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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.[2][3][4]

Also known as rubby dubby (West Country and Yorkshire, UK),[5] shirvey or chirvey (Guernsey, Channel Islands),[citation needed] burley,[6] berley or berleying (Australasia),[7] and bait balls.[citation needed]

Chumming is illegal in some parts of the world (such as in the state of Alabama in the U.S.[8][full citation needed]) because of the danger it can pose by conditioning sharks to associate feeding with the presence of humans.

Chumming is a common practice seen as effective by fishermen all over the world, typically in ocean waters.[9]

See also[edit]

  • Chum box, a form of internet advertising whose name is derived from the term.


  1. ^ Siebert, Frank (1975), Crawford, James, ed., "Resurrecting Virginia Algonquian from the dead: The reconstituted and historical phonology of Powhatan", Studies in Southeastern Indian Languages, Athens, GA, USA: University of Georgia Press, p. 290.
  2. ^ Rudow, Lenny (2012), "Chapter 30. Inshore Chumming", Rudow's Guide to Fishing the Mid Atlantic, Geared Up Publications, ISBN 0978727800.
  3. ^ Stearns, Bob (December 2001), "Get Chummy", Field & Stream: 96–97.
  4. ^ Peschak, Thomas P. (2014), Sharks and People: Exploring Our Relationship with the Most Feared Fish in the Sea, University of Chicago Press, p. 160, ISBN 022604792X.
  5. ^ "Shark Fishing - Whitby Sea Fishing". Whitby Sea Fishing. 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
  6. ^ Nardene Berry, Melinda Dresser (2012). "Pest Fish Removal and Uses in Lake Ngaroto" (PDF). NZ Landcare Trust.
  7. ^ Bishop, tony, "Berley (ground-baiting)", Basics to Increase Catch Rates,, retrieved 2016-06-01.
  8. ^ Shark Baiting Regulation in Effect Archived 2008-11-20 at the Wayback Machine.[full citation needed]
  9. ^ Starr, Joyce. "How to Chum and Bait Freshwater Fish |". Retrieved 2018-10-02.