An essential aspect in Bluefin Tuna drifting, fish chum generally consists of sardines, gilt sardines and anchovies. These are thrown into the water, whole or in pieces, and this work (sometimes boring) can be carried out manually by a person who is accustomed to perform this operation constantly or through electric fish feeders.
The resulting trail, which has a very strong olfactory and visual appeal, is undoubtedly the main strength of this technique.
Contrary to the other fishing techniques where chum just consists of a bed of bait on the bottom, drifting benefits from the long uninterrupted trail of bait which is able to attract fish that, driven by hunger, go as far as our boat, where our lures are positioned.
Without beating around the bush, we can therefore say that chumming is the most important aspect of drifting. A well-done chum represents the basics on which our daily fishing project can be developed. Without this essential prerequisite, the chances of catching fish are significantly reduced, if not casual.
However, there are two aspects which you need to focus on in order to make chum properly: the direction of water and the amount of chum we need during our fishing expedition.
As for current, a few precautions should be taken especially if you fish at anchor (this an approach which is becoming increasingly more popular and appreciated among anglers, including the professional ones). In this case, current direction and speed are the first things which you should focus on. To do that, you simply have to take some sardines, whole or in pieces, throw them in water when your boat has stopped, observe their movement and therefore their sinking and speed of movement in relation to your position. This aspect is very important since it suggests at which depth and distances your lures should be positioned.
Chumming tips: how much chum should you prepare?
Especially when unexperienced, all tuna fishermen ask how much chum they should use. Unfortunately, bluefish is increasingly more expensive also because of an endless economic crisis which has directed families’ attention towards more affordable fish. As we all know, there is a direct proportion between demand and prices and this explains why the cost of sardines and anchovies is increasingly higher, driving anglers to be more careful with the amount of sardines to use during a fishing trip. Of course, a fishing expedition can be experienced with just a pair of fish boxes but this would not be a good choice if you want to catch tuna because the sea is big and tuna is not a moderate eater.
So, I recommend the use of 4-5 boxes for a half-a-day fishing session which can go up to 8-12 boxes ( 5-7 kg each) for an all-day fishing trip.
How to make the best fish chum?
One of the most common and effective methods is to use a can of sardines, whose head or stomach should be cut in order to prevent them from sinking in the water because of some air bubbles inside their body. The best chum consists of differently sized sardines, cut in half or in three/four parties (this will depend on the real size of your sardines). At this point, simply throw a sardine, or some pieces of bait, in the water around where you are fishing and, once it is far enough from your boat, throw other chum in the water. In the event of an all-day fishing trip (lasting 8-9 hours on the average) when 8-12 boxes are required, you can opt for a big box of chum for each hour of fishing to have a hope of achieving highly satisfying results.