ChumCam was created on a whim because I wanted to see what was lurking below the gulf especially in our favorite fishing spots.
Just like any other great creation, I used PVC pipe, zip ties, screws and cement.
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Step 1: Parts
Ok so I don't have an exact bullet list of every item but here's a general list.
Schedule 40 1 1/2 inch PVC
- straight sections
- 4 way joints
- 90 degree elbows
3/4 inch self tapping screws
100 ft of rope
Led Flashlights - get the cheap ones at Walmart or Home Depot
For the chum:
Blender (one you will NEVER use again)
Bait fish (I used cigar minnows but does it really matter??)
Wet dog food
Knee high panty hose
A pretty stiff constitution
Step 2: Assembling the Base
Assembly is fairly straight forward. I "roughly" measured the PVC sections to 6 inches each to form the base, 12 inches for the 3 legs of the cage and 18 inches for the chum bag extension tube .
You need to put 90 degree elbows on each corner. A tee goes in the center of each section also. Three of the tees will serve as the base of the cage and the front tee will allow an extension to strap the chum bag to. I did not secure the cap onto the tube because I didn't know if is have to extend it until after the maiden voyage. The paper towel is stuffed in the end to prevent the cement from spilling out.
I used self tapping screws to attach the pieces and not glue since I used cement as weight.
You can prepare the chum extension tube by drilling some pilot holes at the end and them screwing some of the eyelets into place. I placed one on the cap and mounted the rest on the extension tube off center at about a 30 degree angle just in case I wanted to put more than one chum bag on it.
Refer to the picture.
Step 3: Assembling the Cage
The top of the cage is used to hold the gopro and the lights and is where the rope is mounted.
Use 3 90 degree elbows. A 4 way connector and a tee. Each section is 6 inches, roughly. The picture shows a dry fit of the top to the legs.
Do not secure the legs to the top yet because you'll need to pour cement down them.
I used a tee on the front to mount the gopro and also to mount the led flashlights. I drilled larger holes about 1/4 inch from the end to pass zip ties through to secure the lights.
Step 4: Adding Cement
Because I needed the ChumCam to sink and stay on the bottom, cement seemed like the perfect solution.
I used anchoring cement since I was using screws.
So with the base fully assembled and the cage legs secured you can add cement.
It helps to use a funnel so I cut some empty water bottles in half and stuck them in the legs. You want to have this ready because the cement dries pretty fast.
Now mix the cement per the directions and then pour it down each leg. I kept mixing and pouring until there was no cement left.
So does it work? After the cement had dried, it was heavier than any anchor I've used. I didn't weigh it but it sinks like a rock!
Step 5: Final Assembly / GoPro Attchment
Let the cement dry overnight. Secure the top the next morning.
Once the top had been secured you need to add eyelets to each of the corners. I drilled pilot holes and screwed the eyelets in at an angle. I used gorilla glue to make sure they wouldn't slip out.
I used the paracord as a handle of sorts. I looped it through the eyelets and them through a metal double swivel. The swivel is the spec of the handle if you can imagine. It also allows the ChumCam to spin freely without twisting up the main rope or the paracord.
I tied the main rope onto a carabiner so I could detach the rope easily if needed.
I attached the GoPro upside down to the bottom of the tee of the cage top. I suggest putting a float back on it, just in case.... Use the GoPro app and you can frame your shot. Once you have it where you want it, lock it down.
I also attached a piece of paracord to the GoPro base and tethered it to the double swivel. I used enough cord to provide some slack so it didn't get yanked around during descent or when I pulled it back up. I have lost enough GoPros to warrant a little extra security.
Step 6: Preparing the Lights
Because I didn't want to spend a fortune on lights so I figured I'd waterproof some cheap led flashlights.
I used a technique found in instructables for waterproofing flashlights with mineral oil. It's simple and a little messy but the end product worked fine. I believe a dedicated light source would ultimately be better but it worked fine for my purposes.
I prepared 3 flashlights and then strapped them to the top of the cage using zip ties. I angled them down to shine on the chum.
Step 7: Making Chum
This is the most unpleasant part of the entire product, especially if you're a cheap Chinese blender.
Chum is chum is chum as some would say but here's a little recipe I picked up in some of the local bait shops.
1.) place partially thawed bait fish in a blender, making sure the juices go in with them. I used cigar minnows but it doesn't really matter as long as they're fish, they're dead and they're partially frozen.
2.) place wet dog food in the blender along with the fish and juices. I basically used 3/4 fish and 1/4 dog food.
3.) start blending. Of course you'll want to keep the top on. Blend until it's slightly thicker than paste.
4.) put your chum shake into containers that will freeze well because you may need to use it later. I put mine in used gelato containers which had screw tops but also could fit the panty hose over the top. This way you just dump the chum into the panty hose without actually having to touch too much of it.
Repeat as needed.....
Once you're out on the boat, dump the chum into the knee high panty hose and tie it onto one of the eyelets. The panty hose are perfeft because they allow the chum to slowly seep out attracting numerous types of varmints.
Step 8: ChumCam in Action!!
Now you're ready to test the ChumCam. The day this video was made, it was a little rough so I didn't want to go out too far. I anchored close to a known wreck and dropped her in. She sank like a rock.
The rope got a little tangled which is why the cam jumps up and down. The water was very murky as you can see but it was a success.
It would be helpful to use a magenta filter for the GoPro to see a little better in the green water.