Chumming Tips: How To Make The Best Saltwater Fish Chum [VIDEO]
By: Joe Simonds on April 5, 2017
It’s fish chum time!
There’s nothing worse than spending a huge chunk of your day looking for bait.
And if you are like most weekend warrior anglers, you don’t always have a pulse on where the bait is at any given time.
Well, to help increase your chances of loading up the live well, fish chum can be one of your best weapons.
So we invited Salt Strong contributor Chasten Whitfield to share her best fish chum recipe and chumming tips.
How To Make The Best Fish Chum (Saltwater Edition)
by Chasten Whitfield
It’s that time of year…
The sun is rising as you’re driving up to the bait flat, and you see the bait bubbling in pods up ahead.
You look around to see that many of the local charter captains are already there, getting ready to cast their nets while they chum the pods of bait closer to their boats.
One captain loads up his cast net and throws a perfect pancake right on top of the bait pod.
Seconds later, you see him almost struggle to pull the net in the boat because it’s so full of live bait.
One cast. Done.
Blacked out live well.
As you see the guide pull up his anchor and pull away, you can’t help but notice all of the birds diving around them trying to get a free meal of the left over bait.
Now it’s your turn…
But there is just one problem…
You don’t have any chum, and every time you try to position your boat near the schools of bait, they seem to disappear the second you cast your net…
If this has happened to you I have the resolution to solve this bait issue.
Fish Chum Ingredients
You will need:
- Purina Tropical fish food
- A bucket (I prefer one with a lid) to put the powder in
- A chum bucket (for the mixture)
- Menhaden oil
- Cast net
Notes on this Purina Tropical Fish Food Chum Recipe:
- When you throw the chum in the water it falls apart and spreads out so the bait can smell it.
- This type of chum can work on the grass flats or in deep water to about 15 feet. In fact, I’ve used it successfully on everything from shallow grass flats to the Skyway Bridge in 18 feet of water.
- Call around to your local feed store and ask for Purina Tropical Fish food. I buy it in the 50 lb bag.
How To Make The Fish Chum
- Put approximately 4 handfuls of the Purina Tropical fish food powder in a bucket.
- Add water (but not too much because it will get too watery. You want your chum to be a little watery but more like mud). Note that I start by adding just a few hand fulls to the bucket at a time. You want it to be thick so when you throw it in the water it breaks apart and spreads out.
- Lastly, you add the secret ingredient, menhaden oil. You add a couple squirts of the oil and mix it in and now you have the secret potion.
- Ball it up into small balls and get ready to toss
Throwing The Chum
Where you throw the chum all depends on the following three things:
- Which way the water is going
- How fast the chum sinks
If the tide is going out then anchor up current of the bait and throw your chum towards the front of the boat so it will have time to sink so the bait will smell it.
The bait should be schooled up off the back of the boat so all you have to do is just open the net on top of the bait.
Fish Chumming Tips
If you accidently add too much water to the chum simply add some more of the tropical fish food to thicken up the chum.
This chum mixture is great to feed the crabs and shrimp we pen up during the different seasons.
You can keep any leftover chum in a bucket for later during your day of fishing to possibly use again if you kill your bait or if you see more bait to chum up.
At the end of the day, don’t forget this…
Be sure to discard your chum mixture at the end of the day.
You don’t want to see what this will look like (and smell like) by the next day.
And one helpful tip about this chum is to always keep a lid on the bucket when not in use. Don’t let the humidity get to it. Keep it in a secure container.
Fish Chumming Video
See, having the best fish chum doesn’t have to be that tough or expensive.
And now you know how the two main ingredients that many of the pros use to make their fish chum:
- Purina Tropical Fish Food
- Menhaden Oil
Once you get the right consistency, you’ll have no problem attracting whitebait and pinfish to your boat.
Of course, you still need to be able to throw a cast net…
Did we leave anything out?
Any other questions, suggestions, or personal tips regarding fish chum?
Let us know in the comments.
Related Post: How To Throw A 10-foot Cast Net The Easy Way.
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