How to Make Chum Buckets

How to Make Chum BucketsFishing with worms may be dandy, but it won't always work for the finest fish. Some of the best catches, like the mighty shark, require some of the messiest bait, like chum. But chumming for fish doesn't have to be a messy, stinky experience. Nor do you have to invest in a pricey, specialized chum bucket. You can make your own with a recycled or inexpensive plastic bucket and a few helpful tips.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • 5 gallon bucket with lid
  • Drill with 1/2-inch bit
  • 6 feet or more of nylon-covered cable
Step 1
Ready the bucket. Re-use or purchase a heavy-duty plastic 5-gallon bucket with a lid. Find one at hardware stores or one that has been emptied of its original contents. Clean well to remove any remaining vestige of the original contents, if necessary. Put the lid on the bucket.
Step 2
Mark the holes. Use a marker to draw dots where you will drill holes. Start by marking for two holes on the lid, one on each side of the lid, opposite each other, near the rim. Mark another hole on the bucket beneath the hole on the lid. Mark holes along the rest of the bucket, expecting each hole to be a half-inch wide and 3 inches apart. Make several rows, ensuring each row is at least 3 inches from any other row.
Step 3
Drill the holes. Use a 1/2-inch drill bit that can easily drill through plastic. Drill a hole at each spot you marked for drilling. Rinse debris or dust from the bucket after drilling.
Step 4
Secure the cable to the bucket. Get at least 6 feet of durable, nylon-coated cable. String one end of the cable through the four holes on and near the lid. Thread the cable through one of the side holes, up through the lid hole next to it, across the bucket's lid, down the other lid hole and out the other side hole. Tie the two ends coming out of the side holes into a bow knot, leaving enough room to slide the lid open to add chum.

Tips & Warnings

Adjust the size of the holes if necessary. Make them larger to spew out more chum, smaller to spew out less.
Use a larger bucket but the same general guidelines if you need a larger amount of chum.
Expect the 5-gallon chum bucket to hold 4 gallons of chum since the bucket may taper slightly.
Make sure the cable you choose can hold up to the speed and resistance it will receive floating along behind or beside the boat.

Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski

Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.

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