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Fish Chum Recipes

Fish Chum & Chumming > Recipes

We have dozens of fish chum recipes from around the globe including burley, stink bait and groundbait. Most recipes are easy to make with common ingredients. But beware, making fish chum can be a dirty, stinky process! Don't use your household appliances, set aside equipment to use exclusively for fish chum making.

Saltwater Recipes

Saltwater fish generally respond best to freshly ground up saltwater fish. We have a great collected of recipes that are easy to make and work well on attracting both bait fish and their bigger relatives that you will be targeting.

Chum Sand Balls
Ingredients: Supplies:
1 block frozen Fish Chum, thawed
Beach Sand
5 gallon Bucket

Put thawed fish chum block in a 5 gallon bucket, add sand to make a paste that can be formed into a ball. To use simply form up balls and throw into the water. Watch this video to see this recipe & chumming method in action.


Yellowtail Snapper Sand Balls
Ingredients: Supplies:
Glass Minnows
Cooked Oatmeal
Squirt of Menhaden Oil
Sand from local beach
5 gallon Bucket
Stirring implement

Mix in a bucket all ingredients except sand in a 5 gallon bucket. Slowly add sand to make the mix firm enough to form in a ball. Now have some fun making sand balls and dropping into the water over your desired spot. Now free line your bait into the water near your drop spot and hold on.


Yellowtail Snapper Slop
Ingredients: Supplies:
2 large bags Rolled Oats
1 block frozen Fish Chum, thawed
5 gallon Bucket
Stirring implement
Scoop cup

Mix in a 5 gallon bucket thawed fish chum block and water, mix up good. Add first bag of rolled oats & water, mix thoroughly. Then add the second bag of oats and more water, mix up good. The mix should be soupy as the oats will absorb the water. Let sit a while, then scoop & broadcast into the water to make a nice milky slick. Watch this video for this recipe.


Mad Mullet Sand Balls
Ingredients: Supplies:
Ground Pilchard fish or bait fish
Anchovy Oil
Fine Beach Sand
Stirring implement
Scoop cup

Mullet fish make great bait and can only be caught with cast nets. To get the mullet in casting range, throw these Mad Mullet sand balls in the water. When the balls hit the water the sand makes an irresistible cloud in the water and the resulting oil slick stays on the surface.

Mush up all ingredients except sand, then add sand until the mixture can be formed into a ball. Add some water if too dry.


Squid Wing Recipe
Ingredients: Supplies:
50 lbs. Squid Wings
20 lbs. Fish
Chum Grinder
Knife and Cutting Board
5 gallon Buckets or Trays
Scoop (measuring cup or ladle)
Freezer Bags

This fish only recipe is easy and a very powerful chum mix. Making this is very messy and stinky but worth the effort. Setup your chum grinder on a solid surface in an area that can take a good hose down, a dock or garage with a drain work best as the mess will disappear. Cut up the fish on a board that will hold the blood and juices. The fish pieces should be small enough to fit into the grinder harper. As you cut dump the juices into your mix bucket,the are mighty good for the mix. Grind into a tray or bucket all the fish and wings, mix. Scoop the ground chum into double freezer bags then hose down the mess.


Rolled Oats Recipe for Saltwater
Ingredients: Supplies:
50 lbs. Steamed Rolled Oats
2 Blocks of Frozen Chum, thawed
Salt Water
5 gallon Bucket
Mixing Device
Scoop (measuring cup or ladle)
Ziplock Bags

Put the two blocks of store brand frozen chum in a 5 gallon bucket and leave outside to thaw overnight. The next day dump in oats gradually and mix with the thawed chum, then slowly add sea water till you get a soupy mix. Let the mix sit for several hours so the oats absorb the chum. If the mixture is too soupy, add more oats. If too dry add more liquid. You can also add an attractant or Menhaden oil or milk to make this mix more powerful and sand to help it sink.

Once done, scoop the mix into bags and freeze. Or you can take the fresh mix in the the 5 gallon bucket with you and go fishing—be sure to have a good fitting cover, if you spill it the smell will never go away.


Gourmet Flounder Chum
Ingredients: Supplies:
5 gallons Clam Bellies
5 gallons Mussels with meast removed
10 cans Cat Food, shrimp flavor
1 bottle Clam Juice
2 cups Rice cooked in Shrimp Bouillon
1 can Corn or frozen bag
Barrel or Big Tub
Mixing Shovel

Mix all the ingredients in a barrel or big storage tub. Scoop out into containers or ziplock bags and freeze. This recipe makes a lot of chum and can be scaled down to whatever quantify of chum you want.

This mix will attract flounders or any other shell fish loving species. If you are going for the flounders, be sure to get the chum on the bottom. Go to a cannery or bait shop for the clams and mussels, or you if you live near the shore go clamming or search the rocky shore for free mussels.


Flounder Dog Food Chum
Ingredients: Supplies:
Dog Food, lg chunk cornmeal based
Clam shells & waste from shucking
Mussels or any other shellfish
1 cup or more Rice, boiled
5 gallon Bucket
Stirring implement
Mashing implement

Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full of large chunky dog food. Pour in some water to moisten the dog food. Mash the wet dog food to a paste then add the crushed clam shells, crushed mussels, and rice. Mix it up and place in a waited chum pot up current from your desired fishing spot. The chum dispenser must be on the bottom to attract Flounder.
TIP: Find mussels attached to pilings and docks to add to your mix


Whip-A-Striper Chum
Ingredients: Supplies:
2 cans Cat Food, fish flavor
Ground Fresh Fish
16 oz. Menhaden Oil
Rolled Oats
5 gallon Bucket
Mixing Shovel
Hand Drill with Mixer Attachment (optional)

Grind the fish parts with a meat grinder. Put the ground fish in a 5 gallon bucket then add the cat food and menhaden oil. Add oatmeal to bind the mix then sand to add weight and thicken it. You need a lot of muscles for this recipe. To make your job easier use a hand drill with a mixer attachment.

The mix should be firm enough to form balls. Take the chum with you to your fishing spot and catapult it into the water or throw it it. This heavy mix will sink to the bottom and release chum all the way thru the water column. The striper no matter where they are will go crazy over the sudden presence of fresh chum.


Australian Burley for Reef Fish
Ingredients: Supplies:
Rabbit or Chicken Pellets
2 can Tuna in oil or brine
Oily Fish-yakka, seargeant baker, sweep or sardeens
Dash or two Fish Pheremones
Unprocessed Fish Oil (tuna is best)
Potato Masher

Put in a bucket bread and chicken or rabbit pellets. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Use a potato masher or something similar to mix. Your mix should be thick and very chunky mix. If the mix is too watery it will not last in your chum bag. Put a lid on your bucket and take it with you on your fishing trip. Put the burley in a thick tight knit mesh bag, tie it to a float and fish the burley trail.


Easy Tuna and Rice
Ingredients: Supplies:
1 can Tuna in OIL
1 cup Rice, cooked
Mixing Bowl
Stirring implement
Ziplock Bags

Mix the tuna with rice and put in ziplock bags. Add a little water if the mix is too dry. This mix is best ladled or put in a fine mesh bag for dispensing.


English Cod Cocktail
Ingredients: Supplies:
Black Lug Worms
Bucket or Bowl
Potato Masher
Zip lock bag

Place fish and worms in a bucket or bowl. Get your potato masher ready and stomp the critters till all parts have been broken up. Put the mess into a zip lock bag and freeze or use fresh in a stocking dispenser or small holed net bag.


Australian Burley
Ingredients: Supplies:
Large container Chicken Pellets
6 Pilchards
Sea Water
1 gallon Bucket
Cutting board and knife
Stirring implement

Cut the heads off the Pilchards, saving the bodies for bait. Fill bucket or large bowl 3/4 full with sea water, place the Pilchards in the bucket and mash up the fish heads in the water with your fingers. This mashing will release all the attractive juices from the heads into the water. Next add the Chicken Pellets until fairly thick but still soupy, the pellets will absorb the fish laced juices. Let the mixture site for 20 minutes to absorb the juices. Form the resulting mush into balls and toss burley balls into the water to create a burley slick.


Clam Cocktail for Sheepshead & Drum
Ingredients: Supplies:
1 lb. Rice, cooked
1 bottle Clam Juice
2 cans Chopped Clams
Large Mixing Bowl
Stirring implement
Ziplock Bags

Cook rice and cool to room temperature. Mix in large bowl the rice with clam juice and the undrained cans of clams. Place mixture in ziplock bags and refrigerate until ready to use. At your fishing site just scoop out small amounts of this chum mix periodically to attract Sheepshead and Drum.


Jos's Recipe for Shark
Ingredients: Supplies:
2 Blue Fish, Mackerel, or any bloody fish
1 Jack
Knife and Cutting Board
Chum Bag or Dispenser

Jos HeemstraJos Heemstra, Isles of Capri, Florida 11/28/2010

Take the fish, cut each fish in half, you can cut it up smaller depending on the size of the fish, your goal is the size of an average man's balls. Mix it with left over shrimp that nobody wants (leave the shrimp whole), mix it all up in a bag or your wife's stockings, preferably nylon or cotton.
NOTE: Your wife's stocking (or some call them nylons) are excellent for dispersing chum into the water column.

Leave the mix for 2 or 3 days in the bag placed in a bucket so you don't loose the good juices till it smells like you wife will throw you out of the house, now your ready to go fishing.

Find a spot in the middle of two rivers meet, sit in the apex and throw the chum in. Wait---20 minutes--start fishing!

(Jos told this story but would not put this in the recipe--the chum will flow down the current, thus enticing the fish to investigate the source of the great smelling goodies, so they will swim up the waterway to find the source of the chum--bingo, the fish come to you :)


Jos's Recipe for Stone Crabs
Ingredients: Supplies:
None 3' Perforated Black Drain Pipe

Jos Heemstra, Isles of Capri, Florida 11/28/2010

Step 1: The secret to catch Stone Crabs is to get a 3' section of perforated black drain pipe, cut into 8" sections, seal one end off, tie a rope to the other end, sink on to the water. During the day the crabs need a place to hide, this black metal pipe makes a perfect hiding place during the day because they eat at night. So you lay them down at the end of your dock, sea wall, or whatever you have. Just about sunset, when your going out with your wife or other, pick the end of the line, flip it over on to the dock. This is called yank it and crank it action.

Step 2: Yank a claw off, preferably a big one (mind the biting), then hot water, a little bit of salt, and enjoy! P.S. Throw the rest of the crab back in, he will grow another claw--this is called Recycling or the Green Method.

Note: Jos insisted I include this on my website, but WHERE'S THE CHUM??


More Saltwater Fish Chum Recipes

Visit our webpage Making Fish Chum from Amberjack Carcasses and see our photo and video account of our chum making activities with fish from our local charter boat guys. We just couldn't throw away those big carcasses!


Freshwater Recipes

You have unlimited options for making fish chum, burley or groundbait for freshwater fish. Freshwater fish go after anything that remotely resembles their next meal. Anglers have even used hotdogs for bait or broken up as chum! Here are some tried and true recipes from around the world to catch your self some good sized freshwater fish.

RoyBoy's Catfish Bait
Ingredients: Supplies:
1/2 cup Corn Meal
1 cup Flour
Old Stinky Cheese
1 packet Cool-Aid dry mix
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1 small can Tuna Fish, drained
Large Butter Tub or Plastic Container with lid
Big Spoon

Add about 1/2 cup water to the bottom of your plastic container. Pour in the flour and corn meal, mix to a paste. Now add the drained tuna, mix, then the cheese, cool aid mix and finally the garlic powder. Mix well, you should now have a gooey firm paste and the container should be half full.

Now put the container with the lid on into the microwave for about a minute, the cheese should melt. Stir again, put the lid on and freeze the mixture for a couple of days until it is setup. You can also bake the mix at this point to make chum balls for catapulting.


Grain Recipe for Freshwater Fish
Ingredients: Supplies:
Large container Oats
Large bag Corn Meal
Large bag Cracked Corn
5 lb. bag Flour
16 oz. bottle Menhaden Milk
5 gallon Bucket
Stirring implement
Scoop cup
Ziplock Bags

Mix up the dry ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket. Add the Menhaden milk, stir. Now add water to get the mixture the consistency of soupy mud. Let the mixture sit for an hour so it can expand. Once the mixture has bubbled and boiled enough, scoop it out into freezer bags. Be sure to leave head space in the bags as you do not want an explosion in your freezer. Double bagging this mix is advisable.


Corn-ey Jello Chum
Ingredients: Supplies:
50 lbs. Corn Maze
4 boxes Instant Strawberry Banana Jello
5 gallon Bucket with Lid
Stirring Device
Scoop or Ladle

This recipe is great for cats, bass, and crappie. Pour the ground corn maze into a 5 gallon bucket about 3/4 full. Add the jello and water to cover the maze, mix. Cover the bucket and leave outside in the sun for 4 or 5 days. Bring the bucket to your fishing hole, hold your breath and remove the cover carefully. Scoop out with a ladle to create a nice chum slick. You can also keep the lid on, tie a line to the bucket's handle, punch holes in the bucket and throw the bucket into the water. Leave the bucket for a while and watch the fish come running.


Corn Bread Drops
Ingredients: Supplies:
Bread Slices
Can of Corn

If you are freshwater fishing for smallmouth bass, stripers, wipers, catfish, and carp you can use a very easy technique to chum—the Corn Bread Drop. Take a piece of bread, pour some corn from a can on the bread slice, form the bread into a pocket around the corn, and drop into the water. You can make your chum presentation more appealing by pouring or spraying bass, trout, or walleye fish attractant on the bread and corn before dropping.


European Winter Bream Recipe
Ingredients: Supplies:
50% Turbo Black and 50% Sereals
Sensas Aromix mixed 1:30 with Water
Spring Roll Sauce (chili, sugar, flavour)
Stirring implement

Mix up the dry ingredients in a bucket. Add the Sensas Aromix, stir. Now squeeze out the spring roll sauce across the top in a zig zag pattern, not too much. Mix again to a sticky dry paste. Now take corn that has been soaked in the Sensas Aromix and attach it to your hook, cover the hook and corn with the mix, then dunk the big ball of yuck into more Sensas Aromix. Now throw your line in and wait, this chum on the hook method works well.


Milo Catfish Chum
Ingredients: Supplies:
(3) 50 lb bags Milo
1 gallon Ground Fish
5 lbs. Sugar
4 packets Dry Yeast
Beer (optional)
35 gallon Barrel
Stirring implement
Scoop cup
5 gallon Bucket

Put all ingredients in a 35 gallon barrel then top with water to 6" from the top, stir. Let the mixture sit for a day and top off with more water to below the top of the barrel. The mixture will expand so leave some head room. Put the barrel in the sun, away from your neighbors as it stinks! Duck tape the lid on to keep the critters out. The mixture should be allowed to bubble and boil for at least 2 weeks, if used sooner it will float. When ready, scoop out what you need into a 5 gallon bucket and using a scoop cup broadcast it into your fishing spot. This mix will last indefinitely. Watch this video to see how the creator of this recipe makes it.


Baloney Catfish Chum
Ingredients: Supplies:
1 lb baloney
Coffee Grounds
Old Cheese
Any other old refrigerator goodies
1 Potato Chip Can with lid
Strong Tape

Cut up baloney into chunks. Put half the chunks in the potato chip can. Sprinkle in coffee grounds then pour in mesa to half way. Now put in the rest of the baloney chunks, more coffee, and top off with more mesa. Now fill the container to about an inch below the rim.

Now put the lid on the can, and using the strong tape, seal the can. Use lots of tape. Now put the can outside in the sun for a week minimum. The container will stink pretty bad. Take the can to your fishing spot, tie a rope to it, punch the can with holes, and toss into the water to chum for catfish.


Rice Recipe for Catfish
Ingredients: Supplies:
50 lb bag Rice
1 jar Garlic Powder
5 gallon Bucket with Lid
Stirring Device
Scoop or Ladle
Gas Mask for Fishing

Pour rice into a 5 gallon bucket 3/4 the way up. Pour in jar of garlic powder and water and some milk to cover the rice and stir. Set the bucket loosely lidded out in the sun for 2 to 3 weeks so it ferments. When you are ready to use it, just close the lid tightly, take to your fishing spot, hold you breath and remove the lid. Scoop out the mix to create a nice chum slick.

Don't use all the mix at once, bring home at least a 1/4 of the bucket and when you get home add more rice and water. The second time you add to this mix cuts down the time it takes to ferment the mix, the more from the last batch the better and quicker you will ferment a new batch.

Since you are leaving this mix outside to ferment in the elements, it will attract fly's and other bugs. The flies will lay eggs in the mix and you will get maggots. Maggots are gross but an excellent bonus, the fish go crazy for the maggots in the mix. This chum smells so bad you need a gas mask to fish, but it is a very effective weapon.


Soured Grain Catfish Chum
Ingredients: Supplies:
50 lb. bag Wheat or Grain of choice
Bottle Beer or Yeast
5 gallon Buckets

Fill 5 gallon buckets to 3/4 full with wheat. Add a 1/2 can of beer to each bucket or a packet of yeast. Now top the mixture with water to about 3" from the top. Loosely lay the lid on the buckets and let sit for 3 days, then top with more water (the wheat absorbs the water). Do not close the lid tightly, the fermenting process releases gasses that need to escape. Watch the video for this recipe.


All Purpose Recipes

The following recipes can be use in both saltwater and freshwater.

Sportsmen Blend
Ingredients: Supplies:
12 Small or 6 Large Cans Cat Food
3 to 4 lbs. Rice, Oats, or Bread
5 lbs. Dry Dog or Cat Food
1 gallon Water
1 gallon Menhaden Oil or Milk
5 gallon Bucket
Can Opener
Hand Shovel or other Stirring Device
Freezer Bags
Gas Mask
Pour the rice, oats or bread pieces (you can use a little of each if you like) into a 5 gallon bucket. Next open all the cans of cat food and dump them in. Now add some water to get the mixture a little soupy. Now add the dry dog or cat food, stir it up some more. Add the Menhaden oil or milk to get the mixture creamy, don't use all of it is you have too soupy a mixture. Now it is time to crack open a beer and let this mixture sit for a bit so the dry ingredients absorb the water. Check the consistency of the mixture and add some more water or Men he den if the mixture gets too thick. Once you are satisfied with the mixtures consistency, scoop it into freezer bags, seal each then bag again so you don't accidently spill the mix.


UK Groundbait Variations
Ingredients: Supplies:
Large bag Breadcrumb Groundbait
>Fish or Shrimp Meal, coarse
>Maggots, dead or alive
Bowl or Bucket
Stirring implement
Scoop cup

Carp Mix: Mix corn or maggots with the groundbait, soften with water.

Bream Mix: Mix Rice with Breadcrumb Groundbait, add water to moisten. The Bream love picking through the rice granules and will hang around for a while.

Tench Mix: Mix Fish Meal or Shrimp meal with the Groundbait, moisten with water.

The trick is to mix small amounts of water into the dry ingredients to get the groundbait mix to a consistency that will form into a soft ball that can be catapulted without breaking up mid-air. If you make the mix too firm it will sink straight to the bottom which is not always desirable.


Frozen Chum Pops
Ingredients: Supplies:
Any wet chum recipe Long line or rope
Weight with hole
Cardboard container

Chum Lollipop is a term I just made up to describe an ingenious way to create Dispenserless Chum (saw this on a UK forum). Gather your chum ingredients and mix up in a bowl. Get a cheap ice cream container then pour your prepared chum into the container. Tie a weight to the end of a thin long rope and drop the weighted end into the middle of the ice cream chum container, then freeze. The chum will freeze the weight and rope solid in the middle of the chum block.

To use, peel away the ice cream container or pop out the frozen block which will now be attached to a rope. Do not chum with the container attached. Drop the chum block into the water, tie off the line, and your golden.


Stink Bait (Dough Balls) Recipes

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has created a PDF class instruction for educators called The Stink Station. Everyone interested in learning more about fish chum should read this! There are many recipes for making Stink Bait also called Dough Balls on page 7 and 8 of this PDF. — Source: www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/


gold line
What is Fish Chum | How to Chum | Dispensers | Make Fish Chum | Grinders | Ingredients | Recipes


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