Jug linesJug Fishing is great fun and a productive way to catch catfish. There is just something about running your jug lines and the anticipation of what you might have caught. I have been jug fishing for several years, I started out just using regular jugs of any kind (milk jugs or 2-liter plastic bottles) to make my jug lines and struggled with the typical problems that come with using jugs. The lines were hard to wrap up and store in a way that would not get tangled and changing the depth of your jug lines was a true pain in the butt. I also had to battle the fact that using jugs for jug fishing took up a lot of boat space, 15 or 20 jugs in a small boat can become quite a mess. I guess this is what inspired me to develop something better and so the Ultimate Fishing Noodle was born. I wanted to develop something that was depth adjustable and could conserve space on a boat. It took some time to figure out the best way to make the jug line adjustable but after several attempts at more complicated designs and on-the-water testing, the line spool design that we sell today is what worked the best.

To be successful at Jug Fishing you have to put some thought into your sets. Just throwing Fishing Jugs out all over the place may sometimes catch fish but it will not be near as productive as setting your lines out in a logical manner. The time of year plays a big part in your Jug Fishing tactics. Channel Catfish and Blue Catfish usually spawn in the spring when water temps reach around 72 to 75 degrees, Flathead Catfish spawn around 75 to 80 degrees. The time period just before the spawn (pre-spawn) is an excellent time to set Fishing Jugs. Catfish feed like crazy during the pre-spawn and will eat almost anything. Fishing shallow during this time period will be the most effective, around rip rap, feeder streams and shallow structure are all good places to set out jug lines.

After the catfish get into their spawning period, the bite will drop way off and they will be harder to catch. You can still pick up a few if you set your fishing jugs in the right spot. Catfish like to spawn in holes or recesses around the bank, using a good sonar you can troll the banks and find good spawning areas to place jug lines.

After the spawn is over there is another heavy feeding period, but once the water temperatures start to get into the 80 to 90 range they will move to deeper water and you will need to change from spring tactics to post-spawn summer tactics. The secret here is to have fishing jugs that have an adjustable depth line, shallow sets like we were using in the spring will not be as effective this time of year. Find structure that is deeper, maybe 10 to 25 feet and set your fishing jugs to get the bait down where the fish are. A good fish locator is an invaluable tool for finding good set locations, it is pretty hard to guess where the fish are when they move deep.

What bait you use for your fishing jugs is also an important part of being successful. There are a few different kinds of bait I like to use depending on the time of year and what species of catfish I am going after. For Channel and Blue I like to use cut shad, liver and shrimp, for Flatheads live bluegill or super large minnows are good choices. Of course, you can also use your favorite blend of stink bait or night crawlers.  However, the problem with using worms is getting your bait taken off by smaller fish, like bluegill.

Fishing Jugs are typically set out as drifting sets. I don’t usually set out my jug lines in this manner, when I set out my Fishing Jugs it is because the spot I chose holds fish, I don’t want them floating off somewhere else. This is another big advantage of having an adjustable depth Fishing Jug. Rig your weight on the bottom of your line and tie on the hook up from the weight 6 to 10 inches. Now, when you set them out just let out enough line for the weight to touch bottom and bingo, your set will stay right there and not move. You can of course adjust the height of your bait by raising or lowering where you tie on the hook but I recommend starting around 6 to 10 inches.

I hope this has helped you to be a better Jug Fisherman. You can also take a peek at our demo video located on the right side of this page – it has some good information in there for folks that might be new to the sport of jug fishing.  Like I said, there is just something about Jug Fishing that makes it one of the most exciting ways to fish!  Finally, I encourage you to check your states fishing rules to know the laws regarding jug fishing for your state, most states allow this type of fishing but there are some that still do not. There are also some states that have specific Jug Fishing requirements that must be adhered to like having your name and address on each fishing jug or a limit to the number of fishing jugs you are allowed to set out. We have a page that list all of the links to each states fishing regulations, you can find it here.

If you need help in setting your Fishing Noodles up for flagging, you can find instructions here.

Adjustable depth Fishing Jugs

 

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