Catfish Jugs and how to use them

Using jugs to catch catfish is a method that’s been around for many years. It may not be the conventional way to fish but it’s lots of fun and very exciting. This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to fish but someone new to the sport of jug fishing may be a little surprised at how effective it can be. Many anglers already enjoy using this method to catch catfish but if you’ve never tried it before, now’s a good time to do so.
Most of the time the catfish are not very picky and they’ll strike at anything that looks like a good meal. For this reason, you can get them to strike at just about anything as long as it captures their attention and that’s why fishing with jugs is so effective.
The bait dangles underneath the jugs and the current moves it around in front of the catfish. This action entices them to strike because it’s difficult for them to pass up a tasty meal. To get started, you’ll need to collect a few jugs, some fishing line, hooks and twine. You can choose most any type of jug to use for this type of fishing as long as you make sure they haven’t contained anything harmful. For example, don’t use anything that held some type of chemicals.
Once you’ve gathered everything you need, here’s how you jug fish for catfish:
* Cut and tie some fishing line to one end of the jug. The length will depend on how deep the water is where you plan to fish. Since catfish stay near the bottom most of the time, you’ll need it to be long enough to reach the bottom.
* Secure a fishing hook to the end of the line and have your bait ready. The best ones to use are the circle hooks because these usually hook more securely and they’re easier to remove when you’re trying to take the hook out of the mouth.
* Tie a piece of twine to the opposite side of jug and make it several feet long. This is what you will use to tie the jug to the side of the boat or to a branch or rock depending on where you’re fishing.
* Choose the location where you want to go fishing. It’s usually best to stay near the shoreline when jug fishing unless you’re going out in a boat. In this case, it would be a good idea to tie each one of your jugs together to make it easier to keep up with them.
* Bait your hook and place the jugs in the water. The current will move them around and this keeps the bait moving, which attracts the fish and entices them to strike. You can use most any type of bait but the ones that will usually get the most action include worms, shrimp, minnows and perch. Of course, any type of stink bait will usually draw out the catfish due to its strong sense of smell.
* When you get a bite, the jug will go under the water. Pull in your catch, unhook the fish and you’re ready to bait the hook again and send it back out to catch another one. It’s that simple.
When you go fishing for catfish with jugs, it’s important that you don’t leave them in the water for long periods of time unattended. You don’t want to leave a fish hooked in the water if you catch one and you’re not there. In fact, to prevent this from happening, many areas have very strict laws in place for catfish fishing with jugs. Some areas will allow you to leave for a short period but others have laws that state you must monitor your jugs constantly or you’ll be breaking the law.
When jug fishing from a boat, make sure you have the jugs secured to the boat or you’ll end up chasing them through the water. When fishing in the shallows, place the jugs around rocks, ledges submerged trees, brush and stumps. These are the places where the catfish will most likely be so you’ll get better results. Remember to tie one end of the jugs to a branch or rock so you can pull it in when you get a bite.
When searching for a place to jug fish, look for areas where the current is slow or moderately moving. If you get in fast moving water, it will be too difficult to use the jugs. The current will move the bait around too fast or get your lines tangled up making it difficult to catch fish.
Try moving around to different areas to see what kind of results you get and try a variety of different baits. This will help you discover what works best in different situations. It’s a good idea to paint the jugs before heading out to the water. This will make them easier to see especially when fishing on a bright sunny day. Jug fishing is a unique experience that every angler should try at least once.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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