Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Ok - homemade recipes for chum are good - I encourage that. I have had a lot of experience with chumming over the past 12 years since I converted to a chum-only angler about 90% of the time.


For me - no matter what I do at home with the food processor, the consistency is off which makes the concoction perform badly (when being placed/thrown).


I am sponsored by the TopMix USA company which makes a bluegill chum and I do use the stuff faithfully it is right on the money. Chumming for gills means dropping small amounts (quarter-sized) pinched wafers into the water column where you want the fish to be drawn. Now if you have done your homework, you know the depth, contour, snags etc. nearby and you know the bluegill are there.


When you drop these bits which - when working right- into the water- they should both:

1. Break-up on the way down

2. Stay in a small clump and drive to the bottom


I noticed some of the instructions and methods had the fish on the top, I heard floating things - this causes hook-confusion. You will be taking gills to the surface where your hook isn't. The best bet all year round is to have your hook the exact height of the bluegill's head off the bottom (or an inch or two from that). When you drop this bait in (and it stays together for the most part) - it heads to the bottom - the whole goal being to drive them to your hook. They physical properties and action of the bait is sometimes more important than the "taste" of that bait. In the wild their insects that they feed on are pretty bland. I would say take one and only one of those spices and go with it the rest is overkill and is driving the price of your bait way through the roof. If you don't believe me, taste a dragon fly larvae sometime and let me know if tastes like pancake breakfast.


If you are going for pure gill - leave out the corn, flour, egg shells as these will attract carp or cats (if you are pure gill fishing) and also these elements will prevent your mixture from "performing"..

Hitting the water, falling through the water (as a small object of interest) providing a trail of bits and most importantly - getting the fish to your hook bait to strike.

Here is the biggest and most important part of chumming for gills - the fish don't want the chum - they don't eat the chum as a first choice. If you have them eating the chum, then you are competing with your hook bait and you are going backwards.


The best chum's job is to carry bait to the fish (loose bait, loose grubs). These grubs arriving near your hook bait will then create a frenzy. They will create activity, feeding sounds and motion as the flashing gills go after the bait and COMPETE for the food. They don't compete for the chum, they compete for the grubs. When you have achieved this- your hook bait will not stay out in the open very long. You will catch fish, faster, and faster and faster. You will also catch larger fish as the smaller fish dance about you will fill them up with grubs and some chum. Smaller fish are moved off by bigger fish. You might have to keep the smaller fish to the side and release them after you are done to draw in the bigger fish.


I will have more on chumming and talk about chumming that we are going to do in the World Championships in the next couple of weeks - watch this space. (Oh, I just chummed for anglers).. 

I will put a few information bits in and see if I can draw a crowd. 

Thanks for reading my blog-



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Comment by Marty Lemons on February 3, 2015 at 7:59pm

This reminds me of the Krafty Catcher system for Carp the Europeans developed, thanks for posting this up, as I just found it on here.

Comment by Johnny wilkins on August 16, 2011 at 12:46pm

By the way - I don't use a boat either. It works from a boat, but since I can draw the fish to me most of the places I fish are from 5' to 15' from shore so I just draw them to the shore spot. All of our competitions are from shore. Remember when using the boat that you do NOT want to swing around. Anchor both ends of your boat so you are not making a wide "crop circle" of chum - the other key to chum is to keep it in the same exact spot.


Important Important note- chumming wrong will move the fish AWAY from your hook bait.

Comment by dick tabbert on August 16, 2011 at 12:19pm
Thank you for the comeback that is some vary interesting stuff. I have been fishing a very long time and never would have thought to chum. What a good time to chum when you know the fish location and know there under the boat you have them located but they have lockjaw. I can see where this could start a feeding frenzy and get them on the bite. Thanks again for this interesting material.
Comment by Johnny wilkins on August 16, 2011 at 11:50am

Starting point would be to use straight breadcrumbs so this will serve you well as these moistened (not wet) will provide you with a carrier to pitch in sinking grubs and worms.

(Not floating baits)... crickets and waxies don't sink so well for example.

What you will find is that there are two ways to get your crumbs - dry out the bread and then food process it into fine bits or you can just buy the big bag of crumbs and freeze it.

Since I am sponsored by a ground bait company I will tell you that you can work a lot to come up with enough to fish with or purchase it - ready-to-go.


I have done both and it is a lot of work, a lot of mess to prep your own and at the end of the day, it won't stack up to the stuff made by top US competitors. The best solution is to get the attention of your local bait & tackle store and have them stock group bait for you.


This stuff is heavy so shipping individual bags is not the greatest solution and you can purchase it by the case, but that will cost a bit to ship as well - it is best for the dealer to purchase cases of the TopMixUSA -Panfish Fury-


For the cost, you will be getting enough attractant to fish twice for $2 - $3 a session. This should bring you in 30 - 200 blue gills so you do the math. Now - I must also warn you this is a very effective method. Too effective. If you are an angler who is going to chum, you need to be responsible to your fishery. It is YOUR fishery so releasing some of the champion fish will improve your genetics. Let your best-looking breeder fish go and you will see your average size improve and your fishing will get better.

Abuse the effectiveness and take all the big gills from your lake and as the top predator you will watch as your part of that lake becomes the part in the lake to avoid - or the entire pond is filled with smaller fish. Keep the balance in place.


Remember the secret is in delivering  the small particles of worm or spikes WITH this ground bait - not the ground bait itself. They want to eat, but are drawn to the activity and the falling ground bait by their instincts that something to eat will be found in this cloud.


An interesting fact about the upcoming World Championships, we will be mixing 5 gallons of this stuff daily and then about 8 gallons for our championship heats (each day). During the week I am going to deal with more bait than I use in 2 years. When I go fishing I usually mix up between 1/4 and 1/2 a gallon worth (or half a bag of TopMix). As a casual angler I tend to mix up only enough to get them going and to catch some fish. In competitions, I increase the amount of grubs/loose bait that goes into the ground bait and also increase the frequency in which I am feeding.


When you are out on your own, note that eventually the fish will show up. I can relate to a day during the trout stocking when it took 4 hours of feeding in trout attracting pellets until the school arrived in front of my kids and I. Once they arrived - we caught 27 fish and every single angler on the entire pond then made their way over and was casting over my kids lines to get at the fish we were catching - urban fishing at its best!

Comment by dick tabbert on August 16, 2011 at 11:04am
Hey johnny nice article interesting at the least. This is something that some of us might consider. Since you have been doing it for awhile how about a starting point for the chum or a recipe maybe something we can refine or add to try and make it work for us. Thanks for the blog and GOOD FISHIN...

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