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Range Cubes

 

range cubes

I saw some information about using Range Cubes as a catfish chum. Can you tell me what range cubes are and how to use them? Can I use them fishing from the bank? What is the best bait to use when using these?

Randy

You sure did pepper me with a  ton of questions in one ask a question email!

Range cubes are a supplemental cattle feed and are overall very similar to cottonseed cake.  You can read some more here on cottonseed cake and why you cannot find them any longer. Cottonseed cake was a very popular form of chum but since they are so hard to find these days, most anglers have started using the next best thing, range cubes. Many feed stores, cattle ranchers and even fishermen will often refer to them as cottonseed cubes as well.

Range cubes are commonly referred to as cottonseed cubes and again are very similar to cottonseed cake, they just don’t have as much oil in them as an old cake does.

Basically, they feed the cubes to cattle as a supplemental feed in addition to grass. If for some reason you really want to know all about the uses of feeding them to cattle you can check out this link to download a PDF file from Oklahoma State University.

You can buy range cubes at pretty much any feed store. While I have heard of some feed stores that don’t sell them, I cannot imagine that there is any feed store within 200 miles of a working cattle ranch that does not sell them.

The only thing you need to remember when buying them is that you need to buy HIGH PROTEIN , make sure they are at least 20% protein, and you may be able to find them up to 32% protein. If you buy them with lower protein they have tendency to float and will also fall apart in the water very quickly, which defeats the purpose. They should cost around $8-$10 a bag at the very most and will come in a 50 lb bag, which will last you a very long time.

Range cubes can certainly be used as chum, and they are often used for other fish as well, In fact, there are even some companies that package thems with their name on them, mark them up significantly and then resell them as chum.

Range cubes can be an effective chum but I really prefer soured wheat over them. Some people however don’t have the stomach for soured wheat, don’t have a place to store it, or don’t want to run the risk of getting it all over their boat, so they use the range cubes. I usually just use soured wheat but if I am baiting a hole I will often times use soured wheat and some cottonseed cubes as well.

Using range cubes as chum

First of all, let me say that this primarily applies to channel catfish. Your probably not going to catch a lot of blues with this technique. It does happen but it is primarily for channels.

The process for drawing them in when catfishing is really pretty simple. The process is a bit different if you are going to “bait a hole” or if you are going to chum. I am going to write some more detailed information on both of these techniques in the future but for right now I will give you the short answer. (Update: See chumming and baiting a hole for catfish)

Just take you a few handfuls and throw them into the water. When you throw them into the water you want to really throw them out and spread them out over a large area. The reason behind this is you want them to draw the fish into the area that you are catfishing in and not just drop them over the side of the boat.

If you drop them into a big pile, the fish are just going to congregate on the pile and start feeding, and they won’t move around much, which defeats the purpose. You want to draw the fish in, not feed them. Throwing the chum out over a large area will draw the fish in and get them moving around and hopefully your catfishing bait will be right in the middle of them all moving around and you will get a big strike.

You also want to make sure that you are conservative with how many of them you throw out, just a few handfuls should get you started. If you throw out to many you will just stuff the fish and they will be fat and happy and won’t keep looking for more. Start with a few handfuls and bait a few places and then if you don’t have luck move to another spot. If you are catching fish in an area and they start to slow down after a while, throw you a few more handfuls out and see if it fires the bite back up, because often times it will!

Yes, you can also absolutely use them when catfishing from the bank.

Best bait to use

As a general rule, since this is primarily going to draw in channel cats, you want to fish with prepared baits like punch or dip bait, they will be your most effective products when fishing these baited areas. You can go to our bait page and get a lot more detailed information on them and all other forms of bait.

When fishing in areas that have been chummed or baited I like to use punch bait fished with a slip float (also called a slip bobber) or sometimes a slip sinker rig. You can find both of these on our rigs page. I have some pretty specific tips for fishing with these methods using prepared baits that I am working on adding some articles on, and am even going to reveal some secrets that I have never shared before so make sure you check back here often or use our search function to find more infomation.  You might also want to  articles tagged with chum.

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About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google

Comments

  1. Neil Kolban says:

    If you store range cubes on your boat, make sure you keep them in a sealed container that is very tight. I made the gross mistake a few years back of keeping them in a plastic bag. I didn’t want to take a 50lb bag onto my boat so I grabbed a bin liner and put about 10lb in that and took that to my boat. For the summer, all was well. I then put my boat away for the winter and thought nothing more. When I returned to it next spring, my boat was infested with cockroaches. Not just a few … but hundreds and hundreds of them. The cockroach poop covered EVERYTHING and if I moved some article in the boat, the roaches would just scamper about. Looking in the loose bag of range cubes was like looking into some scene from a bad horror movie. The whole content was alive with critters and it was obvious where they were getting their nourishment from. The problem was quickly solved by putting on my boat cover and tossing in some Raid grenades … but the cleanup was nasty.

    In the future I will take my range cubes in a sealable bucket or tub.

  2. Me and my friends smash the range cubes to a powder and add water flour and some stink bait and we catch catfish all night

  3. does chumming work in cold weather? Is there a water temp that they are no nonger effective?

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