This past weekend we went chumming for striped bass, and I saw something that makes a great addition to the tips for striper fishing included in one of my books, Rudow’s Guide to Rockfish (that’s what we call stripers, here in Chesapeake country; you can check out the book at, if you’re so inclined). Since chumming is effective just about anywhere stripers are found, I thought this one was worth passing along.

A boat pulled up next to us, dropped anchor, and set back a mesh basket with a doughnut around it. They cleated it off a few feet behind the transom, and there it bobbed–setting out a nice, steady flow of chum. I used to use the same method but got lazy after losing my floater, and since then have merely been punching holes in my regular bucket, then dangling it from a cleat. The floater set-up these folks had (and I should have had) is better because it keeps the chum bucket from banging into the side of the boat. At the end of the day I had bunker bits and oil on the hullsides, but those other folks didn’t. Of course, if it doesn’t work as well at attracting fish then it’s no good at all. So, how well does the floater bucket work? Judge for yourself:

striped bass chumming tips

Here are two of the four stripers they caught while anchored next to us - a catch that equalled ours exactly.


 During the time we were anchored up next to each other, both boats caught four fish. So it would seem there’s no down-side to the floating chum bucket. Want to make one for yourself? Here’s how:

Get a plastic mesh bucket (or simply cut a dozen or so dime-sized holes in a regular plastic bucket) and punch a series of holes around the top edge. Then wrap a foam pool noodle around the bucket, and cut it to the right length to make a collar. Next wrap plastic zip-ties around the noodle and through the holes you punched around the top edge. Pull the zip-ties tight to secure the noodle in place and BAM – you’re ready to hit the water with your new floating chum bucket.