When I was boating in bay last week fishing for dolphinfish and mackerel, I came across a question on effective ways to chum so that 1) fish comes up to surface from middle range, 2) fish stays afloat, and 3) you can enjoy with fly tackle.
Also, I noticed that current is always changing from upward to downward, left to right, and slow to fast. It seems you need good tactics on both chumming and positioning. So my questions are:
- what kind of chum works the best in attracting fish eaters?
- how to chum so that chum stays in surface range to keep fish in there?
- what anchoring or drifting techunique available to keep your boat in chum streak?
I wish there was a guideboat in the area I fish, then I would love to give up this task! It's madness to keep positioning, keep fishing, and avoid vomitting in the same time...
I'm no expert on chumming but bunker (menhaden) oil floats and is pretty effective. But just some ideas to smoke over:
Dripping bunker oil out of an IV bag if you can get one. Just hang it over the side and adjust the rate to a slow drip. This will float on the surface
You could make your own god awful mess. Mix some bunker oil with some stuff like dry dog food, pieces of bread, a couple cans of fish based catfood. Mix it all together, put it in heavy freezer bags and freeze it. Place 1 frozen bag at a time in an onion sack or chum pot and hang over the side from a cleat. Add some beach or masonry sand to the mix before freezing if you want to get some down deep too. This is pretty messy and stinky tho.
May be a lot easier to buy frozen chum blocks for chum pot hang, from a cleat and fill up a spray bottle with bunker oil to spritz once in awhile.
As far as anchoring or drifting depends on if you're fishing structure. I'd anchor up current over a wreck, or drift over open bottom.
If you're adding chunks in addition to frozen chum, throw one out and wait until it gets out of sight before you throw another?
The difficulty you're having may be that the current is going one way, but the wind is blowing you another. Maybe using a drift sock (could be a 5 gallon bucket on a rope) to slow drift and allow chum slick to extend from the boat might help?
Yeah that's the theory. Don't know how rice might work, maybe it would sink. Oatmeal? Panko bread crumbs?
Just realized you're in Japan. Availability of stuff over there might be totally different and stuff like bunker oil hard to find.
Mixing up a brew like that IS a real mess, and if you're in an apartment complex.....
I would try to find frozen stuff, maybe a block of frozen shrimp/clams/ mussels? Or try and get some discards from a fish market?
The advantage of frozen is that it will melt over time, gradually feeding chum into a slick. I suppose you cold get fresh fish guts and put them in an onion bag in a 5 gallon bucket inside the boat, and dip it over the side every once in awhile, but that's going to be a mess and a lot of work too.
Try using the native bait fish . You don't want to feed the fish, just attract them. First, anchor over fish or structure known to hold them. Toss out some cut up bait fish and let it drift . Use a fly that imitates the bait and keep it moving at the same speed as the chum... matching the hatch.
You can use ground bait fish to make a smellier chum slick. If you grind it up you could freeze it and then put it a bucket of sea water when you want to use it and then spoon out small quantities. Some people will hang the frozen chum over the boat in a mesh bag letting the sea water and current thaw and dispense it. Once you get some fish going add in or switch to whole bait fish using a fly that imitates the bait.
Preferably, if you are going to use chum, find the fish first and then use small amounts of chum to keep them near you. Chumming "empty" water is a time commitment that may or may not work out. It's a bait fishing tactic that you then try to get the fish to take a fly. First make a practice drift before you anchor so you can see just how fast the current/tide is moving. Then anchor so your chum will go over what you want it to and start your chum slick. Have a sinking line rigged too. Sometimes the fish don't come up to the chum, but wait for the chum to come down. Remember, there are no guarantees in fishing.
Afterward, thoroughly clean your equipment. Not too many things worse than getting ground chum and fish oil all over your fly line, flies and tackle.
Thanks for good resource for fishing in Japan. I'll contact Ian later this week for an exchange. I went out to full day boat fishing last Saturday with chumming mesh bag, 3 gallons bucket (for making mess), and 5 gallons bucket (for containment of vomitable odor). Found and purchased: frozen block of shrimp, frozen anchovy, and worm powder (Sanagiko).
Well... ocean was bit rough that day and last thing I wanted was to smell something disgusting. You could imagine my first physical reaction when I opened a bucket...
Absolutely right. There were other boats using chum in different depth, and no fish came afloat by my chum slick. The best happened was that fish did come up to middle depth (60-90 feet) which could be a result of chumming. Also, I did find the school of fish afloat in the afternoon then as you mentioned, it turned into throw the chum and cast the fly.
I gues fish stays where they feel comfortable, but I found chumming a super plus in comparison with last trip without it.
Please check my blog for part 1 and part 2 for the result on my end, and thank you very much for kind advice!
Now, I better find a good medicine to fight sea sick...