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Your Old Chum

September 21, 2007
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To start my frozen chum bag, I stuff an empty mesh onion bag into an empty one-gallon milk jug, so that the opening of the onion bag is at the opening of the jug. After each day of fishing, I stuff all the leftover bait, such as shrimp and mullet, into the bag. I keep the jug in the freezer and continuously add my unused bait with a little tap water. If I’m cleaning fish, I also add the leftover fins, tails and other parts to the bag. I also add other things, such as chicken skin, which provides a good amount of oil. When the bag and jug are full of frozen chum, I bring it fishing and cut slits in the plastic jug. I’m careful not to cut the onion bag, which keeps the melting chum together – and working – longer. I tie the drawstrings on the onion bag to a line and hang it over the side, using a sinker to bring it down to the depth I want. When it begins to melt, all that old bait brings in the fish, rather than just being tossed out at the end of the fishing day.

— James Stearns, Charlotte, North Carolina

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