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Guides Corner

For eons, having a jug on the boat has been traditional, in that imbibing was an integral part of fishing. Times have changed, and it's no longer advisable to drink while operating a watercraft. It can bring grief to an intoxicated boater, So, the jugs have been replaced with 7-Up bottles with fish lines attached. Hence, the jug line.

Not a new concept, but a popular one with the residents of Harbor Point, a community on White Rock Creek. So popular in fact that they have tournaments using these devices. Truly a laid back way of fishing, with a productive outcome. I attended the first tourney, and it was my first encounter with the jug method.

A simple device consisting of a 7-Up bottle with a two or three hook
drop with a weight. Preset at a specific depth where the fish are expected to be holding, these devices are set out baited with shad. Set out, and left. After all sets are deployed, a trip in to the dock for coffee, breakfast, or a nap seemed to be the order of the day. Occasional trips to check the lines and land fish was the only resemblance of work involved.

The pontoon boat seems to be the most suited craft for this kind of fishing. A simple boat hook, and landing net was the only specialized gear that was needed. The "hooker" manned the boat hook, and the netter operated the landing net. The dummy drove the boat.

Trophies were awarded in three categories. Largest fish went to Bonnie Compton, weighing in the largest catfish at 4-1/2 lbs. Most weight went to Brian Patterson, weighing in 30-1/2 lbs. Most fish went to Barbara Van Dyne with 24 fish. Other contestants did fish, but failed to either place in the running, or weigh in at all.

Patterson's method was to set three spreads of jugs in different places. When two of the three were not producing, they were placed where the set that was working, thus tripling his effectiveness. Ms. Van Dyne used the same strategy.

The tournament was held in the spirit of fun, and no money changed hands. It looked like all the contestants were having fun. I know I was. Possibly the best thing of all was a good mess of catfish were caught and put into the freezer. That is a good thing, but the main thing was fun as had ON THE LAKE.

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