Veni, Vidi, Jugi – I Came, I Saw, I Jugged

To use juglines, take them out in your boat to the fishing area, and simply unroll the mainline. Set them at the depths you want by unrolling only that much line, and anchor the rest on the handle. Starting with the bottom hook, bait each hook and lower it onto the water. I have found the best baits to be cut shad, or small or cut bluegill (where legal), but you can use prepared baits, livers or whatever you want. Repeat for each jug. Now, if you are using drift rigs, just follow them as they drift. When one starts bouncing, check the line. You most likely have a fish (or a turtle, AAAAUUUUGGGHHH!). If any start to drag bottom, just pull it in and adjust the depth. If you are using anchored rigs, just sight-see, or fish with a rod for a while. You can leave them and come back later to check, or just fish nearby and check them if one starts bouncing. That’s all there is to it.

Just a few more tips:

 When using multiple juglines, always number them in permanent marker, with large readable numbers, so you can account for all of them. Catfish have a habit of dragging away juglines sometimes.

 Always wear work gloves when handling the mainline after it has been baited. If a large catfish is on it while you are holding the line, you can get rope-burned and worse. You may be hauling up an 80 lb. fish on a thin piece of string. This can get intense if you are not prepared.

 No matter how much trouble you have pulling in a fish, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER wrap the line around your arm, any part of your body or the boat. If you have a large, irate fish on the other end, you can be pulled in, get hooks in you, and worse. Do not let the fisher become the fished. If you need leverage, wrap the line around a short length of PVC pipe or a wooden dowel.

 States have different laws about fishing with setlines. Make sure you understand the applicable laws BEFORE you go out fishing with juglines.

Happy Fishing!

To get the full “Veni, Vidi, Jugi – I Came, I Saw, I Jugged” article you’ll need to download it here.


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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