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Thread: Eating Chums

  1. #1

    Default Eating Chums

    Husband and I ate a chrome chum for dinner last night and were very surprised how great the fish tasted. Hear so much bickering how bad "dogs" are and this and that. Don't get it. The fish we caught was so bright you could not see any stripes on it at all, just all silvery all over. The meat was orange/pink and very mild in flavor. I actually enjoyed it as much as cooking up a sockeye or silver! It was awesome! So we are going to catch more of them for sure for future meals. Anyone else have something good to say about chums?

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Husband and I ate a chrome chum for dinner last night and were very surprised how great the fish tasted. Hear so much bickering how bad "dogs" are and this and that. Don't get it. The fish we caught was so bright you could not see any stripes on it at all, just all silvery all over. The meat was orange/pink and very mild in flavor. I actually enjoyed it as much as cooking up a sockeye or silver! It was awesome! So we are going to catch more of them for sure for future meals. Anyone else have something good to say about chums?
    Fresh chums are fine table fare. So are pinks, IMO, if caught in the ocean. Both turn quickly once they get into freshwater, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    Fresh chums are fine table fare. So are pinks, IMO, if caught in the ocean. Both turn quickly once they get into freshwater, though.

    Absolutely . . couldn't agree more . .

    For my money (and palate), any fish, including reds, not caught in the salt are inferior to those caught in fresh water, and the longer in fresh water, the poorer the quality of the fish for table fare.

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    If you are hungry enough, even a calico chum over the coals is fit for a king. However... Marcus is right, salt caught chums are delicious. After entering freshwater, like pinks, they go down hill quickly. Kings, silvers and reds seem to stay in reasonable condition longer depending on the length of their journey.

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    I'll sign up. Ocean bright chums are incredibly good, almost a completely different species from the same fish watermarked in freshwater. We go out of our way to catch ocean fish, but leave the river fish undisturbed to spawn. We won't even do catch and release on river fish.

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    I've never heard of anyone targeting chums in the salt, is there a particular method or are they by catch while fishing silvers/kings?

    I also love pinks and chums although most of mine come from river mouths rather than the ocean, close enough for me (and my boat budget!).

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    What about freezing the dime bright sea lice ocean caught Chum - do they freeze and then cook up simliar to a red/silver/king? Or do they get mushy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    What about freezing the dime bright sea lice ocean caught Chum - do they freeze and then cook up simliar to a red/silver/king? Or do they get mushy?
    You bet, but same as other salmon, only if you take care of them. We thump them and pop a gill, the drop them on ice. Freezing RATE is important with any fish, and the faster the better. Lots of softness in salmon is the result of stacking a whole bunch of salmon in the freezer at once. Spread it out single layer on shelves, then stack it once it's frozen. I saw a demo once where tightly stacked fish took three whole days to freeze through in a home freezer. And turned out mushy as could be.

    As for targeting in the salt, my best "formula" is the skinny needlefish hoochies on 18" leaders behind silver/gold dodgers. My pick for hoochies is the Goldstar 3.5" NG60 or NG60R. Best results are to troll them slow, around 1.5 mph and 10-20' down. I get most of mine around headlands and rips, but other waters will undoubtedly have other hot spots.

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    I pick up 3-4 a day while trolling in Resurrection Bay for silvers in August.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    . . take care of them. We thump them and pop a gill [we head-and-gut at this point—Marcus], the drop them on ice. Freezing RATE is important with any fish, and the faster the better. Lots of softness in salmon is the result of stacking a whole bunch of salmon in the freezer at once. Spread it out single layer on shelves, then stack it once it's frozen. . .

    . . right on, very critical . . especially bleeding immediately upon capture . .

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    Member fishak's Avatar
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    try a fresh yukon river chum
    hook, line, sinker, done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FishGod View Post
    I pick up 3-4 a day while trolling in Resurrection Bay for silvers in August.
    I wonder if i've caught them out there and didn't realize it? Do they look significantly different thatn a silver in the salt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I wonder if i've caught them out there and didn't realize it? Do they look significantly different thatn a silver in the salt?
    In the salt they look remarkably like sockeye, but are often larger, with silver rays in their caudal fin, and coarser gill rakers. I remember having to sort them on the deck of a gillnetter at night while heading to the tender. Very hard to do by feeble deck light!

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I've never heard of anyone targeting chums in the salt, is there a particular method or are they by catch while fishing silvers/kings?
    Gillnets!!!

    Seriously though, deep, slow, small and chartruse is what I hear.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I wonder if i've caught them out there and didn't realize it? Do they look significantly different thatn a silver in the salt?
    Once pointed out to you the differences are obvious. Quick and easy differences are: much bigger eye, tail has more of a V in it, and the caudal peduncle (the skinny spot in front of the tail) is much thinner. I find it lots easier to mistake them for reds. In fact they're known as "midnight reds" among setnetters sorting fish for the tenders. No mistaking them for reds side by side when you really look due to the things I listed, but at a glance when you're tired they'll get ya.

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    Best chum recipe for the BBQ:

    Take a nice tiger striped chum, olive oil, lemon, minced garlic and a 1/4 thick cedar plank. Take the olive oil and rub it into the cedar plank, once it is nicely saturated put a table spoon of minced garlic on the board. Finally take the lemon and sprinkle it over the board. Put the board on the BBQ and cook it for about 40 minutes with a nice t-bone on the side the last 12 minutes or so. The smoke from the board with give it a great flavor. Oh ya the fish, at the very end take it out to the garden and plant it under your favorite pumpkin hill, there is no better fertilizer.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacherman View Post
    Best chum recipe for the BBQ:

    Take a nice tiger striped chum, olive oil, lemon, minced garlic and a 1/4 thick cedar plank. Take the olive oil and rub it into the cedar plank, once it is nicely saturated put a table spoon of minced garlic on the board. Finally take the lemon and sprinkle it over the board. Put the board on the BBQ and cook it for about 40 minutes with a nice t-bone on the side the last 12 minutes or so. The smoke from the board with give it a great flavor. Oh ya the fish, at the very end take it out to the garden and plant it under your favorite pumpkin hill, there is no better fertilizer.

    My experience is the board tasts better than the fish does.......Reminds me of my favorite recipe for wild chickens. Kill the chicken and put it in with some nice basalt rocks. When the rocks are soft, the chicken is ready to eat....

  18. #18

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    I am relunctant to eat chum when there are other things better to eat. However, I will admit that ocean caught chum are not bad eating.

  19. #19

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    Awesome response all! I wouldn't want to eat one of those striped chums either, just like I wouldn't chow down on a fire engine king or sockeye. All the same isn't it?

    Caught a silver and two more chrome chums down Turnagain Arm yesterday. Cooked up a piece of each and compared the flavor. The silver was definitely more rich, the chum mild. My view is that they are just two different fish, apples to oranges, no? Both were very good.

    Just look at how many people think halibut is great tasting. Did you ever taste halibut without any sauces, juices or spices? Bland comes to mind. Not much real taste there unlike salmon. Just my opinion.

    Have a great weekend!

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    I have found that eaven a chum with light striping tasts great when smoked. If I get a fish thats swallowd the hook and it looks unlikly that it will survive a release, Ill keep it. So I have tasted salmon in all stages of spawn. One great favorite is a bright red sockeye roasted over an open fire with only butter and tin foil. If it dosent tast good it goes the the cat and dogs. Waste not want not!

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