Chumming with corn is illegal in some states and legal in some. The laws vary, but it is safe to say that you can use corn as bait for some fish species. This is where the line gets murky. Allow me to clear up the confusion. In the end, you will know which states allow chumming, which ones do not, and what are the legal provisions for chumming with corn.
States Where Chumming with Corn is Illegal
Below is a list of all states where chumming with corn is illegal.
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Some states allow chumming, but only in certain bodies of water and for some types of fish. In the next sections, I will discuss some things that I have learned.
Chumming Legality per State
Below is a table that shows the 50 states and whether or not fishing with corn is allowed. Take note that chumming is different from fishing with corn.
|State||FISHING WITH CORN||CHUMMING WITH CORN|
What is the difference between chumming and baiting with corn?
Chumming with corn is a practice of throwing ground bait in the water to lure fish. Because of this, it is easier for fisher folk to capture fish. Usually, the chum is made of fish, meat, bones, and blood. The process is to drop it into the water and see if there are many fishes that will get attracted to it.
Chumming is illegal in some states because of the belief that the fish will start associating food with humans. This principle makes sense, as chumming can also attract sharks. If sharks associate food with humans, then they will start attacking people.
The problem with chumming is similar to feeding. Wild animals should not rely on humans to be able to eat, and they should not be dependent on humans for food.
Baiting with corn, on the other hand, is allowed in many states. As bait, the person only has to attach corn to the bait and use that as a lure. In this case, the fish is still “hunting,” not depending on humans to feed it. Baiting with corn is only illegal in the state of Rhode Island.
Feeding corn to fish is not harmful to the animal. In fact, fish like corn. The thing is that animals in the wild should never learn that humans equal food. Chumming is also an illegal practice in some states in terms of hunting.
Despite some states banning chumming with corn, some of them do allow this practice in some bodies of water. For example, you can chu with corn in California, but only in Salton Sea.
Is chumming legal if corn is not used
Generally speaking, chumming with other lures is legal in many states except for chumming for sharks. Chumming for fish parts is legal. One cannot chum with mammal blood or land-animal parts.
The thing is that the laws about chumming are murky. For sure, chumming with corn has clear legal provisions, but chumming in the sea with something other than corn is not something I would recommend unless you spoke to an officer and you got a guarantee that it is allowed.
Will corn harm the fish?
No, corn does not harm the fish. Some say that it can harm the digestive tract of a fish, but there is really no evidence for this.
Fish love corn. The thing is that if you bait with corn, you should not do catch and release. It is not because of the corn but because of the hook. A fish that takes the corn bait can easily swallow the hook to its belly. As such, removing the hook from the belly can hurt the fish and kill it.
Chumming with corn, on the other hand, is banned not because it harms the fish but because it is bad for the environment. Corn has nothing to do with water. Corn can take a month to degrade on its own in the water, and it can be unsightly.
I am not in a position to tell you what the punishment is. I am sure you will not like the penalty if you ever get captured. If it were up to me, I would just bait and lure the usual way. Although angling like this is harder, it is much more fulfilling than chumming with large amounts of fish—except if you are a professional and sell your catch in the market.
Chumming with corn is illegal in many states. If it is legal, then it is certainly frowned upon. Although the process makes it easy for some anglers, it is not a good practice. Not only does it make the angler look amateur, but it also means that the angler does not want to do the hard work of baiting and luring the fish.