First Things First: Make sure Chumming is Legal
Before you set out to learn how to make chum for fishing, you need to check the relevant local laws to see if chumming is allowed in the areas where you plan to fish and for your target species. In many places, there are prohibitions in effect to protect fish from chum for many reasons, such as preventing fish from ingesting materials that can be harmful to them in large quantities, like corn. Some states, like Rhode Island, prohibit all chumming while others prohibit certain chum like corn or fish eggs and some states just ban chumming in certain spots.
The Theory Behind Chumming
When you think about chumming, consider how an appetizer can sometimes whet your appetite for your meal. Chumming for fish is very similar. By spreading around small bits of food or liquid like meat juice in the area you’re fishing, you’ll entice the fish and make them hungrier, creating a feeding frenzy. By drawing agitated fish like bass to your area, you’ll increase the likelihood that you’ll land one. You just want to be careful not to use too much chum that the bass can eat or they’ll fill up on chum and skip your lure altogether.
How to Make Chum Bait
Many new anglers think selecting the right bait for their target species is the only food to consider when heading out to fish. But when learning how to chum for bass, you’ll also need to identify the best chum bait for the species.
Many different types of manufactured chum is available at stores or online such as pellets or ground fish meal. These are fast, easy options. Other angers use food intended for human consumption like canned corn. Still more like to use bait fish conveniently packaged in a frozen chum block that can be purchased a local bait shops.
Another great option is to learn how to make chum bait by chopping up baitfish. While making your own chum can take a little bit of time and effort, it can be more effective in attracting fish. The key is to know the right recipes to make the chum. One popular approach is to use ingredients you may already have on hand or can easily pick up at your local market such as a mixture of Jack Mackerel, sardines, and instant mashed potatoes, oats or wheat bread. Add a little menhaden oil and water to the chum as well and, depending on your desired consistency.
For the best chum bait for bass, talk to local anglers to see what works for them. Or try a variety of different options and see which ones are most successful for attracting bass.
Placing Your Chum
To a new angler, chumming for fish can seem simple. But successfully attracting bass with chum requires proper placement. To get the chum at the depth where the fish are, you can opt to use a tool like a chum bucket. Just be aware of the weather as you fish. If the water is rough, you’ll want to make sure the bucket isn’t so loose that all the chum gets thrown out.
Another option is to use chunks of chum instead of small pieces. Because of their weight, they’ll sink at a different rate. Another way to drop chum deeper is to thicken the chum slick with menhaden oil or otherwise make the chum a thicker consistency depending on the depth and type of water you’re fishing in.
After spreading your chum, you’ll need to wait a bit for it to start attracting bass, typically around 15 minutes.
Now that you know how to chum for bass, the learning is not over! Become a master at caching bass by reading our tips on how to fish for bass.