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Chumming (American English from Powhatan[1]) is the practice of luring various animals, usually fish such as sharks, by throwing "chum" into the water. Chum is bait consisting of fish parts, bone and blood, which attract fish, particularly sharks owing to their keen sense of smell.

Also known as rubby dubby (West Country and Yorkshire, UK),[2] shirvey or chirvey (Guernsey, Channel Islands), burley or burlying[3] (Australasia), and bait balls.

Chumming is illegal in some parts of the world, such as Alabama,[4] because of the danger it can pose by conditioning sharks to associate feeding with the presence of humans.

Chumming is typically used in ocean waters to attract fish, and also sharks. Chumming is a common practice used by fishermen all over the world, and is seen as an effective method.


  1. ^ Siebert, Frank (1975) "Resurrecting Virginia Algonquian from the dead: The reconstituted and historical phonology of Powhatan," In: Studies in Southeastern Indian Languages. Ed. James Crawford. Athens: University of Georgia Press. Pages 290.
  2. ^ "Shark Fishing Chum (rubby dubby)", WhitbySeaAnglers
  3. ^ "Google search: burley + chum",
  4. ^ Shark Baiting Regulation in Effect