Over the years one chum recipe has worked for me. Following is my “Only Chum Recipe.”
Supplies & Ingredients:
1 box of heavy duty zip lock plastic freezer bags
1 five gallon bucket
a garden hand rake or stirring implement
1 gallon pure pogy (menhaden) oil
1 - 3 pound can whole kernel corn
Rice, oats, macaroni (optional)
12 cans Kozy Kitty cat food (sold at most stores 3/$1)
6 loaves of wheat or stone ground bread. Some bakery outlet stores sell old bread for 10 cents per loaf, you must ask for “critter food”.
Food processor (Warning: You may burn it up and don’t even think about telling the wife what you need it for)
Electric can opener
Chop bread in processor
Dump 12 cans of cat food into bucket, mixing in bread with small amounts of water. Consistency desired like thick soup
Stir in 2 cups of Pogy oil, evenly distributed
Take off gas mask and drink one cold beer a safe distance from bucket
Fill freezer bags and double bag
Lay bags flat in kitchen freezer (Warning: see Food Processor above)
Transport chum in designated chum cooler with ice over and under
Use ½ bag at a time ( fits perfectly into a standard nylon chum bag)
Depending upon your target species, chum deployment is the next issue. When anchored and wreck 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. 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. Or, send your chum to the bottom on a hand line or use your downrigger ball. Dispensing a small amount of chum periodically will bring Kingfish in for a free lunch. They can’t resist the pogy smell. Neither can nuisance sharks, especially in summer.
Chumming up bait is another auxiliary use for your new chum recipe. All the best live baits will come to chum, like pinfish, hardtails, cigar minnows, ballyhoo etc. You can cast net them or catch them on hook and line. Having the most lively fresh baits sometimes produces when all else fails.
Chumming is a standard, integral part of fishing in many locations, while in others, it is non-existent. Local custom and tradition seems to dictate. For example, chumming snappers and groupers on the coral reefs of the Florida Keys is the accepted, modus operandi, but this procedure is virtually unused in the Panhandle. Sometimes necessity is the Mother of invention. Regardless of where you fish, do some chum experimentation. The results may surprise you.
P/S I have even seen fellow anglers on the pier with a IV bag full of cod liver oil and have the IV drip set slow.
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