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Thread: Chum Bags for Halibut Fishing

  1. #1
    Member RustyMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Chum Bags for Halibut Fishing

    If you use a chum bag for butt fishing whats your technique?

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    I don't use one because its pointless anymore, but when I did, I used a gunny sack or nasty t shirt tied to the anchor line with gagione line. When it came off its all biodegradeable stuff.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Default not sure if it works?

    I got a chum bag from B&J and just tie it up above the chain, so it's a little above the ground. I put all the old bait from my last trip in there... all the stuff that hasn't gone bad that is (if that even matters). This last trip I went out the line on the chum bag that holds the bottom together (keeps the stuff in) was missing, so when I brought it up all the chum was gone. Pretty sure it must have been ripped off by the fish going nuts on it. Too bad I didn't have a hook on that

    I'm not even really sure if it helps??? I mean, what is the difference of putting a bunch of bait in a bag vs putting a bunch a bait on your line. I did think about taking a rag or something and soaking it in herring oil for a few days and putting that in the bag. Seems like that would work better.

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    Default Time!

    I think you would have to fish 1 spot for awhile for it to really be efective! I've tried and really didn't notice much of a difference!
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default location

    Utilizing the tidal flux you can optimize the "chum" dispersment to bring fish directly to your zone. In other words......fish a narrow spot with good flow.

    Wide open locations don't channel scent as effectivly.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by motorboatn View Post
    I think you would have to fish 1 spot for awhile for it to really be efective! I've tried and really didn't notice much of a difference!
    I have to agree with this and the general concensus. I never use a chum bag and I haven't had a single day when I haven't come back without a limit and also thrown back a bunch, too. My feeling is if you know where the halibut are you're going to catch them if you fish there. I am sure there are situations like Bighorse says where you might be in an underwater channel or something where it might help them find your bait, or on a day when they're moving around it might make a pretty dismal spot better, but generally speaking I don't think it is really necessary. If I'm in a bad spot I just up and move and find them that way.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  7. #7

    Default Chum bag success

    I always use a chum devise. I actually use a chum can ... a shrimp bait can with large holes in it ... much easier to clean.

    There has been some response from folks saying that they always catch lots of fish, so a chum bag is unnecessary. I'd love to know where those folks are fishing out of. My guess is that they're out of Seward, Homer or Deep Creek where there's an abundance of fish. I fish out of Whittier and it's important in that setting to know how to catch fish where there's a relatively low concentration, or be willing to spend the time/gas to get to higher concentrations in the southern Sound.

    I think if you put the bag on the anchor, you could be pulling the fish hundreds of feet away from your gear depending on your depth and scope (I often anchor in 300', 600' of line out). I have a rod holder off the bow of my boat and always put the can off that rod (no hook), then fish from the back. The fish usually show up after about 45 minutes to 1 hour, and the trick seems to work for about another hour or so. Total time fishing, 2 hours in one spot.

    Looks like I'm the decenting vote here, but my experience has sold me on chumming.

  8. #8
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=crr;759267]
    I have a rod holder off the bow of my boat and always put the can off that rod (no hook), then fish from the back.
    QUOTE]


    So ever been tagged for having an unattended rod or for fishing a second rod??????????

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by crr View Post
    I always use a chum devise. I actually use a chum can ... a shrimp bait can with large holes in it ... much easier to clean.

    There has been some response from folks saying that they always catch lots of fish, so a chum bag is unnecessary. I'd love to know where those folks are fishing out of. My guess is that they're out of Seward, Homer or Deep Creek where there's an abundance of fish. I fish out of Whittier and it's important in that setting to know how to catch fish where there's a relatively low concentration, or be willing to spend the time/gas to get to higher concentrations in the southern Sound.

    I think if you put the bag on the anchor, you could be pulling the fish hundreds of feet away from your gear depending on your depth and scope (I often anchor in 300', 600' of line out). I have a rod holder off the bow of my boat and always put the can off that rod (no hook), then fish from the back. The fish usually show up after about 45 minutes to 1 hour, and the trick seems to work for about another hour or so. Total time fishing, 2 hours in one spot.

    Looks like I'm the decenting vote here, but my experience has sold me on chumming.
    I think that's pretty much what I was saying there. It's a situational thing. I'd just dispense with the necessity and come fish in Homer where there's an "abundance of fish" and you can catch fish all day long without having to wait an hour or so for them to show up and they won't disappear after a couple of hours.

    And I'd have to agree wholeheartedly about the "anchor line vs. separate line" for the chum bag if you do use one. If you can anchor up in 300 ft. of water with just 600 ft. of line you're doing something most people can't do. Normal scope for anchoring is at least 3:1 if not more and especially if the current is really running. But even if you've only got 600 ft. of line out and you're in 300 ft. of water that chum bag is about 500 ft. or so from your bait. I'd much rather have my chum bag within a few feet of my bait.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  10. #10

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    [QUOTE=Dupont Spinner;759272]
    Quote Originally Posted by crr View Post
    I have a rod holder off the bow of my boat and always put the can off that rod (no hook), then fish from the back.
    QUOTE]


    So ever been tagged for having an unattended rod or for fishing a second rod??????????
    I hope you're joking. If anyone questioned you all you'd have to do is reel it up and show them what's on the end of the line. The law is for fishing with an unattended or second rod. I would never want to advise someone on a legal issue, but I wouldn't think twice about doing it. But if I ever do use a chum bag I just use a rope anyways.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  11. #11

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    I don't think it's ever hurt a thing, and often it helps, so why not? As said, it's situational, but not a big deal at all to do. And it's a big plus for jig fishing.

    I keep a 5 gal bucket in the bow and the chum bag in that. I've got a gangion snap on the bag and just clip it to the anchor line right above the chain shackle. Pause when setting and clip it on, pause when hauling and snap it off. No mess, no fuss. Two flicks of the wrist is a small price to pay for better fishing when it works.

    BTW- It seems like every king we jig up comes along when we're using chopped herring in the bag. Almost never get them when using anything else or no chum bag, but I'm actually surprised when we don't get at least one with herring in the chum bag. Gotta love that oil!

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    Default white wide mouth milk jugs

    I fill my milk jugs with ground up the cleanings from my last trip (hide, hair, guts, feathers and all). I have a grinder I use specifically for this. Once you fillet your fish just break everything else up with a cleaver, run it thrpough the grinder and into a jug. I throw a bunch of jugs in the freezer and take them when I go fishing. I usually hook one or two to the anchor line, slice some holes in the jug and let it soak. I'll anchor and fish a spot for many many hours. My set-up is used when fishing near a ledge or drop off. The scent will spread down current and as fish follow that scent up current they pass your baits and take them. I have had several milk jugs torn up and big teeth marks in some when I pulled the anchor. Makes me wonder what/who would grab a gallon milk jug.

  13. #13

    Default Bait injector system

    Another good technique I find effective is to utilize the Pro Cure Bait injection system to insert herring oils and scents into your baits.

    The secret is to inject the oils into the bait. Then oils slowly seep out of your bait, leaving a scent trail in the water that fish literally follow right up to your bait.

    I have also had success by curing salmon scraps and herring in commercial egg cure. Adds a lot of scent to the bait and brightens them up quite a bit.

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    Muttley, Homer/deepcreek/ninilchik is a long frigging way to tow a boat from anchorage, and the Sterling highway is a bouncy one. I'm not willing to subject my trailer to that every weekend (or close to it), and I can't afford the extra driving time. So Whittier and Seward it is. Close in, and even out far, the halibut density isn't the same in my (limited) experience as in cook inlet. That's my observation, and very much subject to dispute.

    Also, a 3:1 scope/depth ratio is not required for halibut anchoring in much of PWS or GOA. Understandable in Cook inlet. I get away routinely with WAY less scope than that, even when the current is moving good at places like Montague. We're not anchoring overnight here.

    Had a pretty stark example of the effectiveness of an anchor-based chum slick and fresh bait at a popular southcentral bottomfishing spot on an overnighter last week. First day we fished with just our own lines in the water and an occasional paper bag chopped herring chum bomb. Second day we tied six of the eight smaller halibut carcasses (teens to 30 lbs) to where the anchor chain meets the rope so as to suspend the stuff a bit, and fished with a larger proportion of small pollock/cod jigged the night before in the harbor (fresh). Took one hour less time to limit on larger fish. Used light rope and the carcasses sheared off when we pulled anchor.

    The anchor chain chum situation only works if the wind and current are such that your boat lays directly in the stink path.

  15. #15
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Muttley Crew Fishing;759279]
    Quote Originally Posted by Dupont Spinner View Post
    I hope you're joking. If anyone questioned you all you'd have to do is reel it up and show them what's on the end of the line. The law is for fishing with an unattended or second rod. I would never want to advise someone on a legal issue, but I wouldn't think twice about doing it. But if I ever do use a chum bag I just use a rope anyways.
    Wish I was kidding.

    Got tagged for a second rod and it only had a lead ball that was in the water to keep it from hitting the boat. The reel had broke on one, took the hook set up off and put on a new rod to drop.....that's when we had NOAA approach and board. Could not have been more then a total of 15 minutes that we had done this op. Also they opened every compartment on the boat for inspection.

    Have had Troopers come up to the boat and let us know that I need to have the same number of people on the deck as rods being fished, in other words no hanging out down in the cabin.

    The other thing is having the rod within sight and depending...I have seen guys told about it not being within reach, depending what fishery you are on, for example bank fishing.

    Just a heads up thats all....you sometimes you may not want/care for the extra attention. So not to split hairs is there an actual law that says that you are only allowed one rod per person? 5 AAC 75.020 tells you what sport gear is, but reading all thru chapter 75, I got a headache and didn't see it, so if someone else seees it let me know.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    Muttley, Homer/deepcreek/ninilchik is a long frigging way to tow a boat from anchorage, and the Sterling highway is a bouncy one. I'm not willing to subject my trailer to that every weekend (or close to it), and I can't afford the extra driving time.
    That's precisely why I moved to Homer. Hated making that drive whenever I wanted to fish down here.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupont Spinner View Post
    Got tagged for a second rod and it only had a lead ball that was in the water to keep it from hitting the boat.

    Have had Troopers come up to the boat and let us know that I need to have the same number of people on the deck as rods being fished, in other words no hanging out down in the cabin.
    I talked to a "Blue shirt" I know. His interpretation was "no hook = not fishing". He also said the people on deck = rods being fished is what he called "an extremely narrow intrepretation" and probably wouldn't stand up to the "reasonable man" theory. However, he prefaced all his comments with "that's not really my field, but.....". Where did this happen? I don't want to run into that guy. Sounds like he'd find something wrong, no matter what.

  18. #18
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homertime View Post
    I talked to a "Blue shirt" I know. His interpretation was "no hook = not fishing". He also said the people on deck = rods being fished is what he called "an extremely narrow intrepretation" and probably wouldn't stand up to the "reasonable man" theory. However, he prefaced all his comments with "that's not really my field, but.....". Where did this happen? I don't want to run into that guy. Sounds like he'd find something wrong, no matter what.
    Yep there's the problem his "interpretation".....the NOAA deal was Homer 3/4 years ago now. I seem to get all the attention some days. Earlier that day I had the troopers come by and 2 days later had the CG board for an equipment inspection.

    The below deck deal happened in Seward and Whittier. My wife went below to make some sandwiches once and the other was to use the head. One was a warning and the other was a ticket.....and I will have you know the Judge ruled against me on the ticket. That is why I am in search of the Statue against using 2 rods or where each person needs to maintain line of sight on the rods.

    I am usually pretty good at beating tickets but I didn't even have a chance....I even asked for them to show me the statue banning the use of 2 rods and that is about when the judge finished my case. Still have not found that exact wording against using 2 poles. The only reference they used was 5 AAC 75.020.

  19. #19
    Member FishingBum's Avatar
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    5 AAC 75.020. Sport fishing gear

    (a) Unless otherwise provided in 5 AAC 47 - 5 AAC 75, sport fishing may only be conducted by the use of a single line having attached to it not more than one plug, spoon, spinner, or series of spinners, or two flies, or two hooks. The line must be closely attended.

    (b) An attractor (bead), when used with a fly, lure, or bare hook, must be either fixed within two inches of the bare hook, fly, or lure, or be free sliding on the line or leader. For the purposes of this subsection, a bead not attached to the hook is an attractor, not a fly.

    (c) A person who gaffs a fish must retain that fish as part of that person's bag and possession limit. A person may not gaff a fish for which the fishing season is closed, that is not of legal size, or that is to be released. For the purposes of this section, "gaff" means to puncture any part of a fish with a hook, other than a hook attached to an angler's fishing line.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Above is what 5 AAC 75 states.

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    Default pertinent legal adf&g stuff

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/State...tewideregs.cfm

    Sport fishing gear: Unless provided in 5 AAC 75.020 -- 5 AAC 75.049 (area-specific regulations), or by the area regulations in 5 AAC 46 -- 5 AAC 70, sport fishing may only be conducted by the use of a single line having attached to it not more than one plug, spoon, spinner, or series of spinners, or two flies, or two hooks. The line must be closely attended. The use of any explosive or toxicant for taking fish in the waters of Alaska is prohibited.


    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/State...efinitions.cfm

    sport fishing means the taking of or attempting to take for personal use, and not for sale or barter, any freshwater, marine, or anadromous fish by hook and line held in the hand, or by hook and line with the line attached to a pole or rod which is held in the hand or closely attended or by other means defined by the Alaska Board of Fisheries.


    notice the requirement for "hook and line" (unless you are fishing via "other means defined by the board" which I don't think a lone lead weight qualifies as.


    closely attended lines means the line or strike indicator is within view of and accessible to the angler at all times.

    "within view of" seems straightforward, though certainly nitpicky if you are talking about me leaving my king rig in the water while taking a leak in the woods 10 meters away. on a boat one could set up a mirror or two to provide visibility of the line from the cabin...

    howeverr, "accessible" is not defined, and I can see how an LEO could reasonably interpret this as meaning within reach, though, again, nitpicky.

    take means taking, pursuing, hunting, fishing, trapping, or in any manner disturbing, capturing, or killing or attempting to take, pursue, hunt, fish, trap, or in any manner capture or kill fish or game.

    could your lone lead weight have been "disturbing" fish? seems ridiculous and nitpicky but for sure your second rod could be interpreted as a (albeit ineffective) means to take fish. the best option obviously is to stick with one rod/line per person on deck, though a hook is clearly required to be considered "taking" in most situations.


    I saw within the last month where a recent div. of wildlife director was cited for sportfishing with multiple lines, so don't think you're the only one being scrutinized dupont.


    It does seem reasonable to me that a person below deck does not have their fishing gear accessible, even if it is in view via a clever system of mirrors. maybe mount a robotic arm on deck with controls and a rod/line video surveilance system mounted in the galley?

    or the person making lunch could take their line up when going below deck to be legit. it does seem reasonable to me, though while bank fishing for kings I have been known to take a leak in the woods while leaving my rod in the water. Guess it is reasonable for me to take my line out in that situation, and I can see where I could get cited.

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