SUMMER JUG FISHING – A TRADITION   2 comments

Jugging requires one to read the structure, current and forage conditions. Southern Illinois has an abundance of habitats that are fished by juggers in the hot summer evenings

A jugging rig is composed of an airtight plastic jug or bottle tethered with three to six feet of monofilament line and a 5/0 hook or 3/0 treble hook. Forty or 50 pound mono or braided line is recommended.

Two liter soft drink bottles make good jugs. Any plastic bottle will work.

For storing or transport the nylon cord can be wrapped around the bottle. The single hook can be neatly tucked into the plastic base cup.

Before taking to the water check local site regulations to make sure no laws will be violated. Most lakes allow jug fishing but some have site specific conditions.

In fishing a reservoir or lake it is a good idea to get a map showing the bottom contours. Begin by placing jugs about 100 yards on the upwind side of the target structure and about 10 feet apart. This broad coverage increases the odd of finding fish.

In a clear water body situation night fishing is probably the most productive. During the daytime the hook should be about two or three feet off the bottom. At night, in summer, the hooks can be suspended about two feet below the surface. The shallower pattern can be used during the daylight hours on shallow lakes with river channels winding through them.

Jugs can be used either day or night with some degree of success. Many anglers will put out the jugs at dusk and return to collect them in the morning. Such a pattern works better on small bodies of water since sometimes catfish will travel long distances with the jug.

For those very deep areas you can try a deep water rig. This rig consists of Number 18 braided nylon line in brown or green. At the end of the nylon line attach a brass swivel. Then 6 feet of 50 pound monofilament line. Finish the rig with a 2/0 hook and 1/4 ounce bell sinker a foot above the hook. Then adjust to keep the bait a foot or so off the bottom.

On large rivers structure tends to be more obvious. Sandbars, wing dams, bends, and drift piles of wood all produce fish. Jugs are allowed to drift down stream toward the structure with you drifting along behind them.

Baits for jug fishing tend to be worm, minnows, cut bait or catalpa worms. No single type of bait seems to outclass the others.

Once baited up and released, jugs have to be watched like an unruly flock of sheep. On rivers they seem to like to run behind wing dams and hide or get lost from each other.

Some anglers like to paint the jugs orange for visibility. It is fun to watch 3 or 4 jugs dancing at once with fish on the hook. A long sturdy pole with a strong hook on the end will help to release an entangled jug or capture one rapidly leaving behind a fish.

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2 responses to “SUMMER JUG FISHING – A TRADITION

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  1. Overall Jug fishing for catfish with jugs or juglines is a popular form of fishing for a number of species of fish especially catfish. The drifting jugline however is also a lot more work to keep up with than the anchored jugline.

  2. Pingback: Fishing & Bait : About Worms as Fish Bait | Bass Fishing Tips Today

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