Waiting Period Chum

mtskibum16

Active Member
#1
Alright, got the boat out yesterday to scope some water. I found a large group chum at the mouth of a stream. They were jumping, slashing, and finning 360 degrees around my boat for about 3 hours while I tried everything I had to get a bite....and nada! :mad: I'm new to this so maybe it's normal but damn it's frustrating with all these pigs just taunting me from every direction! What do you guys use while targeting chum in the salt, and more specifically do you have any waiting period specific flies for chum? What about presentation? I tried everything I could think of but in general is a fast "coho" retrieve the ticket or a slower retrieve better? Also are the fish feeding as they're finning and jumping or are they just screwing around? I didn't see any bait in the area.
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#2
I don't usually fish for Chums in the Sound or Canal more than a couple of times each year, but I've had better luck getting them to bite off the beach using slower retrieves. I try to cast just outside the edge of the school, hopefully in front of it. Casting right into the school spooks 'em, at least off the creek mouths I usually fish. Maybe you should position your boat off of the concentration of the fish and cast to them, instead of being right in the middle of them. I don't know where you are fishing, but where I fish, the schools are often small and moving around the area off the creek mouth, and are easily spooked. I'm usually wading off the beach, and not fishing for them from a boat.
I vary between longer strips and short ones. Sometimes I pause between strips long enough to let the fly sink a bit. Get too close to the bottom, though, and you get sculpins.
Flies? Not too big, I think. I've had luck with size 6. Chartreuse, green, hot pink, or black/purple.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#3
Jim nailed it. Slow down your strip. I like either a floater or a very slow intermediate line for fishing salt chums. That is a good way to target staging coho as well.

Most of time the jumpers aren't the players. They just let you know there are fish in the area. Just my opinion, but the biters are the non jumpers. Same goes with coho.

Good luck,
SF
 

mtskibum16

Active Member
#4
They were holding in pretty shallow water (~6 ft), so I switched to a floater so I could slow down the retrieve. Is a clouser still a good bet or is there a better set of patterns to try? There were color recommendations in the other Chum thread but no pattern recomendations. Unfortunately my saltwater fly selection is pretty limited at the moment so I only had so many things I could try.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#6
As Jim mentioned, go smaller. Size 4 & 6's are what I like for chum. I know some folks that use size 8.
Your flies don't need to need to be fancy. If you like fishing clousers, just tie them smaller with small bead chain eyes rather then heavier dumbbell eyes. The light eyes will allow you to fish shallow without hang up on the bottom. You can also tie them naked, as in no eyes.

I've had really good success on salt chums with the following simple pattern.
Size 6 hook
Small bead chain eyes
purple marabou tail
purple chenille for the body .
I tie these in black and cerise as well. For contrast, I'll add a chartreuse chenille or dubbed head to all the colors.
SF
 

mtskibum16

Active Member
#7
Thanks a ton guys! I'll tie up some flies and give it another go this weekend! I'm thinking my pontoon might be better suited to this spot than my boat if I can find somewhere to launch it. I was awefully close to churning up the bottom with the prop a couple times yesterday.

Oh, and keep the patterns coming! :thumb:
 
#8
I'm with the above. Sometimes a painfully slow retrieve is the ticket. For some great pattern ideas, try using the search function on this site. There have been many discussions over the years on this very subject, and a wealth of knowledge lies at your fingertips! A good rule of thumb for chum flies is keep them small and sparse. That seems to be more important than the color.

I know how frustrating that is to have a huge school and no players. But as Stonefish says, the biters are down lower and not jumping. Thanks for the questions, now I really want to get out there and get after a few junk yard dogs! I love those fish.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#9
Small sparse and slow. Search "The Precious" and find yourself some beautiful peacock breast feathers to lightly dress your flies.
 
#10
My personal "Dog Slayers".
"Slow and low, that is the tempo" If less than 6' of water, floating lines are fine with 7-9' leaders. #4-6 size hooks, slooow retrieve, if you strip fast you will snag. They are light takers. 12lb tippets. Epoxy on the threads this year, they will trash your flies, tie at least a dozen, 15lb brutes with break or bend your hooks, make em' durable to last at least a day.
 

dryflylarry

"Chasing Riseforms"
#11
My personal "Dog Slayers".
"Slow and low, that is the tempo" If less than 6' of water, floating lines are fine with 7-9' leaders. #4-6 size hooks, slooow retrieve, if you strip fast you will snag. They are light takers. 12lb tippets. Epoxy on the threads this year, they will trash your flies, tie at least a dozen, 15lb brutes with break or bend your hooks, make em' durable to last at least a day.
Peter is right! He showed me this pattern a few years ago and heck, it's practically all I use. Simple pattern. Generally slow 1 foot retreive is what I do. Floating line. Hang on brotha!!! I use #4 usually. I don't like the Gamakatsu hooks, too brittle, get others.
 
#12
Slow retrieve, and lime/chartreuse cactus chenielle spanker style flies have always been my thing. Anything sparse/moderate with green/chartreuse. Maybe that's just on the systems up there, but that colour has always produced. Get ready for a ride though!
 
#13
I've been searching old threads as well. You never know when someone comes up with a cool new pattern though! Ok so I'll work on a SLOW retrieve. I think that even when I tried to slow down I was probably going too fast. Still in Coho mode I guess ;)
 

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