Sunday, October 26, 2008

How to chum (berley)

Chum (or berley where I come from) is any fish material added to the water column to attract fish/sharks to your baits (in some cases lures or fly's). Most people associate chum with monster sharks, but it can be used for all fish species in one form or another.

Popular chumming substances include:

  • old fish frames
  • tuna/fish oil
  • chook pellets (chicken feed)
  • dry cat food
  • seafood leftovers/scraps (prawn or shrimp shells are popular)
  • bread
Many anglers have a secret chum mix that is comprised of a variety of these substances blended together with fish oils. Others just freeze everything, put everything in a pot and mash it together and let it thaw out. You can also purchase pre-packaged dry chum pellets from most tackle stores which is a very convenient alternative.

How to chum properly?
There is an old saying - "a little often," which can be applied to chumming. You can throw a little bit out the back of the boat at regular intervals or place it in a slow release pot. It can take a while to work, but it is important when you start chumming to keep the trail going even when the fish start biting! If you are fishing deep water or in large currents surface berley becomes less effective and a deep water berley pot can be used to get the chum to the bottom.