Jug fishing for catfish

Want to know how to make your own catfish jugs? Here’s an effective catfish catching trick…

Jug fishing for catfish has become one of my favorite ways to quickly get meat on the table. I use some homemade jugs constructed from foam pool noodles and PVC pipe. I made these jugs in one afternoon and they are my go-to arsenal when I need to fill up the boat for a fish fry. Now for the rundown on how you can  do it…

Jug fishing for catfish is really nothing more than a hook, a piece of string, and a jug or bottle.

By putting 25 of these in the water at a time you can catch a lot of fish quickly. Some folks use anchored jugs with a small weight attached to the line that drags the bottom. This method is good if you set your jugs in open water like lakes where the wind would blow them out of position. You can also let them drift in the river or lake and cover a lot of ground quickly. Jug fishing is similar to setting a trotline, but setting a trotline puts all of your hooks and bait into once concentrated area. You can read about how to make a trotline here.

Three jugs floating in a row.

You can use enough line to fish just about any depth that you like, but after years of experience, I have found that three or four feet under the surface works well anytime. You don’t want the hook to drag the bottom and get hung up. If you want to add an anchor weight to keep the jugs from drifting, then add a second line below the hook to whatever water depth you are fishing. Tie your anchor weight onto this and your bait will be free floating and suspended in the water while your jug stays in one place.

I like to use the flagging style of jug. This has a captive weight inside the PVC pipe. Once a fish bites the bait, the weight will shift inside the pipe and cause the whole assembly to float upright as you can see in the photo.

Fish On!

Some folks get super simple and just use a 16oz. or 2 liter soda bottle instead of the fancy PVC style. It all works just fine for jug fishing for catfish, the point being to simply float the hooks and let them drift. I never use a weight on my line as a chunk of bait will usually sink the hook under the surface. I prefer to use a good size chunk of cut shad or carp for my catfish bait.

Nice size Blue Cat

Once you get 15 or 20 nice cats in your boat you’ll be convinced of this great way to fish. Easy to do, fun to chase the jugs, and cheap to rig. Enough said, go make some!