top of page

Catfish Jug Lines

Anchor 2

If you are dedicated to catching a good number of catfish one way or another, there are plenty of options available for you. Besides simple fishing with hooks, you can give either a trotline or a jug line a try. Jug lines for catfish are a method of fishing used in rivers or lakes that makes use of lines suspended from floating jugs.


The name came from the empty milk jugs that people used as the float for this device. Nowadays, there are multiple options for jugline floats, some folks are still using two-liter soda bottles, detergent containers, or other empty plastic containers. However, the most popular jug lines for catfish nowadays are pool noodles. Let’s discover catfish jug lines in more detail in this article.

Brand new

Juglines fo Catfish -Working

Besides fishing with a rod and reel, there are other ways to catch fish.


Jug lines for catfish are an exciting way to catch them that works much better than the traditional rod and reel method.


Instead of setting up dozens of rods and reels, you can set up one or two juglines to catch more catfish, and that too in a shorter time.

Max-catch-circle hooks.jpg
Anchor 1

Catfish Juglines Making

There are many ways to make catfish jug lines. One common way is by using empty soda bottles and detergent bottles. Another popular substitute for these plastic jugs is “catfish noodle”. You can construct it by using PVC pipe and round foam sold as swimming pool “ noodles.”


You can make catfish noodles by gluing a PVC cap on each side of the noodle and a piece of foam in between to make it float. The noodles are available in vibrant colors that make them easy to spot if a fish takes them away from your sight.

Benefits - Juglines for Catfish Noodles

The benefit of these foam noodles as catfish jug lines is that they are light and compact and are easy to store in a plastic crate. To make storage and transport hassle-free, wrap the line around the foam and insert the hook into the foam to avoid any entanglement. The advantage of constructing noodle-type catfish jug lines is that you can make them with a weight inside that keeps the jug in an upright position. Hence, when a fish is on it, you can identify it at a glance and pull it immediately.


Either way, these are inexpensive yet effective ways to target catfish that are present in nearly any body of freshwater.

Catfish Juglines - Rigging

To rig the catfish jug lines, you can use tarred nylon. as used on trotlines. The nylon jug line is abrasion-resistant on one hand and easier to pull back with the hand than a monofilament line. There are several ways to rig catfish juglines.


Free floating - Juglines for Catfish

You can leave jug lines for catfish free-floating without any float or weight in areas where there is not much water current. For instance, small lakes and ponds where jugs won’t be carried out of sight by wind or currents.

Anchored - Juglines for Catfish

Using weighted or anchored juglines is recommended where there is a risk of losing them to wind or current, especially at night. One of the most effective ways to make anchored jug lines is to place the weight above the swivel and the hook lays at the bottom.


To start with, rig the jugline so that the lowest hook sits at or near the bottom. You can place additional hooks at various depths to the cover water more thoroughly. If you are fishing in an area of constant depth, you can rig the catfish jug lines with a weight at the bottom too.

Catfish Jug Lines -Best Catfish Circle Hooks


Circle hooks are the preferred ones when making jug lines for catfish. There are two types of Max-Catch circle hooks available to us.


  1. 12/0 stainless steel circle hook with a nickel-plated brass swivel 3/0

  2. 13/0 stainless steel circle hook with a 3/0 nickel-plated brass swivel


Circle hooks are ideal for bottom longline and deep-drop fishing. You can catch blue cats, channel cats, and flathead cats by using jug lines for catfish.

Catfish Jug Lines -Best Baits

Different types of baits you can use for catfish jug lines:


  • Fish: The best type of bait you can use to catch catfish is a fish, either whole or cut up to use its pieces. For instance, you can use sunfish, whole shad, carp, perch, or any other fresh or dead legal baitfish.

  • Worms: Most fish can be caught successfully with worm bait. Earthworms and nightcrawlers are good options, as they can survive for a few hours both in and out of water. Also, other forms of worms like leeches, bloodworms, waxworms, and butter worms are good options. You can visit a bait shop and purchase a container full of live worms.

  • Chicken liver: Another favorite bait for catfish jug lines is chicken liver. You can use it raw or marinate to make it more appealing to catfish.

  • Crawdads: Another fantastic bait option for your jug lines for catfish is crawdads. For small catfish like channel fish, you can use dead crawdads, while for flatheads, live crawfish serve the purpose very well.

  • Hotdogs: Very frequently used, hotdogs can be ground up to mix them with other bait mixtures or used as their bait. Because of their ability to get easily homogenized with other mixtures, hotdogs make a versatile bait for catfish jug lines.


Besides the abovementioned options, you have commercial stink bait as another easy and cheaper option.


Multiple baits attached to hooks suspended in water at once, with your catfish jug lines, increase your chances of getting a successful strike. However, before you go fishing with catfish jug lines, learn the state guidelines and restrictions in this regard, or you may face penalties.


For instance, in Missouri, you can have up to 33 hooks out at a time per licensed fisher. On the other hand, in Texas, you can have up to 100 hooks per person. In some other states, jug lines for catfish are not legal on any state-related water body.


Why Choose Catfish Circle Hooks


Fishing with jug lines for catfish makes a great group outing. This is because jug fishing requires no expertise and your chances of catching fish are much higher with little effort. Either use plastic bottles or catfish noodles as jugs and set your jugs, in a line for easy tracking. When running catfish jug lines, check them frequently, as crabs or other bait stealers may take your bait without disturbing the jug. Get your kids involved in jug fishing and have a lot of fun building memories while baiting and retrieving the jugs!

bottom of page