Chumming for trout

Chumming is where you put a lot of food in the water in order to attract fish. You sprinkle various bits of bait in the water and the trout come to get it. People who are fishing nearby have a better chance of catching fish when they are in abundance in your area. This is an especially useful tool for fishing with children so they do not get bored and can get some fish.

Is it Legal?

Most people who fish have very strong opinions about chumming and whether or not it is the right things to do. Some serious fishermen think that chumming is essentially cheating and takes the fun out of the sport. Others think it is simply one more tool to use to successfully catch more trout. But, moral arguments aside, there are legal issues to deal with as well. Chumming is not legal everywhere so it is important to know what the rules are in your particular fishing spot.

In a lot of states chumming is legal in moderation. Basically, as long as you do not litter the water with bait and use it sparingly it is within the law. Some states outlaw the practice altogether and others outlaw it in certain areas. In Europe, chumming is legal in most places and actually encouraged as a means for fishing. So, before you get into it, check the fishing rules in your state to make sure you are within the law.

How to Chum for Trout

First of all, you have to decide what you are going to use as chum. That decision is based on two things:

1. What the fish like. Trout enjoy variety in their diet and are naturally curious about new food sources.

2. Expense. You don’t really want to chum with the premium, expensive synthetic bait when a basic grocery provision will work just as well or better, do you?

I recommend a can of sweet corn and a couple pieces of bread. It’s cheap, easy to find and most importantly, something most trout love to eat. I would carry a bottle of fish attractant just in case the fish are being difficult as well.

Choosing a Place to Chum

Just as if you were fishing without chum, you need to get into the mind of the trout and determine a likely spot that trout would congregate. Find a good spot, such as near a fallen tree in the water or some big rocks and get ready to toss in your chosen chum.

Chumming Method

You’ll want to get your corn out 15-30 feet from shore so the fish don’t see you but do notice this new food source. You don’t want to overload the area, instead throwing 10 or 15 kernels out at a time and giving the trout that are already in the area a chance to discover the food but to also draw in surrounding fish from the surrounding area.

Spread out the corn so you can eventually drop a baited hook in the middle of the chum. Remember the bread that was mentioned? Soak bits of bread in the water that the corn was packed in and make dough balls out of it and throw them out as well. Either a corn kernel or a dough ball would make great bait in a case like this. That said, throwing a worm or salmon egg out could likely hook a fish as well.

Once you’ve thrown out a bit of chum, watch to see what happens. You will likely have to slowly add to the floating corn to draw in more fish. There is a skill to balancing the amount that is on the water. If you throw out too much, the trout in the area get full and loose interest. When they lose interest, there is not activity going on that nearby trout will notice and investigate. If there isn’t enough chum out there, it’s swept up by the nearby trout and the fish go back to their normal activities before other trout can even notice.

If you want an added punch, or there seems to be a bit of lack of interest, you can always add some fish attractant to your corn or packing water soaked bread and see if that helps. If the fish begin to come investigate, get ready. If they don’t, you may want to try another spot.

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