John's Journal...

Kids and Catfish

Day 5: More Expert Tips on Jugging for Catfish with Carl Morris

Editor’s Note: Fifty-one-year-old Carl Morris of Florence, Alabama, is known as a catfish guru.  After fishing for catfish for three decades and now fishing fulltime, year-round since retiring, Morris has learned not only where big catfish live but also where the frying-size cats are. 

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewOne of the important keys to landing big catfish is having a large net.  Morris uses a net 3 feet in circumference.  But instead of the traditional wire net utilized by many catfishermen, Morris likes a mesh net. "A mesh net isn’t as rigid as a wire net," Morris mentions.  "Getting a catfish into a mesh net, doesn't seem to spook the fish as badly.  When I boat a big catfish, the fish usually is so tired from fighting the bleach bottle that it doesn't struggle in the net." After catching the 88-pound catfish (see Day 4) Morris left the lake for the day, since that fish was the biggest blue catfish he ever had caught.  However, on most days if Morris is only catching 40- to 60-pound fish, he'll return to the spot where a jug first sinks and utilize a deep-sea rod and reel baited in the same way as his jugs and continue to fish.

"I anchor about 20 or 30 yards above where I put out my buoy marker," Morris explains.  "I use 20- to 30-pound test line on a deep-sea fishing rod and reel and let the bait down.  Then the current carries the bait back to where the catfish are biting." When a catfish strikes the bait, Morris sets the hook and pulls-up his anchor. "I let the catfish pull me and my aluminum boat anywhere the fish wants to go," Morris comments.  "This tactic keeps constant pressure on the fish.  However, I'm not depending on my drag to play the fish down.  When I've got on a 50-pound catfish, it'll drag the boat and me around for about 10 minutes before I can get the catfish to the surface.”

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewWhen Morris sees another boat approaching his honey hole, he disengages his reel and lets the catfish take-out line.  Then the anglers in the oncoming boat won't realize he has-on a fish or be able to see what he's doing. The best day Morris ever had catching catfish in a honey hole was when he took six catfish weighing from 20- to 88-pounds each.  All these catfish were caught within 1-1/2-hours of each other. Try jugging for more fun and to catch more catfish. 

Catfish Like a ProTo learn more about how to catch catfish, click here, or go to, and type in the name of the book, “Catfish Like a Pro” to buy it. Too, you can download a Kindle app for free and buy the book from Amazon to read it on your iPad, Smartphone or computer.


Check back each day this week for more about "Kids and Catfish"

Day 1: Kids Are All About Catching
Day 2: Jugging for Catfish
Day 3: Family Jugging
Day 4: Expert Jugging for Catfish with Carl Morris
Day 5: More Expert Tips on Jugging for Catfish with Carl Morris

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Entry 667, Day 5