Date: 25 October 2013. Fish Training 101.
You have to first understand that out here I do tend to
entertain myself, and one of the ways I do that is an old family
tradition. On our boat each time we would throw any food over the side we'd
slap the hull three times. Thump. Thump. Thump.
the family home for nearly 50 years
When you remain in a place for a time the fish will learn
that good things come with a thump and last night, for the first time I
thumped three times and a couple of fat catfish came up to the surface to
enjoy the chicken skins I tossed overboard.
There is a secondary bonus to feeding leftovers and scraps
to the fish. On a boat away from a dock and without an easy way to get rid
of trash, it's essential to off-load garbage. [Definition of trash versus
garbage: Trash won't biodegrade, so basically that's your packaging and
plastics, glass and such. Garbage if left in the sun will stink.] By
virtue of chumming the fish and teaching them to come to the Thump, I'm
also making trips to shore less onerous as I'll have less to haul in and
dispose of properly.
It's an idea I hope other boaters will take up -- for
selfish reasons mind you. Three thumps and then food scraps equals fish
trained to come for treats when they hear three sounds and if I happen to have one of
those scraps on a shiny sharp hook? Well, it's all good. And tasty.
Just an idea...
Happy fish training!
Addendum 19 June 2015: An online friend tells me my
method of tossing foodstuffs overboard is not appropriate in
areas with little tidal flow. Summarizing an article read in his
local newspaper the Seattle Times, Marin recalled reading:
results of a long-term study here in Puget Sound showed that
fish and crabs do not, for the most part, eat the garbage
boaters throw overboard. Banana peels, melon rinds, etc sink
to the bottom where they DO feed the algae that deplete the
water of oxygen. This, in turn, depletes the population of
fish, crabs, etc.
Where this plays a
significant role is in bays, estuaries, fjords, etc with a
relatively low water turnover. Here in Puget Sound it's a
concern because the water turnover is very slow, particularly
in the south sound and Hood Canal. For example, I believe the
time it takes for a complete water exchange in Hood Canal
(which is a long, natural inlet, not a man-made canal) is one
So, I hereby retract my advice
to always throw your scraps of food overboard. Unless you're in
an area with a good flow of water bring your garbage to shore.
Be careful, and don't mess up our waters.
Thanks Marin for the head's
up. I learned something today.
I know we used to train fish down island. Do folks here in
the states do the same?
What is your favorite chum?
Abandon Ship! ~
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