America Go Fishing man holding snook fish

Making Fish Chum from Amberjack Carcasses

Fish Chum & Chumming > Amberjack Carcasses

We have a charter boat friend that we see coming in from his offshore trips. On occasion we will run down to get carcasses to make chum. We take with us a garbage bag in a 5 gallon bucket. The bag keeps your vehicle from smelling like a fish processing plant and it is also a backup just in case he has a lot of fish to fillet. This day was great, he had a lot of large Amberjacks - we scored!

Here is a pictorial account of the chum making process. A friend helped and we photographed the process from start to finish with one carcass. When we were done taking pictures we continued on to make one heck of a mess. This setup on the dock is nice, once your done just hose it all down and chum the water with the fish blood and guts. We grabbed some more beers and fished the chum slick.

Amberjack being filleted; man holding fish with orange gloves and big knife Amberjack carcasses in bag in bucket
Our JR from Linebreaker Charters in Naples caught a lot of Amberjack's offshore. We showed up with a bucket to collect his unwanted carcasses. The Pelican's were not happy we took their dinner. This is a big garbage bag inside a 5 gallon bucket full of Amberjack carcasses that we took to our fillet and grinding station in the next picture.
Amberjack carcass on a string held in front of a woman showing it was 3 and a half feet tall Work station on dock with chum grinder and cabinet underneith
A carcass was tied with jute string and I had the idea of using the carcass for chum. I walked to the dock and threw the heavy carcass in. Guess what happened? The string broke! Next time I will use heavier line. Did you know carcasses sink? A float would help to keep it off the bottom and the sharks away. This is our work station on a dock. Notice the stainless grinder and the bar going across is hooked up to a hose that will clean your fish as you fillet it, just turn on the hose. Underneath are some knives, a machete, cutting block, and assorted fishing supplies.
Closeup view of the amberjack carcasses Carcasses drapped over a wood block; man with gloves and big hatchet knife ready to chop
Inspecting the carcasses to figure out where to start. Notice how much meat is still on the carcass. Jos laid the carcass across a piece of dock piling, ready to chop with his hatchet.
carcass cut into 3 inch strips on the chopping block man holding the head of the carcass
Using strong, steady motion, chop the body into 3 inch strips. Holding the head, chop strips close to the skull; notice the guts.
Pile of cut strips with head and tail Hand pushing a cut strip into grinder with spine visable
Now you have a pile of strips, the head, and tail. Push the cut strips into the grinder and you turn handle.
Heart of the amberjack closeup Heart in chum grinder
Heart in hand showing the juicy goodies. Amberjack heart in chum grinder.
Chum exiting the grinder Closeup of chum coming from grinder. Looks like meat
Ground Amberjack exiting the grinder onto a cookie sheet. Close-up of Amberjack chum. Looks good enough to eat!
Knife ready to chop the head of fish Head part goes into grinder
Now it's time to chop the head; this is very messy, guts squirt. Part of head goes into the grinder.
The pile of ground amberjack is getting bigger Lobster carcasses added to grinder
Our pile is getting bigger. Notice the wide strips. Took some frozen lobster carcasses and added them to mix.
ground up amberjack on tray with zip lock bag Ground up chum in gallon zip lock bag
Time to bag up the ground Amberjack. This is one carcass. Use a garden hand shovel to scoop into bag. You get a half gallon from 1 Amberjack carcass with 1 lobster carcass added for a little texture and color.

The Pain I Went Thru To Take These Pictures

by Captain Jos Heemstra

The Snook-Slayer found 3 large Amberjack carcases and decided to bother me with making chum. As you can see this was not a very professional operation, this goes to show anyone can do this even an idiot. The problem with this operation is that with the tools that we used, more of the chum gets all over you than gets in the bag, which is not a major problem. The problem is, when you get home, your wife thinks you've been sleeping with someone else.

(Jos wasn't happy to help us make chum but he did have fun in the end. Yes, it is a messy operation.)


Making the Best Saltwater Fish Chum

The Fish Chum Pro shows you how to make the Best Saltwater Fish Chum using Yellowtail Snapper carcasses, fish scraps and other goodies. We created 2 videos, one short and sweet, the other shows you step-by-step what went into this great recipe, how to grind it up and store your great fish chum / burley mix.

Fish in a cooler Fish carcasses
Carcasses in a bucketChum paddle attached to power drill


Fish Chum Pro's Best Saltwater Fish Chum Recipe

Main Ingredients
Raw Fish Carcasses or Bait fish

Oatmeal, whole oats
Water, Clam Juice or Fish Stock

Mackerel or Tuna, canned in oil
Oysters, canned in water
Fish Scraps - Raw Shrimp, Lobsters, Scallops
Rice, cooked

Metal Trash Can
Chum Paddle
Power Drill
Water Hose
Coffee Cans, lip's trimmed or Ziplock Bags


Short Version

Step-by-Step Version

Film Credits

The Fish Chum Pro

The Snook Slayer
Captain Jos

On a Dock, On a Bay
On a Sunny Day
In South Florida


What is Fish Chum | How to Chum | Dispensers | Make Fish Chum | Grinders | Ingredients | Recipes