What Is A Jugline?

What is a jugline and how is it used when fishing for Catfish?

“Jugline” refers to a method of fishing that works really well for catching catfish.  There are different versions all over the country, all with different names.  You might see it called jug fishing, fishing jugs, jugs, or anything else with the word “jug” in it!

It basically means setting out a line with a bunch of hooks on it, so that you can cover more area of the water with more bait.  This is a very effective technique for catching catfish in particular, and it’s lots of fun for kids because it’s much more fast-paced than still-fishing or any of the other regular fishing techniques.  It’s an easy way to catch lots of cats.

There are two different ways of doing it – anchored jug fishing, or free-floating jug fishing.  With free-floating jug lining, you just set out a line across the water with a bunch of other lines coming off, each with a baited hook on the end.  These set in the water and wait for the catfish to come by.  Anchored juglining means attaching weights to the bottoms of the lines so they aren’t moved around in the water.  This method is more successful for catching catfish.  It keeps the lines steady and also keeps the fish in the same spot after you get a bite.  You can use pretty much anything for a weight, like a weighted water bottle.  Something like 1-2 pounds will be enough.

Once you’ve got a bite, there are lots of ways to land the fish, and these depend on where you’re jugfishing.  One good way to land your fish is to use a net. 

One word of warning before you start juglining – Check your local fishing laws.  Juglining is illegal in some states, and in the states where it is legal, they have all kinds of rules and regulations. 


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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