If you have decided you want to start chumming and you want to make some soured wheat catfish chum there is a pretty simple process to follow to make it. This is an excellent way to bring in channel catfish when fishing with punch baits and dip baits.
There are a lot of recipes on the internet to make this, and many are quite complicated and require a lot of ingredients. I have heard of people using these recipes and having success catching fish with them but I really find them to be overcomplicated and expensive for their purpose.
I have used a number of different types of chum throughout the years and for a long time I believed that soured milo was the absolute best. I used hen scratch for a while but was unhappy with it, so I switched back to using soured milo.
After years of using soured milo I started using soured wheat catfish chum and have been using this for about five years now. I am of the opinion that wheat is the best grain to sour and use for chum.
Soured Wheat Catfish Chum Recipe
Making this is actually very easy. Just go to any feed store or farm and ranch supply and but a 50 lb bag of wheat. The wheat will cost you around $8-$10 for a bag usually.
You need a good five gallon bucket with a good fitting lid.
Take the wheat and pour it into the five gallon bucket. Full the bucket up with between 1/2 and 3/4 of the way full. Remember that it will expand a LOT when it begins to soak up water. If you put too much in the bucket it will overflow and make a mess, and also waste a lot. If you realize that you have put too much in the bucket when it starts to sour you can always pour some of it into another bucket, but try to get it right the first time.
Once the bucket is filled between 1/2 and 3/4 of the way full, you need to add water. You want to fill it up with water until the water is a few inches over the top of the grain.
You can add some yeast or half of a beer to the bucket and half of a cup of sugar if you are in a hurry and want to speed the process along but it is not totally necessary. If you have made this before and you still have a little left over, add some of the old mixture to your new mixture and this will jump start the fermenting process. Again, not necessary unless you are in a hurry.
Once you have added your ingredients you just need to place the lid on the top of the 5 gallon bucket. DO NOT SNAP DOWN THE LID. You want to leave the lid loose so air can escape from the bucket. As the mixture begins to ferment it will let off gas and if you snap the lid on, it will blow the lid off and blow soured grain all over everything. I know many people who had this happen and believe me it makes a mess.
I also suggest putting this somewhere where animals cannot get into it. My beagle once decided to knock over a bucket this and take a roll in it and let me tell you folks, it was not pleasant. It took about 4 or 5 baths with her howling and me scrubbing to get that smell of her.
The chum will begin to ferment within a day or so. You just need to check it every couple of days and make sure that the water is about an inch or so above the top of the wheat. I try to keep the water at a minimum instead of just filling the whole bucket up because I like to have as little water as possible in my finished bucket.
It will take about two weeks for the grain to really get fermented in ready in cooler weather. In the heat of the Summer here in Texas it gets ready much sooner than that, especially of you add some of your old soured grain or the beer/yeast and sugar like I mentioned before.
You may need to add water several times before you get the water level right and it is ready.
When you can open the bucket and quit seeing bubbles rising through the liquid, you will know that it’s ready and you can snap the lids on the buckets securely so it will help contain the smell.
Now you are ready to start chumming.
Update 5/23/2012 – Here is an in depth catfishing video that walks you through how to make soured wheat catfish chum and covers some important details on what not to do when making this..