neck. The following is the, “Wally Way”, to set up jug lines for fish catching. This is not to be all-inclusive, nor the “only” way, to set up jug lines. This is just the way that I have found to be the easiest and best way for me to Go Juggin’. I have taken several the ideas from several “Old Timers” to build the Wally Way. Be sure to check Your state and local regulations. If you ever have question about my rigs, please feel free at any time to give me a shout, through the BOC.

    [size=+1]The Jug[/size]
    The Wally Way uses a white bleach bottle. White, because it is required of my state laws for recreational fishing, and the larger size to be seen in rough weather. It can be from the 80 oz. Ultra, up to the full gallon size. Be sure to triple rinse the jugs as to get all of the bleach out. One friend put red reflectors on his jugs for easy finding. Great idea but the game warden removed the jugs, and the friend was fined. White reflective tape was ok. Check your local laws. The jugs have the required name and address on them with a marks-a-lot marker. They are also numbered for easy identification.

    [size=+1]The Weight[/size]
    I use a homemade lead weight. Use extreme caution when working with hot lead ! Hand, eye and foot protection are a must! The molten lead is poured into an old muffin tin, 2” deep and 3” in diameter. As the lead begins to harden, place a stainless steel “Eye” bolt, nut and large diameter washer into the lead. (Stainless because of the alkaline waters of Texas, anything else will rust after your first trip) It takes just a few seconds for the lead to harden enough to let go of the bolt. A minute or two after the bolt is stable, place the muffin tin into a bucket of water. It will cool very rapidly, (making steam) and the lead weight will fall right out of the tin. Be sure the muffin tin is completely dry before pouring another one.
    Lead is very dense. The weights I make are around 2 to 2.5 pounds. They sit flat on the bottom. They will not roll. To get that much weight from concrete, you need at least a large, 16 to 18 oz. Cup. It will stand up tall; currents will make them roll around.

    [size=+1]The Line[/size]
    The Wally Way uses Weed eater line. Somebody needs to figure out the pound test but, it is way higher than any mono or braided lines out there. It is stiff enough that it will not tangle or kink, strong enough it will not break, limber enough that it is easy to work with and for all practical purposes, will not stretch. The only downfall with it, you cannot tie a good knot in it. It just won’t hold. The main line that runs from the jug to the weight is .095 bright green. Most of the waters that I fish are about15 to 20 feet deep; therefore, I set up my jugs with 30 feet of line. In 20 ft. of water I let out 25 ft. Five feet extra for play. It will keep the bait off the bottom and lets the fish move around a bit without taking it all over the lake. I have had a few larger fish take the jugs for a little ride, but with the jug, the weight and the slack line, they don’t take them too far.
    The main line is connected to the jug and weight with a simple loop and secured with a ½” long X ¼” piece of copper tube. (see The Jug above)I got enough of copper tube, from an old icemaker installation, to make up 50 jugs. Cut the tube with a hack saw and remove rough edges.(Lead cable crimps can also be used) Do not secure both ends at this time! Only one end. The other end will be secured after all stages are set. The line is run through the tube, through a trotline clip, around the handle of the jug, then back through the tube with 1” overlap past the end of the copper tube. Then crimped (mashed) in place with a pair of pliers. Use the trotline clip to hold the extra slack line.

    Stages consist of an 18” piece of .065 weedeater line, # 5/0 swivel, and a 5/0 to 7/0 circle hook. The size of hook is up to you, but if you must go smaller, you need to get smaller weedeater line to go through the eye of the hook.
    The 18” length, will keep the hook and bait far enough away from the main line, the fish will have an easier time to get at the bait. If it is too close to the main line, the fish’s head may be too big to get the bait straight on. He would need to come in from the side. The 18” gives him plenty of room to get at the bait with no obstruction. It also gives “Live” bait room to swim around.
    The change, to the .065 line is two fold. #1 the larger, mainline, is slightly too large for the eye of the hook. And #2, when working with the jug lines, the color difference will let you know if you have the mainline or the stage line in your hand. If you have two or three fish on at the same time it can get pretty exciting. Grab the wrong line and YOU get hooked. When packing your lines away after fishing the different colors will help you to get snags out faster.
    The 5/0 swivel is big enough to handle the line and strong enough to handle the fish. When the fish take the bait, all of the stress is on the stage at the swivel.
    The stages can be set one of two ways, adjustable and preset.
    Adjustable is just that. You can adjust the height and spacing of the stages. The bottom stage should be no less than 36” from the bottom weight. If the bait should fall with no current, it will fall to 18” from the bottom. With the slightest current, bait will float around the main line. The remainder of the stages should be around 4 to 6 feet apart. That will give room between the hooks and fish.

    Bring the line down through a piece of the copper tube, next the swivel, and then back through the tube just like the first time. Do not crimp the copper tube. It would then not be adjustable. This will make a loop with the swivel in the middle of it. Pull the lines tight. They will not slide on their own. Repeat this procedure as many times as you would like to make the stages. Then attach the mainline to the weight.To adjust the height of the stage, just loosen the loop, and slide the copper tube. Retighten at the desired height.

    Once again, preset stages are fixed. You should make this type if you want to make permanent juglines. This would be good if you fish in the same lake most of the time. You know the depth of the water.
    Get a bunch of 3/16” pop rivets; push the nail part of the pop rivet out of the rivet head. The opening where the nail was should be around .108”. This will be just slightly larger than the main weedeater line. Set aside. Connect the mainline to the weight. From the other end of the main line, 30’ away, start placing one of the rivet heads on the line, tail first. Then a large plastic or glass bead, then the 5/0 swivel, next is another bead, then another rivet, headfirst. Repeat for more stages. From the bottom weight to the first rivet head measure up 36”. That will keep the bait 18” from the bottom. Crimp (mash) with pliers the tail end of the rivet. Go up about an inch, so the beads and the swivel can move around the mainline unobstructed. Then, Crimp the tail of the top rivet. Go up another 4’ for the next stage. This distance will keep the hooks and fish from getting tangled. This setup allows the caught fish to swivel in two directions and should never cause a kinked mess. If you ever caught a big cat on a trotline, or rod and reel for that matter, you know how they roll around after being caught. You can put as many preset stages as you like. Then attch the jug. Just remember to obey all laws as to the amount of hooks allowed.
    The stage lines, .065 X 18”, are attached to the swivels and hooks by the same copper tubing or lead cable crimps. Once again, all of the stress will be at the swivel.

    When all done Juggin’, just wrap the line around the Jug. Overlap the hooks with the main line. On the final wrap, attach the mainline to the clip at the handle of the jug. Thirty jugs will fit nicely in a four-foot long Rubbermaid storage tub. The storage tub is also used on the boat to hold caught fish. Keeps them out of the floor of the boat. One or two big fish, or several smaller ones are slick when standing on them while running other jugs.

    Good Luck