Oh no! I'm doing it all wrong!!

DennisE

Topwater and tying.
#17
Forceps aren't the best tool for Chum, IMO. I brought a set of extra long longnose pliers. Hook remover and bonker in one!
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#18
It sounds like you are on the right track. Chum can be incredibly finicky at times. This year I have had some truly savage takes, but have noticed them being extremely picky as well. Saturday Matt and I were fishing the same turd fly in the same 3 colors, only different order. For whatever reason they wanted a turd with a chartreuse tail, purple body, and cerise head. Matt had the colors in a different arrangement and they would barely touch it. When he switched up they were all over it.

The next day they wanted little to do with that fly, but were all about a size 8 all pink clouser. I'd say just keep changing it up until you find something that gets their attention.




Serious question - what's the ratio of fair caught to flossed chums that folks average?

I went searching for chums amidst the crazy-ass wind and chop and after many hours I managed to find a protected cove with chum, and in a couple of hours of fishing lost two and landed four, but I was sorely disappointed after bringing in the two fish that I got to the beach, as the hook had penetrated from the outside in - e.g. it looked like they'd been flossed.

This was a serious bummer as I really, really want to figure out how to get a strike out of a chum after a gajillion hours of fruitless casting, and I was fishing an unweighted size 6ish fly on a floater with a longish leader in 4-6 feet of water in a situation where it looked like the fish were cruising rather than stacked up.

Anyone else have this happen? Any other suggestions to avoid flossing?
 

mtskibum16

Active Member
#21
Serious question - what's the ratio of fair caught to flossed chums that folks average?

I went searching for chums amidst the crazy-ass wind and chop and after many hours I managed to find a protected cove with chum, and in a couple of hours of fishing lost two and landed four, but I was sorely disappointed after bringing in the two fish that I got to the beach, as the hook had penetrated from the outside in - e.g. it looked like they'd been flossed.

This was a serious bummer as I really, really want to figure out how to get a strike out of a chum after a gajillion hours of fruitless casting, and I was fishing an unweighted size 6ish fly on a floater with a longish leader in 4-6 feet of water in a situation where it looked like the fish were cruising rather than stacked up.

Anyone else have this happen? Any other suggestions to avoid flossing?
This weekend I caught about 15ish chum, maybe a couple more. Of those 3 were foul hooked (dorsal fin). The rest were all hooked completely inside the mouth. This was also fishing in some VERY thick schools. The trick I have found is I rarely do a traditional hookset. Often when retrieving through a school you'll feel resistance which is normally the fly bouncing of chum. When I first started at this, I treated every bump as a bite and set the hook. This lead to many more foul hooked fish. After a while you can start to tell the difference between bumping fish and a true take. However, I basically just stopped setting the hook. I continue my slow retrieve until the a fish is on the line then start playing it. I never jerk the rod or do hard strip sets. I might miss a few light takes this way, but end up with fewer foul hooked fish.

As for getting them to take, like Nick said change up the fly until you find what works. Have lots of patterns to try. Once you feel that you have shown your fly to lots of fish with no success, tie something else on. If the fish are in big schools, I usually cast to them for about 15 minutes then switch until I start catching.