Chum Bags & Chum
I use a lot of chum so it comes
naturally that I have Shark problems from time to time. Most of
the time I use the orange plastic mesh bags but they are mighty
prone to Shark damage and they are also an environmental hazard.
My friend Joe Graves made me a chum
"basket" out of 1/2" mesh galvanized hardware cloth. I can use the
boxed chum in it and I seem to get more action as it puts out more
and larger chunks. Granted, a box of chum doesn't last as long as
the bagged stuff..
This chum "Basket" is nothing more
than a metal mesh box with the top open. I drop the frozen chum in
the basket and tie it shut with the line I hang it on. Joe sized
it to fit a standard 5# chum or bait box.
It gets bit by Sharks but
they usually only bite it once. Big
Tigers eat the whole thing. They keep biting and yanking until
they get the bag.
When I am chumming for bottom fish,
I use the orange bags hooked on my Jewfish rig. I catch a Jewfish
or big Shark pretty often this way.
Mesh Laundry bags work too but they
can get to stinking mighty bad if you don’t wash them carefully.
I started modifying my Chum Churn
before I ever chopped bait in it.
First I added a safety line to the
filler cap. I made the safety line out of 300# mono. One end has a
loop that fits tightly around the filler spout, attached with a
double barrel leader sleeve pulled tightly so that it will not
slip off. The other end of the safety line has a crimp on
electrical terminal with a 1/4" hole. I drilled a 1/4" hole in the
filler cap, inserted a 1" X 1/4"-20tpi machine screw thru the
terminal then thru the cap and screwed on a self locking nut. The
safety line has just enough slack to allow easy removal of the
cap. The cap is safe and operates easily.
Second, I made a safety line for the
entire Chum Churn out of 300# mono. It attaches to the "Hook"
portion of the CC between the vinyl cover and the bolt that limits
the travel of the churn. It is secured with a double barrel leader
sleeve. The opposite end of the safety line has a 6" loop for a
hollow base cleat. Again, I used a leader sleeve to form the
Third, I wrote my boat name on the
CC in several places for security sake.
Finally, I made a ring out of hot
orange tape to wrap around the CC again for security.
I have come to the conclusion that
there is nothing the world that I can't improve upon, foul up---or
I bought 3 identical knives at the
Sheriff's Youth Ranch Store. (Good Will works too) These are
large, serrated edge stainless steel butcher knives.
I removed the handle from 2 of the
knives then removed the hilt from these 2. (Dremel
tool with abrasive cutting wheel)
Next I drilled a 1/8"
hole 1” from each end of each blade. (note:
Hole alignment is critical.)
Next I took 4 small blocks of 1/2”
Starboard and drilled 1/8” holes in them. These blocks are
I attached the 2
handleless blades, one on either side
of the knife with the handle, using the spacers to keep them
This 3 bladed knife cuts 3 chunks
off a Sardine Menhaden or Cigar minnow with one easy stroke,
making chum chunking an easier chore.
(Actually for Sheepshead)
Next time you go scalloping, save
the guts you suck out of the scallops with your shop vacuum. Dump
the canister of your shop vac into a
large jar and keep it on ice until you get home. Freeze and store
the scallop guts in pint Tupperware containers.
This stuff makes great
Chum from the Grocery Store
Try this next time you go
Sheepshead fishing. Buy a few bottles
of CLAM JUICE used in gumbo and a few cans of
either minced crab and/or minced clams. All are about a buck each!
GO TO YOUR FAFORITE HOLE AND START CHUMMING. This really turns
the bite on. Don’t forget the can opener!!!
Thanks to Capt. Morgan for this
Cook 1 pound of regular white rice, drain and cool with ice
water. Drain again and add the Clam Juice to it and allow it to
soak over nigh while keeping it cold. Work great for Drum and
Sheepshead. Of course, in the summer,
Pinfish will be there in hordes.
Chum Choice by
In the summer time I use lots of
chum. In the sallow, hot water I frequent, you
gotta hedge your bet anyway you can.
Chumming is a great way.
Target species determines the chum
ingredients and size of chum.
Redfish--My favorite is cracked Blue
crab. Broken live shrimp is great followed by broken fresh dead.
coon oysters, barnacles, cracked crab, broken
Drum--Same as above.
Mackerel--Frozen chum block and some
Menhaden oil in a drip bottle. Chop up a few minnows (small
chunks) from time to time but don't feed the
Macks. Use only enough chum to
keep 'em interested.
Cobia and Kingfish—Same as Mackerel
but use more and bigger chunks.
cat food or Jack Mackerel mixed with cooked rice or bread.
When you hook a fish, don’t pull the
chum bag all the way in. Keep the chum
If you are chumming for Mackerel, be
prepared for bigger fish to horn in occasionally. Keep heavy
tackle at hand. You will definitely loose a Mackerel or two to
Sharks and Cudas when chumming. You
can use rotten chum in the right location and catch more fish than
you will using the best chum in the wrong location.
Cut a chum block into 6 equal
pieces while it is still frozen. Place one of these pieces in a
small paper sack along with a half dozen Sardines cut into 4
Snap a 32oz sinker to the end of the
line on a heavy rod. Put the sinker inside the sack and poke a
couple of feet of line down inside the sack and twist the sack
closed. Take a couple of half hitches around the twisted portion
of the sack. Drop sack to bottom and reel up 6' or so. Allow it
to sit there for a few seconds then make a couple of sharp yanks
on the rod. The sinker will break thru the bag dumping out the
chum right in the area you are fishing.
This will often start or revitalize
a bite for most bottom fish.
Cobia off Destin and P’Cola
the Cobia run is in full swing, Cobia that gets in the area of the
passes are home free for a little while because they are hard to
spot in deep water.
This is a great equalizer for boats without towers if you know
I fished Destin for 5 years and in
P'cola for 6. Every spring, I'd
anchor outside the pass and chum---HEAVILY)
On outgoing tide (my favorite) I'd anchor on the East side
of the pass, fairly close in. On the incoming tide, I'd anchor on
the East side of the pass further offshore--a little further out
than where the tower boats were cruising.
Live bait under a float, live bait
on a heavy sinker suspended about 5' off the bottom and one free
swimmer. Hold a bait is right at the
boat for a pitch bait. All baits are rigged with wire because
Kingfish can be a problem.
Deploy one chum bag on the surface
and another at 20'. Fish for Mackerel and any bottom fish that
comes by. Chop 'em for chum. When you
get a Cobia hookup, try to get another bait
close to him. Expect multiple hookups.
Believe me, this works. Always has, always
Chumming with Menhaden Oil
Soak broken pieces of cinder block
in Menhaden oil over night. When you get anchored, drop them to
the bottom. The crushed rock used for road building will soak up
Menhaden oil and release it slowly too. It can be
be broad cast over an area. Sometimes
it will liven up a sluggish bite from bottom fish.
I often cut Menhaden Oil 50:50 with
cheap cooking oil and it still gets the
for this one goes to Al from West Coast Nets. When you're tossin’
chunks or livies any distance and don’t want a sore arm you can
use one of those hollow plastic ball bats. Cut off the big end,
put in a few chunks or baits and toss away. You'll get a lot of
distance without much effort.
Thanks to Miker2
I like this one. I'm going to keep
an eye out for a bat in the flea market. Besides throwing far, I'm
sure the bat holds a bit of chum too.
What about using an open scoop like
a Jai-Alai basket? We use to play a game as kids with a plastic
ball and a scoop about 2 feet long. It would be easy to load and
clean up, plus I think it could be easier to target where the chum
was being flung to.