My luck finally changed last April when I did a little research and hooked up with local charter captain Loren Nickbarg. A former resident of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the 48-year-old Nickbarg moved to St. John permanently with his wife in 1989 after visiting the island several times on vacation. Loren cut his teeth on chartering during a two-year stint in the Florida Keys, where he fished with the legendary captain Jimmy Albright. When he moved to St. John, he brought with him the live-bait chumming techniques he had learned in the Keys, eventually purchasing a custom-built, 33-foot center console with a 70-gallon live well that holds up to 1,000 baits. Loren is the first to admit that this style of fishing takes some extra work, such as rising before dawn in order to net a day's worth of pilchards. But when it comes to producing consistent, fast-paced action, nothing beats live chum.