Jug Fishing Fun: Conventionally Unconventional Kayak Fishing

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Jugging for catfish from a kayak is a boatload of fun.

Jug fishing may not require the finesse of jigging a quarter-ounce lure, nor have the sporting appeal of catching a 20-pound fish on 10-pound test, but it’s certainly a winning move in the fun department. There’s nothing quite like pedaling your kayak at full-tile, chasing after a jug being towed along by a big catfish. When you catch up to that jug it’s a mano-a-mano tug of war, and at the end of the day you may well have one catfish after another piled high in the cooler.

jug fishing for catfish

Jugging for catfish from a kayak is a boatload of fun.

Before you go jugging, remember that this tactic is reserved for nongame fish and channel, blue, and flathead catfish in freshwater. There are also a number of lakes, reservoirs, and rivers where juglining is not allowed. (You can find them all at the TPWD webpage for Legal Devices, Methods, & Restrictions). Now, with all of that out of the way:

  • Rig up jugs of any color other than orange (they have to be at least 6″ long and 3″ wide) with enough line to be 25-percent (or more) longer than the deepest areas you’ll fish. Generally speaking it’s good to go overboard and have too much line as opposed to too little, or you may lose a jug. Use thick monofilament line, not braid, as you’ll be pulling it in by hand. Eighty-pound test works great and catfish won’t be deterred by the thick line.
  • Tie on a 8/0 to 12/0 circle hook, weighted down with an egg sinker. As with line length more weight is often better to prevent any jugs from floating off. Then add a chunk of cut fish for bait.
  • Deploy your jugs over as large an area as you feel like pedaling or paddling.

Now it’s time to kick back, wait, and watch. When one of the jugs starts moving off, the chase begins!



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