How To Chum For Bass

Chumming is a useful fishing tactic that you can use to attract fish that are scattered and difficult to find. This technique revolves around scattering food.

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Chumming shouldn’t only be for professionals. Even if you’re fishing for fun, just chum and fish will come.    

This may not be a new revelation to seasoned anglers: bass has a very keen sense of smell just like many predatory fish species. While many anglers tend to ignore this fishing strategy, you can effectively use it to your advantage by sporadically releasing bold but fresh-smelling chums into the area that you’re fishing. By doing this, you’ll be loudly ringing the dinner bell for bass and you might catch more than you’ve ever expected.

Chumming is a useful fishing tactic that you can use to attract fish that are scattered and difficult to find. This technique essentially revolves around scattering a little fish food, separate from the bait, in the water as a way of attracting fish in the area where you’re fishing. As a bass angler, there are a variety of things that you can use to chum for bass. However, it can be illegal in some areas, so it’s always advisable to check your local laws first before chumming.

Let’s briefly look at how to chum for bass.

Table of Contents

What is Chumming?

Chumming is a fishing technique that involves spreading scraps of fish food in the water to attract fish by stimulating feeding in your fishing area. If you’re targeting bass, the scent of the scrap bait will not only attract bass but will also attract their prey. While bass or other predator fish species may be less susceptible, it’s a great way to attract their scavenging prey to the area and they’ll follow suit. You can use a wide range of fish food such as chopped-up baitfish, canned corn, and man-made pellets to chum.

To perfectly use chum for bass, the chum must have attractive morsels with enticing aromas that will easily attract fish. This is because the bass is generally stationary fish species and will be put on alert with the food smell. In other words, a scent-soaked fish food will be enough for bass to strike.

Chumming Tips

Chumming for bass is a pretty straightforward technique. All you have to do is toss some scraps of fish food and they’ll start eating. However, you’ll need a couple of tips for this technique to work perfectly.

Make Sure that Chumming is Legal in Your Local Area

Chumming is widely considered illegal in certain areas in North America. The main idea here is to protect fish from consuming harmful products that can endanger a wide range of fish species. For instance, Rhode Island outlaws all forms of chumming while other areas outlaw the use of some products such as fish bait or chumming in particular areas. And because you don’t want to fall on the wrong side of the law, it’s important to check whether this technique is allowed in your local area.

Use Chums to Whet their Appetite

When chumming for bass, the most important tip is to use the chums just to whet their appetite. In other words, you shouldn’t feed the fish, just entice them. You can consider scattering small bits of fish food or meat juice in the area you’re planning to fish. The idea is to entice the bass to be hungrier and want to feed more. Keep in mind that the fish may choose not to bite on your hook if you recklessly scatter chums into the water. For this reason, just entice the bass by sporadically scattering chums in your targeted area and you’ll stand a chance of having lots of bites on your hook.

Do not Cover a Very Large Area

As we noted earlier, the bass is a stationary feeder that doesn’t cover greater distances just to feed. You should, therefore, ensure that your chums are not dispersed too far from your target area. Keep in mind that if you throw your chums overboard, they will drift away from your target area and this may not work effectively. For this reason, you should use a chum bag to emit the chums next or closer to your baited hook.

You should also consider using oily or juicy fish food to cover a very particular area. You’ll, of course, have to be very patient as it may take about 30 minutes for your chums to attract fish. Again, you should consider using more chums if you’re targeting an area with fast currents. You can put chums on a bag to prevent them from drifting out, which can be messy and quite expensive. There are a lot of savvy bags that you can use to effectively hold chum when fishing for bass.

How to Place Your Chum

Chumming for bass can seem simple but you’ll only be successful if you properly place your chums. Make sure that you place the chums at the appropriate depth where the bass are likely to fish. The best way to do this is by using thicker chums so that they can drop consistently at the depth that you’re looking to fish at.

Adjust Your Chums’ Bag According to the Weather Conditions

Weather conditions will affect your chums. When the conditions are calm, drop your chum bag around two feet below the surface and do not scatter a lot of chums. Make sure that the line is tightened perfectly so that it hangs halfway into the water. This is to ensure that the chums do not scatter out when there’s a motion on the boat.

When the conditions are rough, make sure that the chum bags hang a little bit loose so that your chums do not get scattered aimlessly. When it’s rough, just let out some additional line so that your bag does not get tugged around too much.


With these few chumming tricks, you’ll catch a lot of basses. All you have to do is put these tips into good use and you’ll boost your bass catch rate next time you’re out there on the water. The basics of chumming for fishing are quite simple: find a bass area, scatter some scraps in the area to whet their appetite, and you’ll be in for some good catch.

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