What Is Jug Fishing – Catching More Fish In Rivers And Lakes

Jug Fishing History, Techniques & Guidelines

Almost all the severe fishermen love jugging for catfish. Even if you are a newbie in fishing and you want to catch many catfish, then you will also try jug fishing soon. Jug fishing is the perfect method for beginners. It is easy, inexpensive and works very well.

Whenever you are teaching your kids about cat-fishing, one of the best techniques to use is jug fishing. They love to catch fish by using jetty fishing technique also. It is an easy technique and should be adapted to the beginning of learning. Jug fishing has its own fun facts. It is a complete sports activity. Your kids will love keeping their eyes on the jugs during the entire fishing period.

The significant advantage of jug fishing is that you can cover a vast area and you can use a diversity of baits. But on top of all, it can smoothly move to many areas. You can catch all types of catfish utilizing this approach. Not only this, but you can get A LOT of them in one go.

All you require to enjoy this fishing is a boat, baits, jugs and a rod and your trotline fishing are halfway done.


The history of jug fishing goes back to the time when people started taking fishing as a sporty activity. It seems that the Egyptians started the concept of fisheries with rigs and lines. It was about 2500 years ago. Many references are found different civilizations like Roman, Greek, and Mesopotamia. These civilizations lived near the rivers, and so fishing was one of their most loved past time.

Fishing Techniques

Fish Captured With Jug Technique

Most standard techniques for jug fishing are:

  • Two-liter bottle technique
  • Free-floating jugs
  • Anchored jugs

Two-liter bottle technique

The two-liter bottle technique involves merely the use of two-liter jug or bottle for catching fish.

Free-floating Jugs

As the name suggests, free-floating jugs can move freely and efficiently in the water. It has various objects which are attached to the ends.

As a fisherman, you will need to place your jug in water. You will also need to attach hooks and strings with your can. These hooks and lines weight with them but they are not fixed at one place. Due to the wind, water waves and even the movement of fish, the jugs are free to move in the water. In this technique, the jars are free to move in a large water body and even if you are not sure about the amount of fish the jugs will move and find their way. It is the simplest methods of fishing and used widely by beginners throughout the world.

If you are using free-floating technique then remember to stay close to your jugs; otherwise, you may lose the jug and fish both.

Anchored Jugs

It is another technique to use when you are jugging for catfish. This technique doesn’t allow the jug to move around in the water because of weight tied with these jugs. The method doesn’t let the fish escape and drags it along. But the downside of this technique is the harm and injury caused to the fish due to constant dragging.

As a fisherman, you need to place the jug at a single point in the water. This way, the jug will be fixed to that location. You might be thinking that how can the jug stay static or set in the water. Well, for that, you need to adopt two ways. First, you can tie the jug to any fixed item like a branch. Second, you can attach huge weights of 4-5 pounds with the fishing rod or line. Remember always to connect the pressure at the bottom. The amount of weight depends upon the water waves. If they are high, you can attach more importance. If the water current is low, then you may attach a single weight.

The fixed-jug method is specifically for larger fish because the fish may drag your jug and it may be displaced. Also, it is an added advantage that your jug will stay secure and won’t get carried away by the tides.

A huge downside of this technique is the availability of fish. As the jug stays fixed in one position, so the fish need to find the jug to get trapped. So, your luck matters a lot in anchored jug fishing technique. It is a common practice of jugline fishing in Florida.

Guidelines Of Jug Fishing

Catfish caught with jug technique

Jugging for catfish involves suspended or floating jugs in the water. You can use as many jugs as you want to catch the desired amount of fish. It is a common practice to use 25-30 jugs in one go.

First, learning to get one step ahead of fishing tips from the beginning is necessary for a newbie in fishing. Then he could go towards those precious techniques of fishing like Jugging. Here I will give you some straightforward and easy guidelines for jug fishing.

  • You can buy the jugs specifically designed for fishing in the market, or you can create your jug. If you want to design your own jug, then you will need a plastic jug, a string and hooks, tape, marker, and a weight.
  • When your jug is all set up, you are halfway done.
  • Do not use more than 50 jugs as it is not allowed.
  • The size of your jug must not exceed one gallon.
  • Attach one line to one jug only.
  • You can put your jugs in the water at sunrise and check on them during the day, or you can put them at sunset and check the next morning. Whatever you want to do, always remember to check your jugs for any trapped fish regularly. You don’t want your fish to suffocate during the hot summers.
  • Never leave your juglines unattended for several hours.
  • Always label or put a tag on the jug lines as per rules.
  • Always check the rules and regulations of your area on jug fishing. There are particular jug fishing rivers where you can freely enjoy your jugging for catfish.

Jug Fishing Rigs

Jug fishing rigs

Always remember that jug fishing is illegal in many states. The rules and regulations differ in different areas. Therefore, it is advisable always to check the fishing laws, rules and regulations of your local water bodies.

Building jug lines is not a difficult task. The first things required for setting up your jugging catfish rig consists of the following main objects:

  • A jug (or anything that floats and comes under the category of containers or vessels. It can be as simple as a bottle too.)
  • A 4-5 feet string or line.
  • Hooks
  • Baits (insects, grasshoppers, earthworms)

In simple terms, how you arrange all the things mentioned above makes up your jug fishing rigs.

There are three types of fishing rigs:

  1. Milk Man jug fishing rig
  2. Feather & Fun jug fishing rig
  3. Jug fishing noodle with the pointer

Milk Man Jug Fishing Rig

There are different techniques for making jug lines for catfish. This rig is called the Milk Man platform because it requires milk jugs. It is the most common kind of platform used because of its easy setup. If you are using two-liter bottles, they also come under the category of milkman jug fishing rig. You need to tie the line on, and everything is ready.

Feather & Fun Jug Fishing rig

For feather and fun jug fishing rig, you can use your childhood duck traps in place of the jug. The decoys act as floating objects. These rigs look better than single bottles.

Jug Fishing noodles with a pointer

You can also make your jug using PVC pipe and noodles. These jugs are easy to use due to their small size. You can further customize this rig by introducing a fish indicator. You need the following materials to create a jug fishing noodle:

  • PVC tube and two caps
  • One pool noodle which should be hollow from the inside
  • Fishing string
  • Hooks
  • Glue

Assemble these objects just like you assemble standard jug fishing rigs. Whenever this rig traps a fish, the noodle moves up which gives you an indicator that a fish is caught.

So, this summer, try making jug lines for catfish and make some exciting fishing noodles plans.

 let you caught more fish

FAQs On Jug Fishing

Question: In which states is a fish noodle rig illegal in?

The only noodle-friendly states are Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas.

Question: How dangerous is noodling?

Noodling is quite dangerous because it can hurt the catfish. When the fish catches the bait, the noodle pulls the catfish. Also, because it is a secure method, it can result in the depletion of catfish.

Question: Does noodling catfish hurt a fish?

Yes, it hurts the catfish and also causes its depletion.

Question: How to make jug lines with noodles?

You need a hollow PVC tube, PVC caps, baits, hooks, fishing line, and glue. Assemble it just like a regular rig.

Question: How do catfish hunt?

Catfish can dig in the mud and search for insects and worms. They can sense food from a faraway distance.

Question: How deep to set jug lines?

It should be about 24 inches.

Question: What is a trotline used for?

A trotline is used to catch fish. It is a method which involves a fishing string or line with baits attached to it through hooks. It works just like a regular fishing rig.

Question: What is a Jug line?

In jug fishing, you use a bottle or jug with a line attached to it. The range is just like a string. This set up is called a jug line.

Question: Is a trotline illegal?

You need to check the fishing laws of your specific area for this purpose.

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