CHUMMING FLAG, A LEGACY OF GERALD TAGGART – 6 JULY 2018
Chumming is method used to send out scent trail that attracts fishes that are good in picking up the scent. It is a method widely used in saltwater fishing. Basically to get the scent trail out fast, we used meshed oily fish mixed with sea water that will be the base of the chum and thrown overboard at a steady portion to get the process started. Fishes that are good picking up this fishy smelly goodness are sharks as they are gifted with the capability of smelling blood in the water up to 500 yards away. The only purpose of doing this is to catch them and hopefully it done only for sports fishing.
Another method would be cut bait. The basic idea was to throw out small cut baits that are thrown out to entice predatory fish to come closer to the surface. This helps to congregate tuna easier as they will be releasing a bait with hook and line to catch it. Some anglers used live bait chumming to get the bite going and the fish stays closer to our fishing area. Common method that Fishyology experience and apply when it comes to fishing for Sailfish and Dorado.
Sports fishing for sharks is not common in South East Asia. Anglers hardly went out to sea, targeting only sharks. Usually anglers accidentally caught a variety of shark species like the Black Tip, Mako and Bull shark. In Malaysia alone, there are several fishing spot that has a good potential in becoming a great fishing ground for sharks. The potential danger while fishing for sharks is that it impose a threat to nearby boat that are not aware of our chumming activity. It will be potentially dangerous to nearby boats that are not aware of our chumming activity. An indicator is required to set a sign to nearby boats, and thus the Chumming flag was found by Gerald (Jerry) Taggart.
The Creation of Chumming Flag
The chumming flag goal is to establish a code flag for chumming globally. In 1997, Jerry Taggart was listening to a call-in fishing radio show called (Let’s Talk Hookup) when a caller asks, how can you tell when a boat is chumming? The answer was given, look for a slick (oil sheen or looks like a current break). A week later Jerry called and asked Pete Gray (LTH) & guest Pete Haynes (Izorline, and later Shamino) if there was a chumming flag? The answer was no, but what a good idea. After some research and found that there was not a flag for chumming, he went to work studying all kinds of flag designs and chose the traditional colors of yellow and blue same colors as the nautical flag steer clear, then chose a diagonal pattern that’s easy to see, and pictogram design easy to understand plus versatile. There are several design that specifically indicate a special target species like sharks, tuna and even a general flag. The flag is an important move to serve as an indicator and set a specific guide that will enhance the overall perceptions towards Sports Fishing, especially in Asia.
Jerry has been actively promoting the flag and had a booth at (Day at the Docks) Festival it was well received by many anglers and fishing clubs. Not only did he wanted to promote the flag awareness, he also wanted the flag to beneficial to fishermen and the marine environment. The movement was also supported by IGFA and it was very encouraging. The passion he found almost 20 years never died away and he is back in trying to promote this flag globally. The need to promote awareness towards safety is always going to be a priority, sportsmanship, & etiquette on the water is secondary but equally important especially in Tournament’s where chumming is used.
Over the years Jerry has spoke with many fishermen throughout the industry and the list is long, but in 2014 after talking to Captain Brett McBride of TV Sharkmen about the chumming flag and he thought maybe a second flag. He wanted to find a way to identify shark fishing from other forms of chumming and the idea clicked to use the mako catch flag that I already had, and to use a two flag system that identifies shark fishing, plus the red flag matches the high alert flag of the South African beach spotters. While promoting this idea Marie Levine of Shark Research Institute liked the idea and Jerry’s endeavor, she took a chumming flag with her to CITES.CoP17 Johannesburg, South Africa, a world conference and has been promoting the idea ever since.
This is not an easy endeavor and it’s one that takes time and getting people and organizations involved, but for Jerry Taggart it’s about making a difference in a sport that he loved since he was 5 years old and fishing with my grandfather. Jerry and Fishyology has the same passion about making our sport better, and also incorporating conservation in fishing. In this part of the region, we are still years away from USA, Australia and European countries where they certain guidelines and rules which anglers have to follow. With the emergent of Chumming Flag, we encourage anglers within this region to support this great movement, as part of the collection will be channeled to the research,education and projects of the marine environment for the next 100 years .
Visit Website: http://www.chummingflag.com/home.html
E: firstname.lastname@example.org, Jerry Taggart