Black sea bass are voracious predators and will outcompete anything else in their size-class, especially over the winter and early spring. They cover up any available reef structure that harbors baitfish, but quite often, they will hover over certain sections of the structure. Anglers can sweeten the pot and pull fish to the boat using one simple technique, chumming.
Black sea bass are not bashful. They will take handouts without a second look. Free food falling right into their laps will trigger aggressive feeding among the school and will concentrate the school right under or behind the boat.
Ryan Werner of Werner Ocean Adventures takes black sea bass fishing seriously. He always brings enough extra bait with him to get the bass in the feeding mode and up next to the boat. He will have a bucket full of small pieces of fish ready to be tossed out to the fish.
“They will come off bottom for sure, especially if you are dropping chum,” said Werner. “I’ll usually throw some chum just to get them thick under the boat.”
Black sea bass are not spooked easily. They will become aggressive when presented with a meal, and that allows anglers to use different techniques and much lighter gear. With the fish away from jagged structure, anglers can use light tackle and jig lures right under the boat.
For many types of fishing, chumming can be used and the winter season, with little natural food available, presents a perfect situation for this proven technique.