Special Interest Groups Trying to Ban Chumming…Again

If it wasn’t enough having to see Donald Trump and crooked Hillary Clinton arguing every time you turn on a news network, we have the special interest groups in Michigan thinking they have a God given right to tell people, who just want to fish how to fish. The special interest groups are once again trying to get chumming banned from several of the favorite rivers like the Muskegon, the Pere Marquette, and the Big Manistee. There are many different types of chum you can use. However, the one being argued is throwing fish eggs into a hole to coax steelhead to bite.


Tippy dam

Let’s get straight to the point. According to the DNR, chumming does not affect or hurt the fishery. This was just announced in September. There is a special interest group, specifically, fly fisherman, trying to impose their morals on every angler throughout the state. Every bait fisherman should be pissed that these fly ballers are trying to take our rights away. I actually thought they dropped trying to stop chumming after last years article the DNR put out in September. (http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10366_54559_10402-364349–,00.html) But, they have been pushing this under the radar since last year with very few people knowing about it and now the DNR is considering banning it from these rivers. If you want to get a hold of the DNR right now and tell them how you feel, here is the email address: nelsonc@michigan.gov and NRC@michigan.gov. There will also be an NRC meeting at Jays in Gaylord on June 9th at 8AM. From some of my sources, there is a very large presence of special interest people showing up at these meeting and very few bait fisherman standing up for us. Take action NOW whether it’s sending emails, sharing this blog or going to the meeting! We have 3 days to let them know our thoughts.

Moving on, special interest groups are doing this to have special rights to waters to make fishing easier for them and don’t want other imposing on their waters. They don’t like bait fisherman catching more fish than them and then they rush to Lansing to cry about it. If this gets passed, this could be bad for anglers who are bait fisherman. If chumming is banned, what’s next? Spawn bags? Nightcrawlers? Hardware? Flies only on all rivers throughout the state? If this happens, you can sell everything that you don’t put a fly on including your 500 dollars pin set up. The special interest groups are always trying to claim water for themselves so guys like you and me who throw bait won’t be able to fish them. Instead, you will have to be a fly baller and fish flies just like them. This should PISS you off.


Now I am all in favor of making a better fishery. I think 98% of hardcore anglers would agree with me. I would like to see the steelhead limit down to 1. I would like to see spawning gravel areas catch and release only to protect spawning fish like they do with Walleye and other species of fish. I would agree with making any laws to better our fishery. However, the DNR does not say there is anything wrong with chumming. As a 20-year steelheader, I have yet to see chumming cause an impact. The only impact I have seen is the guy who is catching steelhead and I am bummed I don’t have any chum of my own. Do I cry about it? Nope! I have never even kept a limit because of chum. Usually, I am releasing all my fish. People have been chumming since before I was born and we have always had fish.

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A nice brown that was probably feeding on someones chum at some point in its life.

Chumming adds a lot of benefits to the fishery. It allows anglers to have a crack as fish that might be under poor weather conditions or pressure from other anglers. It also allows anglers who don’t have much skill a chance of catching a steelhead. I have got quite a few people into fish on days where the fishing just sucked. Nobody was catching fish! Steelhead fishing is not all that easy and sometimes a little help such as chumming can get a newbie addicted to steelhead fishing. Isn’t that the point? Chumming also helps benefit fish by giving steelhead and trout food to eat. It helps fattens them up a little more for those winter months where they might not find as much food. Also, if I am taking this fish out of the river for my dinner wouldn’t you like seeing the nutrition go back in the river for other fish like they do in Alaska.


People who don’t chum think that we kill every fish we catch. They also think it makes fishing better. They also think a person chumming shuts down the fish in that hole. What they don’t know is this is all false. Fishing does not all of a sudden become easy with a hand full of chum. It sometimes doesn’t work at all. Sometimes no matter how much chum you throw in the water, it still does not guarantee fish. Chumming is just another weapon in your arsenal that will help you catch a few more fish. I often read about people saying a fisherman sucks if they need chum. What about that freezing cold day when the fish are not biting anything, including your flies? Sometimes, a handful of chum can save your day. I have seen days where the fish have been beaten on for weeks. I came with a pop bottle of chum, which didn’t work. Then the fish would turn on for 40 minutes later that afternoon and then shut down again. Most people would not stick around all day waiting for those 40 minutes of fishing.

Chumming also does not stop fish from biting for that day like other anglers claim. I have seen it many times where some chum was thrown out and fish were caught. Then we would leave that hole and come back to see other anglers hooked up or us catching more fish out of that hole. I have also seen it where chum didn’t work at all. So I left and came back to that hole to catch fish without chum.

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No chum needed to catch this fish and was released even though it had all chum inside.

With that being said, we should not be trying to impose bs ethics that we might not agree on. Its absolutely ridiculous that special interest groups feel the need to try to impose new rules and regulations on waters that we all fish. Instead, we should be working together to get more people into the sport of fish whether it’s bait fishing, fly fishing, trolling, etc, etc. All these people who want special waters for themselves just look foolish and selfish. I use to think fly-fishing was cool and enjoy picking up a fly rod from time to time. However, as I fish more, I could care less about promoting fishing flies because of all the greedy fly fisherman who want waters for themselves and the arrogance some of them put off. There are some really cool fly ballers out there. But some of them think they are God all mighty and just stink. I don’t want to be any part of that.

People who are against chumming often say if you need to chum you are not that great of a fisherman and should work on your skills. However, is it the person who is not chumming the one that needs to work on their skills and also needs special regulations to make them a better fisherman?


A beautiful steelhead that was caught on chum during a frigid cold New Years day. He was released and went right back to where I hooked it

If you want to tell the DNR how you feel about these special interest groups trying to take away your rights, email this addresses immediately: nelsonc@michigan.gov and NRC@michigan.gov
Tell them that special interest groups should not have any more rights than we do as bait fisherman. Tell them that you support the use of chumming when needed. Do not let these fly ballers make decisions for you! If you don’t do anything about it, don’t start crying on the Internet or facebook when you can’t fish a certain way because the only person you can blame is yourself! Take action now!  If you can make the July 14th meeting in lansing that would really help us bait fisherman out and stop these selfish fly fisherman from getting special rules for themselves. Here is a website from the DNR with all the information:

Click to access June_5.19_524936_7.pdf

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