How Tony Adams Rigs and Baits Jugs for Catfish...

Where to Put Out Your Jugs to Catch Catfish...

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Why Tony Adams Puts His Jugs in a Straight Line to Catch Catfish

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Editor’s Note: Tony Adams moved to Eufaula (, Alabama, in 1989 and began fishing the Chattahoochee River that had been impounded to create in 1962 Lake Eufaula, also known as the Walter F. George Reservoir, that were on the Alabama/Georgia border. When Tony Adams arrived in Eufaula, he decided he would learn where and how to catch catfish and crappie there. Last week on John in the Wild ( we told you how Adams finds and catches crappie. This week we’ll tell you how he locates catfish, and how he rigs and catches catfish.

I was really surprised at how fast Tony Adams could put out 72 jugs for catfish when I fished with him. Adams told me, “I keep my big engine running. As I bait my hooks, I throw the baits out into the water. When the boat moves forward, it pulls all the line off the jug. Once I release the first jug, I bait a second jug and use the same process. With this technique, I can put out 72 jugs in about 45 minutes and cover about 3/4-mile of underwater river ledges.”

On some of his jugs, Adams uses an egg sinker above a swivel with about 18 inches of leader line below the swivel going to the hook. According to Adams, “The weight helps the bait reach the bottom faster, and the swivel prevents the cat from rolling up in the line. On some of my jugs, I won’t use any lead, and I’ll only have a swivel to keep the cat from twisting the line. So, when the catfish picks-up my bait, the fish won’t feel any resistance on the line, until it gets the bait well into its mouth. I like to use No. 5/0 or No. 6/0 stainless-steel hooks when I’m trying to catch big cats. When I want to catch eating-size cats, I use a No. 7/0 or a No. 8/0 hook. I also put about three turns of electrical tape around my jugs to have a place to put the points of my hooks when I take in my lines. Putting the points of the hooks under the electrical tape keeps the line on the jugs from unrolling, and it gives me a good place to store my hooks after I’ve finished fishing. I have reflective tape on some of the jugs. This way, if I want to fish at night, I’ll use the jugs with the reflective tape.”

I also noticed that Adams tended to put his jugs out in a straight line, and he told me, “The easiest way to determine if you’ve got a cat on a jug or not is to put your jugs out in a straight line. Then when you start running your jugs, if you see a jug off to the left or to the right of that line, you know you’ve either caught a cat, or a cat has taken your bait. Most of the time, if a jug is not in that straight line where you’ve put it, it will have a catfish on it.”

Adams uses a fiberglass Bream Buster pole ( with a large bass hook on the end of the pole tied to the last eyelet on the pole to pick-up his jugs quickly and play a catfish down. “If I know I have on a big cat, I’ll use the hook on the end of the pole to pick-up the jug. Then I can get the catfish to the surface quicker and get it up to the side of the boat. If the cat is so big that I have to turn loose of the pole to keep from breaking it, the pole will float back to the surface before the jug does.”

Put Out 72 Catfish Jugs in 15 to 20 Minutes:

You can contact my guide, Tony Adams at 334-688-7505 or [email protected] and see photos of his fish on his Facebook page ( While in Eufaula, I stayed at Lakepoint Resort in the Alabama State Parks (, where the rooms have views of the lake, and the food is delicious. Contact the sales director, Sone Kornegay, at 334-687-8011 to learn more.

If you want to hold a crappie-fishing, a catfishing or a bass-fishing tournament at Lake Eufaula, you can contact Mayor Jack Tibbs at [email protected] or call 334-695-3765. You also can call 334-343-6173, go to or email [email protected] to learn more about Alabama Black Belt Adventures, of which Eufaula is a part.

To learn more about catfishing, go to to get John E. Phillips’ “Catfish Like a Pro” and others. Type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle or you can download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer. You can also get “The Catfish Catcher’s Cookbook” for free at

Tomorrow: Where to Put Out Your Jugs to Catch Catfish with Tony Adams

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