I tried setting 6 single lines marked with jugs tied to stumps. Used goldfish & cutbait. Kept hitting the motor because of the shallow water. Always heard the big cats feed close to the bank. Never got one fish, it was hard to set the lines, real hard as the current (Ohio River) would push the boat, then the motor was in the mud-rocks. Had to make up the tags too, then coming back checking them & finding them in the dark was tough, glad I have GPS & waypoints to help.
Anyway, ALL of the 6 lines had their baits cleaned off them. I think I used 9/0 catmaxx hooks. I'm sure circles would be the way to go. In SC there is a limit on how large the gap can be on the circles on trotlines to prevent the big fish from getting caught on them.
I was going to release all the fish, just an experiment to see what, it any would get caught- cats, garrs, sizes, etc.
Don't think I'll try it again anytime soon. Too much like work.
I think I would like to try floating some jugs with big shad or skipjacks & then just drift with them to see what would happen. I'd want to do it below any major dam on the river where the possiblity of a big striper would come into play. There might be some big cats in there too. I'd suspend the baits 10'-15' deep. Might never do it, but I think it would be interesting.
All C & R of course.
I've set bank lines and jug fished but been a few years maybe 10 or more...
I always made sure when setting bank lines that I used a branch that was over water and had plenty of give so that it would bounce up/down not break or have the line break. Get a good topo map and set lines along shore that is close to deeper water and drop offs or your pretty much waisting your time, in my opinion. My line would be 50lb test and any kind as long as it showed up brightly when hit with the beam of a flashlight. I used goldfish, cutbait, suckers and chicken liver. I always put the bait nomore then 2-3 inches under the water so I could easily see if I needed to rebait when checking during the night.
Jug fishing is fun and can be done without much cost at all... We used very well rinsed out anti-freeze jugs simply beacuse they have good color and are large enough for even the biggest of fish... We use a bright flouresant tape on the jugs also that we got from the local firestation but can be had from most anywhere... We use diff length leaders and bait the same as with bank lines.
We love to fish drop offs at points while anchored off and waiting to check our lines. Many tiimes we caught more quality fish from the boat then on are bank and jug lines...
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