If you really want to catch large catfish, and lots of them, you need to learn how to go catfish jugging. This type of fishing has produced more catfish for me than any other method of catfishing (except “telephoning” them, which I have never done, only heard about). So let me just give you a quick breakdown of exactly how to go about preparing and setting your jug lines to catch the maximum amount of catfish.
1. Get the Right Catfish Jugging Gear
So if you want to go catfish jugging like me, go out and get you some one quart, square jugs from your local outdoor store. While you’re there, pick up some heavy twine, some large barrel swivels, and some 9/0 hooks. I know that sounds like a large hook, and it is, but you are going to be going after the larger fish (just wait a minute and I’ll explain).
2. Get the Right Catfish Jugging Bait
The best catfish bait for getting the large fish is shad or perch. I have had success with both. But I tend to lean more toward perch, as I have just seen some great results fishing with this bait. So I’ll go out and catch the perch alive, take a fillet knife, and cut 2/3 of a fillet down only one side of the perch.
This will get the bait bleeding, but yet it is still alive. Sometimes I will leave a fresh, live perch on the line, after I have done the 2/3 fillet on some of them. This combines scent with live bait in the water. And let me tell you, when you have a dozen or two lines out there, with some blood and live perch, you are setting yourself up for success.
3. Find the Right Catfish Jugging Locations
Along with getting the right gear, and the right bait, you need to find the right locations. The best locations are within a set of stumps, along the edge of a drop off point or an old river bed within a lake. Catfish tend to like soft, sandy or muddy bottoms as opposed to rock bottoms, but they do like to scavenge around cover areas or large rocks, etc.
One other thing you can do is consult a topographical map of the area you are fishing and look for spots that are known to be good catfishing spots.
4. Go Catfish Jugging
Once you have the right gear, bait, and scoped out your locations, it’s time to go get ’em. Get out there in a good aluminum or flat bottom boat that you don’t mind getting beat up a bit, troll through the stump areas, set your jug lines, and tie them off to the stumps.
Get your jug lines set in order, so you can easily come back through and check them later. Then go back to shore, wait a couple of hours, and come back and check / re-bait the lines. Trust me, it works!