Chumming, Who, What, How, Where, and When to do it?

What does “chum the waters” mean?

chummingThere are plenty of meanings for chumming or “chum the waters”, but it all depends on the context. The expression may be used to mean “churn the waters” or to make the waters muddy. It also used to indicate that someone got sick on the trip and threw up on the waters. Bird enthusiasts often “chum the waters” by dumping fish to attract seagulls and other sea birds that they, then, try to identify.

Still, in the world of fishing, “chum the waters” or chumming means dumping bait or something into the waters to attract fish. What to dump in the water largely depends on what species you are trying to attract. Though theoretically, any type of bait or fish that you dump into the saltwater will surely attract many fish species – or the fish that you had lured to the chum will attract bigger fish, the ones that you wanted to land. Well, it is often a win-win situation.

What is chumming for sharks?

Chumming simply brings sharks closer that would otherwise not be in the area in proximity to people in the water?  Does the chumming alter shark behavior in any significant way?  If you are targeting sharks, use a bloody fish. Sharks have a very keen sense of smell so that they could smell blood no matter how diluted it might be.

Unlike the other fish species, sharks aren’t going to congregate on the surface, and spend time cavorting in the same area month after month. Sharks need a little incentive to show up at the boat side. By applying chumming techniques to your fishing arsenal you can lure sharks to your fishing grounds. By tossing the sharks chum, you can keep them in the area for hours. There are certain species of sharks that will readily come to your boat and stay close by. Other sharks like the mako, porbeagle, and thresher a much smarter. They can get lured in and will come very close, but remain at the boat for a few minutes, quickly leaving to get to a safe zone.

What is chumming the water?

There are many different techniques and devices used to be placed in the water. The simplest is throwing it directly into the waters but if you want to make it last longer, you might want to use a perforated bucket attached to a rope that will tug the bucket along as the boat moves. You can also use a mesh bag – and cage, if you are trolling for sharks.

Grinding it up is also a good idea, though you might still want to add in a few pieces of cut fish. So, what does chumming it up mean? It’s when you use dead bait, old fish carcass, and grid or cut it up in many small pieces. Mixed thoroughly, with added fish remains and blood you are ready and go “chum the waters”.

Why is chumming bad?

Each individual situation is different. It depends on the location your chumming? the species you are chumming? and the amount you are chumming? All these can lead to reasons to answer, “why is chumming bad?” or even “when is chumming bad.”  Massive amounts in any area are mot good for the environment of the local species. It also provides a high level of aggression to all fish feeding in the area.

Based on the species and location, it can lead to a chain of feeding attacks. Smaller fish feeding on the chum, attract large fish which then feed on them creating a cycle up the food chain until you reach the top which could be sharks. As to how much chumming is bad, it always going to be a decision that needs to be measured locally based on the gathering of information.

Where is chumming illegal?

Where is chumming illegal? Why chumming is legal widely around the world, but in some places, it has become illegal. In the United States, several different states are treating this differently. The state of Alabama is treating it as a danger. Solely based on the pose conditioning it associates with sharks when feeding. And that residents could swim in the same waters. Florida FWC also put forth regulation, but ones that obviously had more thought put into it. Florida also made it illegal when shark fishing, but only when fishing for any species from the beach.

Where is chumming legal?

Chumming is a common practice seen as effective by fishermen all over the world, typically used in ocean waters. Florida looked at all the restrictions for this and decided that it is a safe widely spread used and that based on the science that was no reason to make it illegal. Mainly because many of the areas fished have vast barren sandy bottom structure around Florida. Most of the state views it as a necessity and common practice. The new ruling went into effect on July 1, 2019

Offshore Fishing: 

Offshore fishing is the most relevant place to use chum. Chumming the waters can be done in a multitude of ways. Most common, with bags, buckets, or chunking it out there are all excellent ways to attract fish. The use of frozen sardines or your own recipe can be effective. Play around with either and head to your local tackle shop to get all the supplies you need. Local experts come ready to the waters and get you on that fish of a lifetime!