View Full Version : spawn chumming?
01-17-2006, 08:29 AM
After reading steve's report about chumming a run before you fish it in the winter got me curious, how much spawn do you use to do this and how far above the run would you throw it into the water? not something i would do regularly, just want to try it once during the winter months.
01-17-2006, 09:08 AM
Just answered a PM about this... I'm no expert, but the guys just tossed a handful in the top of the run or hole right before we fished it...
Fiddlewood Fly Fisher
01-17-2006, 02:32 PM
Just a reminder, chumming is not allowed in FLY FISHING ONLY AREAS.
01-17-2006, 03:48 PM
Must be the Fly only/Catch and Release area is the exception to the rule because it goes on there every winter, always has, probably always will.
01-17-2006, 05:02 PM
Tossing spawn in the run or hole does help to "turn" the fish on, especially in the winter. A large plastic spoon helps launch the eggs. Much easier on the PM than the Muskegon or Manistee, due to the smaller size. Running egg flies, either chuck-n-duck or under a bobber, or a spawn bag is very effective after this. There doesn't seem to be any increase in catch rates using plugs or spinners.
One thing you will notice is that most of the fish you catch after chumming is females. In fact almost all the fish you catch will be females. Please let the females go, especially in the Pere Marquette.
01-18-2006, 09:31 AM
Years ago in the upper fly water I walked up on two guys chumming with giant stone flies; the one guy was fishing the hole hard while the other was tossing them in above one handful at a time. I never noticed if it worked well or not, but I did wonder where they got them. Can you buy large black stones at the shop? I doubt he was finding them along the river bank since I never saw any out that day in the snow. Even if he was finding them there I know it is illegal to toss anything in the water, correct? Especially the fly water.
01-18-2006, 10:02 AM
it is only illegal in the fly water, everywhere else you are good to go doing that
01-18-2006, 11:50 AM
FYI: Even being in possession of scent or bait is illegal in the fly water... Let's keep a level playing field level.
12-16-2006, 09:42 AM
Chumming an issue with the Resource Stewards
12/16/06 by Bob Gwizdz (517) 487-8888 ext. 237 email@example.com
Dave Borgeson, who is something of a deep thinker on conservation matters, showed up at a Natural Resources Commission meeting recently to discuss what he thinks is the next big issue in fishing: chumming.
Borgeson, who retired from the Department of Natural Resources as assistant chief of the fisheries division 15 years ago, is president of the Resource Stewards, an MUCC-affiliated club made up of retirers from conservation professions.
The Stewards are after chumming, Borgy (as they call him) said. And they have been for some time.
For those unfamiliar with the practice, chumming involves placing some sort of food in the water to get the fish going. Most commonly associated with shark fishing -- Remember when Roy Scheider was ladling the stuff out of the bucket in "Jaws"? -- chumming is a well-known technique.
For instance, ice fishermen seeking whitefish or lake trout sometimes sweeten their fishing holes with salmon eggs. Some go to great lengths to create devices, such as containers with trap doors, so they can lower the chum to the bottom before spilling it, making sure currents don't sweep it away.
Striped bass fishermen do it with cut-up bait fish, creating their own feeding frenzies. Truth is, even some fly fishermen have been known to create their own hatches by blessing the water with insects -- until the trout start looking up -- then begin casting their feathered facsimiles.
About five years ago, some anglers on the flies-only waters of the Pere Marquette River became irritated with fishermen chumming with salmon eggs to get the steelhead going. They took their complaint to the NRC, which agreed, enacting regulations making it illegal to possess salmon eggs on restricted (i.e. artificial baits only) trout streams.
But the NRC did not address the bigger question of chumming, which the Resource Stewards want stopped.
Borgeson calls chumming "the wet side of deer baiting."
"It's not good for the sport and it's not good for the resource," Borgeson said. "It gives a big benefit to those that do it.
"The fish go on a feeding spree. They can be harvested much faster and in much greater numbers. If (chumming) spreads, what have you got? The same problem as deer baiting, only worse. That's why you have rules, so certain deadly techniques are not allowed."
So far, the DNR has treated the matter as a social question, not a biological one, indicating that the practice has not damaged fish populations. But Borgeson counters that, like baiting deer, chumming is bad for the sport.
"People say you can hunt deer by an apple tree, so if you use bait, what difference does it make? Well, it makes a big difference. The tradition of the sport is extremely important to protect. You make it too easy and the sport goes out the window. That's why we banned snagging."
Chummers argue that they're taking a natural product and feeding the fish -- helping them out in that way -- and if they catch a few steelhead by chumming but release them (as many do), then what difference does it make?
"What's the difference?" said Borgeson, almost incredulous that someone would frame the question that way. "There's a big difference. Otherwise they wouldn't be doing it!"
Although chumming is not that common, Borgeson said it could become so and the NRC should "knock it in the head" right now.
Will it? The guess here is no, not unless fisheries managers start showing some biological evidence that chumming is causing a problem. The NRC has shown a dislike for making social regulations.
And that has Borgy shaking his head.
"They're all concerned with ballast water (in freighters)," Borgeson said, "But here's an issue in their bailiwick and they won't even close the door on that."
01-26-2007, 08:58 AM
I've used this technique for a number of years. One good point about it is - if there are fish in that run, they do tend to turn on the feed. On the other side of the coin, if there are not fish in that particular run - then it becomes a moot issue.
I've rarely fished the rivers out of a boat. I primarily wade when I fish. Increasing my odds of landing a fish becomes a small part of the challenge picture. The argument made by the NRC makes partial sense to me. Like Steve said - possession of live bait or eggs in the flies only section will get you a citation. On the other hand, fisherman (and women) who do not have access to large quanities of salmon eggs, likely do not participate in chumming behaviors.
The NRC needs to focus it's work on preventing foreign fish, malicious aquatic problems, and preventing ballast water from being dumped into our waters.
Pay attention - the DNR has stated that a foreign fish-killing virus has been confirmed in Lake Huron.
Fisherman are not the problem. The unregulated pursuit of the allmighty dollar is the issue. I shouldn't have to tell anyone who pays attention this.
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