Burley, or chumming as its known in most other countries, has its origins in the tourism industry. It first came about in California in the early 19th century when they used to throw fish guts and pigs’ heads off the pier to attract sharks for the tourists. It is now commonly used to attract fish and one fish that responds particularly well to burley is snapper. So, with snapper season in full swing here on the Sunshine Coast, I thought it would be fitting to let you know what we find works.
Burley is by far the best way to attract fish to your bait by scent and food particles. It is often used by offshore anglers but also gets results in the rivers and beaches provided it is done correctly. Current/tide and wave action are the determining factors as to where your burley will end up. To get the best results you want your burley trail to start up current from where your bait is. Positioning your burley pot so your bait is in the trail is a must.
You can buy burley pots from your local bait and tackle shop for around $15 or if you are pretty handy with tools you can make a budget version. Buy some PVC pipe and a couple of screw on caps, drill some hole in it and it will cost only a few dollars. You will need some rope to tie it to your boat or tree if fishing from the bank. If fishing in depths over 30m we often sink the burley pot on a rope or tie it off to the anchor to get a quick result.
This example retails for about $20.
Any fishing scraps, off cuts or old left over bait can be used as burley. We combine all the left over bait from previous trips with chook pellets or old bread as well as tuna oil and mash it to a fine paste. We then freeze the mixture in milk bottles so it disperses slowly when we put it in our burley pot. Another method is to fill an old stocking with your burley mixture but be sure to check with the other half before cutting up her hosiery – and before freezing your burley next to tomorrow night’s steak!
If you haven’t tried using burley before give it a go. Even if it catches you just one or two more snapper it could change an average day’s fishing into an excellent one. Just be sure you don’t go overboard as fish will gorge themselves until full, so the finer the burley mix the better.
Head over to our facebook page and let us know about your success with burley. Or feel free to ask questions I can address in future blog posts. https://www.facebook.com/pages/TOP-Catch-Charters/340047046026078?fref=ts.