How to Use Dog Food as Catfish Chum
By: Peter Egan
Catfish chum doesn’t have to be elaborate, home made or anything time consuming or costly in order to be effective.
One of the most effective sources of catfish chum that I’ve found that is both cheap and effective if used correctly. It is canned dog food, to be specific.
Using dog food to chum effectively depends on a number of factors. All of the following are important considerations:
- Notably, if you’re chumming short-term (on a fishing trip) or long term (when you chum the spot that you fish regularly or constantly).
- The depth of the dog food can relative to total water depth.
- The extent to which the water is moving (if at all).
First, get 2-5 (however many you want and can afford to buy for a fishing trip) 22 ounce cans of cheap dog food, or the largest cans of cheap dog food you can find if not 22 ounces. Remove the paper label and dispose of it in a proper trash container.
My recommendation is to flip the can upside down and poke a hole in the bottom of the can near the edge (if you try to poke a hole in the top it usually removes the entire removable portion of the can’s top), and another hold just below the initial hole on the side of the can.
Thread twine through the two holes three times, then tie the can to the twine with a knot. I like to hold the can over the water while I punch small holes all throughout the can. I may open 4-6 larger holes spread out across the can (maybe 1 cm in diameter).
Unravel enough twine so that your dog food is not on the very bottom of the water, nor the very top. Try to suspend it somewhere before the very bottom or very top, and make sure your fishing approach is consistent with the depth at which you chum.
If you have the ability to tie and drop several cans spread out across a a large boat or patch of land (such as my back deck, which is on the water), doing so can be more effective and establish a larger, more spread out fishing spot.
Dog food scent won’t travel as well as certain other forms of chum, but is effective nonetheless, relatively cheap and is easy to set up and easy to manage. It’s not the most effective chum formula, but it’s far from the least effective, and given how easy it is to obtain and set up, it’s a method worthy of mention here where we’ve discussed catfish chumming extensively.