Fish Chum & Chumming

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Chumming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Chumming (American English from Powhatan[1]) is the practice of luring animals, usually fish or sharks, by throwing "chum" (Chum usually consisting of oily fish ground up) into the water.

  • Chum often consists of fish parts and blood, which attract fish, particularly sharks due to their keen sense of smell.
  • Chumming is illegal in some parts of the world, such as Alabama, because of the danger it can pose by conditioning sharks to associating feeding with the presence of humans.
  • Bonita Springs, FL has recently looked at chumming on Bonita Beaches due to the attraction of sharks. No decision has been made at this time.

Chum 5# frozen blocks

I usually use Menhaden Oil & Fishing Chum 5# frozen blocks (most bait shops will carry a variety of frozen chum) designed to use in a rope mesh bag.

The fish chum bag is made of a nonabsorbent rope mesh with mesh being 3/4". This chum bag is designed to hold the pre-made frozen fish chum blocks ...

On the cheap, orange mesh onion bags are ideal for this purpose and it’s free

Depending upon your target species, chumming needs to be considered.

When anchored over wrecks or reef fishing for bottom species like snapper and grouper, several methods will work.

Hang your chum bag on a stern cleat and allow the current to create a "chum slick" behind your boat

Your goal is to not to over feed the fish

Remember, your goal is to not to over feed the fish, just get them interested in your baits.

Many species like mangrove and yellowtail snappers respond extremely well to this technique by coming up in the water column to eat your free-lined baits.

Do not throw chum  under the boat 

Do not throw chum so that it goes under the boat as that is where the bait will set ...

The filler can be instant oatmeal, corn meal, or bulk tropical fish food. ...

Oftentimes, when the water is a little murky, this is the only indication that pilchards are present. ...

There are a few important tips to remember when attempting to get bait; ...

Chumming for Fish

Q: Store-Bought Chum Blocks or Fresh-Caught Chum?

A: Buying a chum block is a fast and effective way to start chumming for the species of fish you're trying to catch.

They are reasonably priced and require no work to employ.

Offshore / Inshore Chumming

Offshore  - Chumming for pelagic fish with a chum block is as simple as tying the frozen chum block off on your stern boat cleat. It will slowly dissolve and dissipate. The pelagic fish such as Spanish mackerel will soon come.

But using live bait fish such as threadfin herring, scaled sardines, menhaden or pinfish, and cutting them up in thumbnail sized pieces with a scissor or shears drives not just Spanish mackerel crazy, but will bring more and bigger kingfish to you along with cobia and other monster fish.

When chumming for bottom fish, I like to grind up these live bait fish and place them in a mesh chum bag and weight it down to the sea floor.

I do favor menhaden and threadfin herring as my choice bait to cut up live and chum with.

The menhaden is oilier and bloodier then the other baits, and you will actually see a slick behind your boat when you are chumming with them.

The threadfin herring, when sitting in your baitwell, have a very delicate body, where their scales come off. These scales will be constantly get pumped out of your baitwell into the water around your boat creating a chum line.

Inshore - Chumming is a little different in that many times instead of using cut baitfish to chum with, you will use the bait fish alive and in whole condition to chum with.

There is no better live chum baitfish for inshore fishing than the scaled sardine (Aka pilchard or whitebait).

It makes a great search tool as you find an area you would like to fish, dip-net some scaled sardines and place them in your Chum Bat (tool to fling or throw your scaled sardines a distance at the target area) toss some sardines alive into the target area and wait for the snook, redfish or trout to blowup on your baits.

Follow that up with a hooked scaled sardine and wham – you're hooked up. Many times it's that easy because of the chumming of the live scaled sardine.

Chumming Tricks

Offshore chum trick for grouper -- Try tying your chum block to your anchor.

The chum will now drift to the stern of your boat, where the grouper will congregate.

Also if you are having a problem with toothy critters or sharks tearing the mesh of your chum bag, try a metal chum cage, available at any tackle shop. The toothy critters can't get through it

YouTube - Feeding Frenzy Chum Fishing George Style on ESPN

Fishing Southwest Florida making sand chum balls

Fish Chum Yellowtail Up and Snapper Up web hort version

Making the Best Chum and How to Use It
Make your own chum - it's fresher- Th OnLine Fisherman

Fish Chum Ingredients

Corn, ground cracked, Range Cubes, Fish Food (Tropical), Grain. Crabs, Sand ...

Instead of adding water to moisten your chum mix, add clam juice. ....

The topic of Menhaden is so important that we devoted a full page Menhaden on this site.

There is nothing better than Purina Tropical Fish Food for chumming all ... get pumped out of your baitwell into the water around your boat creating a chum line.


Basic methods of chumming when fishing - Captain Bouncer Smith - IGFA Video Tutorial

Yellow Tail Chum

Oats are purchased in 50-pound bags at the local feed store. The night before a trip, Fill a couple of 5-gallon buckets three-quarters of the way with oats, then tops them off with water. By the next day, it’s a mushy mess, as are the several blocks of chum set out to thaw (some, obviously, are reserved in frozen state for thawing in the mesh bag offshore).

 With a moderately slow current, it took awhile for the fish to tune in to the chum. But they soon arrived, flipping bright yellow fins at the surface like a school of thermonuclear bonefish.

On days with no current at all, the ’tails simply hang deep beneath the boat, waiting for their breakfast of cereal and fish goop to sink to their level.

When that’s the case, the skipper grabs a heaping handful of the chum, packs it into a ball around the bait (shrimp, ballyhoo sliver, glass minnow, etc.), wraps the fishing line around it a dozen times, and sends it shooting comet-like for the depths.

The chumball dissolves in the water, attracting yellowtail to the candy center. Some yellowtailers add masonry sand to the chumball mix, making the ever-popular sandball.

Chumming Tips: How To Make The Best Saltwater Fish Chum [VIDEO]

  Bottom Chumming

Another option is to send your chum to the bottom on a hand line.

Dispensing a small amount of chum periodically will bring Kingfish in for a free lunch.

They can’t resist the fishy smell. Neither can sharks, especially in summer.