Juggin’ Ideas

What’s the difference between a free-floating jug and one that is anchored? How do I decide which one I should use?

Of all the “unmanned” fishing tactics available for catfishing, “juggin'”, or jug fishing is one of the most popular, and one of the most productive, too. Since each jug will be set up with one, or as many as three baited hooks on the line, and since many “juggers” use several jugs at one time, the number of baits in the water increases substantially, and the baits are also distributed over a wide range of depth and area, making fish-finding less of a hit-and-miss proposition. The basic idea in jug fishing, is to set up your jugs and baits, and release the jugs into the water. Depending on the water body in question, this may mean a fairly confined area, such as a cove in a pond or lake, or, it may mean releasing the jugs to float down river, past and over all the best fishing holes. In river fishing, jug fishing offers a big advantage, in terms of coverage, since free-floating jugs can wash a long way downstream – in a big river, and released at the right spot, with a long, straight stretch of water ahead of them, a pack of jugs can cover a mile of water or more. Of course, this means that the jugs must be followed, to keep tabs on any strikes, and land the fish, and also, to collect the un-struck jugs for another run, or, just to take your gear back out of the water, and reduce pollution in our waterways. Doing this, then, requires a boat, ideally, floated silently downstream, behind the jugs. If you are not able to get a boat, or, if the waterway you are fishing contains an inordinate number of snags or underwater structures, one solution, is to “anchorline”, using your jugs as bait-suspenders…. a sort of tethered jug fishing. In this way, you can corral and control the jugs, and maintain shore-based access to them, while still obtaining the benefits of the multiple lines, depth control and free-bottom cover offered by “juggin'”.


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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