Plastic two-liter soft-drink bottles (with caps on, of course), staging, hooks, sinkers and bait are the ingredients necessary for jug-fishing. Lines are cut to lengths of 4 to 10 feet, depending on water depth. (Six-foot lengths are a good average.) Each piece of line is tied snugly around a bottle’s neck. A 2/0 bait-keeper hook is tied to the opposite end of the line, and enough split shot is added a few inches above the hook so the line hangs vertically beneath the jug. Then the line is wrapped around the jug and held snugly with a wide rubber band for storage purposes.
Jug-fishermen use a boat and motor to set out 20 or more jugs at a time. Jugs are unwrapped, baited and dropped in the water on the upwind or up-current side of a flat, channel or pool. The wind or current drifts the jugs through fish feeding areas. The angler floats alongside the jugs, watching for one to tip up and move off as a hooked catfish tries to escape.
The best results usually occur during low-light periods near dawn and dusk. Jugs can be run at night and it’s helpful to paint each with orange or phosphorescent paint so they can be spotted easily with a flashlight.
This fishing method will take the biggest flathead cats in the river.