Trout chow bait is a homemade combination of trout chow -- a commercial fish food preparation -- and other ingredients. Anglers use it to catch trout, carp, catfish and other game fish. They press it around dry morsels of puffed corn on a hook and shape it into balls. The ingredients vary to accommodate changes in water temperature, current velocity and fish appetite. Other ingredient combinations enable the bait to partially disintegrate and disburse into the water to attract fish.
Trout chow is a commercially prepared fish food used in stocked lakes and fish farms to foster fish growth. The main ingredients are fish meal, soy bean meal, wheat and corn. Fish meal is made from whole non-food fishes and includes the bones and entrails. Trace ingredients include flavorings such as animal blood or fish oil, vitamins and nutrients.
Trout Chow Bait
Trout chow is mixed with other ingredients to make trout chow bait. The United States Catfish Association forum favors No. 4 size chow. A smaller size chow will float, making casting difficult. One half to three-quarters of a can of creamed corn or whole corn is added to the mix. The corn causes the bait to disburse slowly when it reaches the bottom.
Recipe and Flavor Experimentation
Fishing experts encourage bait experimentation, and this new "self-chuming" fish chow bait is largely unreported outside of online fishing forums. Fish bait experts and professional fishing guides recommend adding flavorings. Jeffrey Busch of St. Petersburg College says bonita and cobia blood are widely accepted. Capt. Manning, a Tarpon Springs, Fla., fish guide, recommends menhaden fish oil. Tony Young of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission opts for commercial natural bait scents. A United States Catfish Association expert says hot cinnamon oil works well in cold weather. Trout Nation favors cheese and garlic bait flavoring.
Assembling the Bait
Corn morsels sold at bait shops are used to form the core of the trout chow bait. Bait makers roll the trout chow bait mixture between their fingers into a cylinder shape. Next they wrap the cylinder around the hooked puffed corn and form it into a ball. (The catfish association website has photographs of the final assembly.) If the bait fails to adhere to the hook, the mixture is too dry. Small amounts of water are added until the trout chow bait sticks. Correctly mixed, trout chow bait should stand up to casts of more than 50 yards.
- Fisherman's Source Book; Bill Wisner; 1983
- Justin McQueen, Largo Feed & Grain; Interview; 2011
- United States Catfish Association; Forum, Making Trout Chow Bait; 2010
- Tony Young, Media Relations Coordinator for the Division of Hunting and Game Management, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; 850-488-7867; September 2011
- Jeffrey Busch; St. Petersburg College; Interview; September 2011
- Capt. Mike Manning; Tarpon Springs, FL; Interview; September 2011
- Farlex; Free Dictionar; Fish Meal