How to Prepare Chum to Fish

by Quinn Marshall

Chum is a catch-all word that refers to any mixture of smelly, gross substances that attract fish for the purpose of fishing. Chum is composed of three substances: the main ingredient, a strong-smelling attractor, and a binder to hold the substance together. Some fish are more attracted to chum than others, particularly catfish, though you can experiment with different ingredients for different types of fish. Making chum can be time-consuming and should be started about 24 hours before your fishing trip.

Items you will need

  • Canned cat food
  • Fish guts or dead feeder/bait fish
  • Dry dog food
  • Blender
  • 5-gallon plastic bucket
  • Large spoon
Step 1

Pour 36 ounces of canned cat food into a plastic 5-gallon bucket. Thick, paste-like cat food is better than chunks in gravy, which needs additional binder to compensate for the liquid.

Step 2

Fill a blender with dead anchovies, bait fish, feeder fish or fish guts. Add a small amount of water, then puree the batch until it has a milkshake-like consistency. Shut off the blender and pour the substance into the bucket with the cat food.

Step 3

Stir the cat food and fish milkshake together until thoroughly combined.

Step 4

Fill the bucket halfway with dry dog food. Stir the substance until the dog food is covered, then let the bucket sit until the dog food has softened. Mash the softened dog food in with the cat food and fish milkshake until thoroughly combined. Add more dry dog food if necessary and repeat until the substance has a thick, paste-like consistency.

Step 5

Add additional ingredients as desired. Fish flakes, maggots and worms, herring oil and other pungent ingredients produce a smellier, more attractive chum. You can also add in glitter, which reflects in the water and resembles minnow scales, attracting the attention of larger fish.

Step 6

Seal the bucket with its companion lid, then place the mix into a refrigerator overnight. The substance will ripen as it sits, and may also congeal as it cools, making it easier to form chum balls for hooks. The decreased temperature will also extend the amount of time if takes for the chum to stink, which happens rapidly in hot weather.

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