Juggin and Trotlining Depth

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by e5catfish, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    Based on my past experience and ever increasing knowledge on catfishing, I have a theory about the seasonal depth of setting lines and jugs. More and more I'm starting to believe that I should set my throwlines and jugs shallow, say 3-6' in May, deeper 25-30' in July and shallow again in September. Does anyone have any personal experience with this? Am I on the right track or mislead?

    I'm under the impression that the cats are shallow in May, looking for a spawning site and feeding heavily before they go on the nest. In July, the big ones are staying deep, around the thermocline and in September, they've come back up shallow favoring the approaching fall weather. Make sense?
     
  2. TNcat

    TNcat New Member

    Messages:
    150
    State:
    TN
    I cannot verify if you are on the right trail or not because I keep my jugs at the same length all year, but I can tell you that last summer at a local lake a couple of guys adjusted their jugs to the 20 foot range and caught the Lake record it was fifty something pounds. So you very well may be. They caught it in the summer months.
     

  3. glenmorebuckman

    glenmorebuckman New Member

    Messages:
    153
    State:
    Caneyville, Ken
    I usually begin setting limblines in my local river in early May and usually set them just under the surface or down to about 2 feet deep and as the season goes on I start setting them a little deeper, so I'd have to agree with you on this one. Seems that when I start catching more gar than cats, it's time to start dropping them.
     
  4. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    Wolfman: Thanks for your input. It all makes sense, just like the books said. That's interesting that they can spawn that deep. I was always under the impression they spawned real shallow, usually under big rocks.
     
  5. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    well... what has your experience told you? or really your results. If you have luck fishing 3-6 in the spring and fall and deeper in summer then its working... if your not having luck then somethings wrong w/ placement. I mean if its working for you then why stop? it doesn't make sense to change your "plan of attack" if your catching fish....
     
  6. Rtpcat

    Rtpcat New Member

    Messages:
    72
    State:
    Alabama
    I know if I put my lines out in spring the same way I do in the summer and same places they will catch almost nothing. I can run them along the bank of the river 3-6 feet deep and catch fish in the spring. Don't know if they are running the bank more or if it is because it is shallower.
     
  7. Mountain Cur

    Mountain Cur New Member

    Messages:
    171
    State:
    Missouri, Warsaw
    Weather patterns will influence fish as much as temperature. Keep records! Our jugs are set at 8 to 16 feet through most of the year, but when the oxygen level "goes south" we stage the lines from the surface to the bottom, once the fish are located in the area we want to fish they will most likely be there until the next "weather front." Truman Lake has about as much diversity as any lake I've fished and keeping track of where they "might" be is a study in patience, but keeping good records helps. Flaties are fairly predictable, they are "home bodies" so are channels, they will forage through an area and usually return to near where they started, but Blues are roving predators and may travel a mile or two and decided to spend a week or the rest of the summer or they may return to very near where they started..totally unpredictable, but certain areas will always hold blues. They may NOT hit the same bait two days in a row, but they will be there. In the case of the Blue "area" has more to do with it than depth. I've caught blues on the surface fishing for "hybrids" and had them hit jug lines 20 feet deep, simultaneiusly. There isn't much of a depth pattern therre.
     
  8. TonyJr

    TonyJr New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Mississippi
    We generally fish in 5 to 25 foot water. We'll run 1 to 4 foot deep! Easier to get them in the boat or in the dipnet!
     
  9. phatcat

    phatcat New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    Texas
    In the spring I like to set my jugs in 14 to 20 ft. of water, In the summer find where the thurmocline is and set you hooks just abov it.....phatcat
     
  10. TonyJr

    TonyJr New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Mississippi
    What is the Thurmocline? Never heard of it before.:confused:
     
  11. oldwhiskers

    oldwhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    Memphis, TN
    Do you set the hooks 1-2 ft from the bottom or vary depending on what level the fish are suspended at? I fish an old oxbow that is pretty smooth bottomed but it does have a small drop-off that drops from about 6ft to 18ft. Some areas the drop is very gradual over a long distance. I am setting up some jugs to try to make them productive in that lake since it is closer to home before i start going longer distances to larger lakes
     
  12. Sinker

    Sinker New Member

    Messages:
    216
    State:
    Missouri
    That's sound thinkin' Wolf. Ya know we're told that humans are the only critter that can reason. Yet it seems the majority of people do what they do just cause they can. Fish, on the other hand always do what they do for a reason! Go figger!
     
  13. oldwhiskers

    oldwhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    Memphis, TN
    Thanks Wolf, I am going to try that and some variances. I just need to remember to take a notepad to make notes on the results. That is if I don't get skunked.
     
  14. TonyJr

    TonyJr New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Mississippi
    Thanks Wolfman!
     
  15. Bullfoot

    Bullfoot New Member

    Messages:
    112
    State:
    Kansas
    The river i fish is fairly shallow so i run them at night close to the surface. The flatheads can find them and seems to work great.
     
  16. Sinker

    Sinker New Member

    Messages:
    216
    State:
    Missouri
    That's right Wolf. There is no greater challenge to reasoning than instinct! It has proved to be so well developed or aptly applied by my quarries that I can't be anything but envious that the Good Lord gave it to them instead of to me! Maybe they can't reason, but nothing has ever influenced me to learn as thouroughly (sp) as the animals I pursue. Instinct definitely initiates learning!
     
  17. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    Wolfman: You're right about the thermocline. I've done some scuba diving and when you drop down in the thermocline, you'll know it! It's cold as "ice"! My game plan this year is to find the thermocline then drop my throwlines down at that depth then tie on a lead line and take it to the bank and tie it off. I did like you said last year and made the mistake of setting my lines too deep, below the thermocline and the two cats I caught on them were grave yard dead and cold and stiff! Also a coating of silt covered them because of the suspended layer of silt that stays below the thermocline. Another lesson learned the hard way.