John's Journal...


Jug Fishing

EDITOR’S NOTE: Blue Bank Resort on Reelfoot Lake near Tiptonville, Tennessee, is in high gear in the fall, with anglers catching plenty of crappie, catfish and bass every day. Billy Blakely is the resort manager/chief guide and has been guiding on Reelfoot for 23 years.

QUESTION: Have you started jug fishing as well as yo-yo fishing for catfish?

Click to enlargeBLAKELY: Yes, I have. Strike King has made some jugs with handles on the end. These jugs are white, which show up well in water during the day or night. These jugs come with the lines, hooks and sinkers already attached. These jugs are not only effective on this lake; they’re also effective on the Mississippi River. We caught a lot of big catfish this past summer using the jugs in the Mississippi River. Jug fishing is a fast, easy way to catch catfish.

QUESTION: Why did you start putting yo-yos on your jugs?

Click to enlargeBLAKELY: I don’t have to wrap the line around the jug when I use the yo-yo. I like to put 2 to 3 feet of 20-pound-test Mossy Oak Classic Line from the string to the hook. This way, my bait drifts more naturally, and too, the catfish aren’t able to see the line. One of the reasons people lose catfish on jugs is because catfish can gnaw monofilament in two with their sandpaper-like teeth. However, Mossy Oak Fishing Line can stand up to those sandpaper-like mouths. When you get on a big catfish, it will start pulling line off the yo-yo as it pulls the jug down. A few days ago, I caught a 35-pound blue catfish with a Strike King jug that had a yo-yo on it. We found that the jug pops up quicker than it will if it’s a line straight from the jug to the hook. Also, when you pick up the jug to pull in the catfish, the fish will either jerk the jug out of your hand, straighten the hook or break the line. But, with the yo-yo, when the catfish starts to run, the spring inside the yo-yo gets tight and slows down the charge. It either turns the catfish around and brings it back to the boat or gives you a chance to drop the jug and let the cat continue to fight.

QUESTION: When you’re fishing on the river, how many catfish do you expect to catch?

Click to enlargeBLAKELY: At any given time I can catch catfish that weigh anywhere from 25 pounds to 120 pounds. A friend of mine caught a big blue cat that weighed 115 pounds. On the Mississippi River near Reelfoot Lake, I catch mostly blue and white cats. On Reelfoot Lake, I catch mostly channel cats because there aren’t any blue cats. If you want to test your fishing line, put it on jugs and go catfishing. You’ll quickly find out just how tough your line is. We have proven that Mossy Oak Fishing Line can handle these tough cats.

You can call – 1-877-Blue Bank or visit to learn more.


Check back each day this week for more about BILLY BLAKELY ON REELFOOT LAKE

Day 1: How To Fish For Crappie On Reelfoot Lake
Day 2: Jug Fishing
Day 3: Bassing On Reelfoot
Day 4: Ducks
Day 5: Cast And Blast



Entry 324, Day 2