July 23

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Does Chumming Work For Ice Fishing ?

By Steve

July 23, 2022


It feels great to have a good catch on an Ice fishing trip. At the end of the day, we all like to see plenty of fish in our fish box. But this is not always the case. Many a time, we catch next to nothing. Every time we go ice fishing we rely on luck to have a good catch. We often wonder if chumming works for ice fishing as well.

Yes, chumming works for ice fishing. You can cut an ice hole in the night and chum it with cut-up worms, baitfish, minced fish, or corn. By morning you will have a large number of fish around your ice hole. Do check out the local laws before chumming your ice fishing hole. Due to several reasons, chumming is not allowed in several places.

It is important to know how to chum and what to use for chumming. If you are planning to chum your ice fishing hole on your next fishing trip, this article is for you. We bring to you a detailed guide on ice fishing chumming techniques. It is good for both beginners and pros.

Fishing and chumming

For those of you who don’t know, chumming is the process of attracting fish by spreading large quantities of bait in the water. The fish get lured by the scent and gather at a particular place of angler’s interest. It is an age-old technique and is typically done a few hours or a day in advance. Chumming results in increased fish catch. This is specifically true for predatory fish that get mobilized by the scent of the chum.

You can use various kinds of substances such as chum. For predatory fish, you can use cut-up bait fish or minced bait fish, chopped worms, corn, leftover minced meat, fish eggs, roe, and even crushed garlic. You need a strong smell to attract fish to your fishing area. It is important to note that fish will not come instantaneously. So you will need to chum a few hours before you start. Overnight chumming is even better.

Chumming has legal limitations. Several states don’t allow chumming. Also, it is not allowed in several water bodies. The reasons are as below:

Chumming can lead to the transfer of diseases

If you use infected dead fish for chumming, it can infect the fish in the lake or river you fish at. In other words, chumming can lead to disease transmission in aquatic life. Thus several states have banned it.

Chumming is not allowed in sensitive water bodies

Several water bodies have a sensitive marine ecosystem. Leftover chum will decay and can pose a threat to the flora and fauna in the lake. Rivers due to continuous flowing water are at a lesser threat to water pollution due to chumming.

Chumming can introduce foreign species to the water bodies

At times, people use fish eggs and roe as chum. If any of them are viable, they may hatch in the chummed water body. This will lead to adding of a new species to the lake or the river. This may be ecologically devastating.

Chumming and ice fishing

Chumming is equally useful in ice fishing. Chumming leads to increased fishing during the winters. Since food is scarce in the winters, chumming lures the fish to the point of your interest and lets you have a bumper harvest. Try chumming your ice fishing hole once and you will be surprised with the results.

There are two ways of chumming your ice fishing hole. They are:

Use floating chum

You can drop chum in your ice hole and wait for the fish to gather around it. This will take some time but will bring fish from several locations. You can even drill a few smaller holes around your main fishing hole to drop the chum.

Use fixed chum

You can put the chum in a tin and tie it near the mouth of your ice fishing hole. Let the tin can float in the water. Add a few holes in the tin to let the smell spread around in the water around your ice fishing hole.

For best results, chum your ice fishing hole the night before you intend to fish. Once you start fishing, continue chumming every few hours. Remember not to over-chum. If you do so, the fish will get plenty of food and ignore your bait. Once you are done fishing, dispose of the leftover chum responsibly. If nothing else, don’t spoil the fun for other anglers.

Other ways of attracting fish

Chumming is a great way of attracting fish. Other than that, there are other ways of attracting fish as well. Some of them are:

Using gel scents

You can try using gel scents on your lure. It is a great way of attracting fish. The scent of the gel remains for a long time and attracts fish in the surroundings. They are easily available at angling shops.

Using light in the dark

Using light while fishing in the twilight also increases your catch. The fish gets attracted to light in the dark conditions and comes near your ice hole.

Using specific bait for specific fish

If you are targeting a specific fish to catch, use bait that will lure the particular species. You can get this information at the local fishing clubs or angling shops.

Cover the unused holes during day fishing

If it is a sunny day, cover the unused holes. Otherwise, the strong light in the water near your ice fishing hole can scare away the fish. It also prevents people from tripping over.

Using many fishing holes and rods

For increasing your chances, consider fishing with several fishing rods and at multiple holes.

To sum it up

Chumming is an innovative way to increase your ice fishing catch. If done properly and responsibly, you can increase your catch every time you chum your ice fishing hole. Hope this article has provided you with enough insights into chumming your next ice fishing trip. Happy fishing!

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