Attracting Fish – How to Use Chum and Flashers
The art of attracting fish can certainly be a challenge. Part of this is just knowing your spots and finding your spots. Learn how to read your bottom finder on your boat. Once you are on a spot that has fish you are already halfway there. After that you may need some help getting fish into a depth you can spearfish them. Deep shipwrecks or large structure are great examples of a situation where you may need some assistance in getting fish higher in the water column.The best chance you have go bringing them in is by appealing to their stomach with chum or flashers.
Chum appeals to several of a fishes senses if it is deployed properly. Chum is made up of either fresh or rotten chunked or ground fish. It can be fresh or frozen. Different parts of the world have different levels of success with different types of fish. From past experience, two types of fish work just about anywhere. Those two fish are Sardines and Glass Minnows. Both of these fish are shinny and oily fish. The shinny element make these two fish flashers in and of themselves. These fish can be cut up and deployed in a chum bag or tossed overboard to create a chum slick. The best way to deploy this chum is with a Chum Dinger.
Another popular method of deploying chum is to use beach sand mixed with menhaden oil and oatmeal flakes. The sand sinks down, the menhaden oil helps bring fish in from the smell, and the oatmeal flakes look like fish scales in the water. The only downside to this is the chum balls sink to the bottom, but they are great for getting fish more active.
The final method of chumming is the burly method. This is best while doing drifts. This requires shooting a small or undesirable fish. Dispatch the fish and attach it to your flasher float by the tail. Use your dive knife to cut chunks of the fish up as you do your drift. This works well for situations where you don’t have the benefit of an anchored boat that can create a chum slick.
Flashers are used to bring in fish with visual stimulation. The goal is to mimic bait fish of some kind. Large pelagic species are predatory fish that are highly opportunistic. Pelagic fish rarely pass up the opportunity to eat baitfish.
There are a couple ways to deploy flashers. Using flashers on an anchored boat is a simple as hanging them to a known depth below the boat. If you are drifting over structure, flashers can be a little more challenging. You may want to use multiple flashers on your drifts. The first thing you will want is a flasher and flasher float. You can use the float to lower the flasher to a set depth. You can make the flasher move from the surface by moving the float at the surface. The other type of flasher you might find useful is a throw flasher. You can just tuck these into your weight belt, and when you see a fish approaching you can throw the flasher to attract their attention. Throw flashers usually have some rubber attached to help slow how quickly they sink for easy retrieval.
Noise makers are designed to mimic the noises of some fish species. These tend to peak the curiosity of reef fish. Check out this video of the Neptonics Fish Rattle bringing in a school of Yellowtail Jacks.