Sunday, May 8, 2016

How-to: Fishing Jugs

With temperatures steadily rising, and the Sun starting to shine more and more everyday,  my thoughts are turning to fishing more and more.  My whole life I've been focused solely on pole fishing, and while fishing with poles will always be my go to fishing method, but one thing that every Renaissance man should know how to do is efficiently gather large quantities of food.  One way to do this in the summer is with passive fishing methods.  Since I just recently acquired a boat, my horizons have been opened a little further. I'm now able to try more methods of fishing, jug fishing, trotlining, even netting.

As always, before you do anything described below, make sure you read up on all the rules and regulations for fishing in your area, and state.  At a minimum, you probably need at least a fishing license.

In my opinion, jug fishing is pretty easy.  Get an old jug, tie on some line, a hook, bait it and throw it in the water.  The first thing you need is some type of large floating item.  I save old bleach bottles.  I like them the best since they have a screw on lid, and lots of ample storage inside.  You could also use coke bottles.  I would use anything that is waterproof and has a screw on lid.  You could use milk jugs, but I would be careful simple of the snap on lids.  You wouldn't to hook a giant catfish, only to lose it by having your jug fill up with water, and the catfish sinking the jug to the bottom of the lake/river.  You can also use pool noodles, just cut them to about a foot or two in length.

Where I live,  you have to have you name, address and either fishing license number or drivers license number.  I like to number my jugs,  that way I know how many I jugs I've set out, and whether I've missed any.  Another thing I like to do is either add some reflective strips, or paint a fluorescent strip on them, so you can shine a flashlight and find them at night.

My set up right now consists of tarred bank line, some swivels, and 30lb test monofilament line, and circle hooks.  Use your favorite fishing knot,  I tie the tarred line to the jug, and then add a swivel to the bottom.  Tie a length of the 30 lb test line to the swivel and add a circle hook at the bottom.

There are many variations you could use to this rig.  Testing is needed to match the conditions at your local fishing hole.  I'm using a one foot length of bank line, and then another foot of monofilament with a 2/0 circle hook at the bottom.

Right now, I'm going after crappie in the shallows.  If I was going after catfish, I would probably add a little more length to both the lines, and go with a bigger circle hook.

Baits can be just about anything you want,  for crappie, bass, and walleye I would use minnows.  For catfish or turtles, I would go with panfish, liver, or stinkbait.