Is Chumming with Corn Illegal? Answers for All 50 States

Chumming with corn is a popular practice among anglers, as many fish species are likelier to bite. You heard from a friend that chumming isn’t permitted in all states, which is very surprising to you. Is chumming with corn illegal?

Chumming with corn is illegal in these states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Vermont

Some states that legally allow chumming with corn do bar the practice in some bays and lakes, while other states that disallow the practice permit it in some locations. Since the rules can be kind of murky, we’ll go state by state and explain which states allow chumming with corn and which don’t.

The Rules for Chumming with Corn by State

Before we get into this list, we want to take a moment to make clear the difference between fishing with corn and chumming with it. 

Even if you know it’s legal in your state to fish with corn as bait, that doesn’t mean that the same rules apply to chumming.

Map of the United States showing what states it is legal and illegal to chum with corn

*Disclaimer: The maps provided are based on our best interpretations of the regulations for all 50 states. We advise that you check with your local city regulations before fishing. You can always call the fish and wildlife department to verify your findings.

Check Out Our Fishing Pages for More Great Tips!

Okay, let’s look closer into the list of states that permit and prohibit chumming with corn. 


The southern state of Alabama is home to many beautiful lakes and rivers, including Lake Guntersville, Gulf Shores, and Orange Beach. You’re free to fish to your heart’s content, as chumming with corn is assumed to be legal in Alabama. 


If you can get past the bitter cold temperatures, the fishing is great in Alaska. This state welcomes anglers to chum or fish with corn along the Indian Creek, Kodiak Island, Cooper River, or Bristol Bay.  

Just don’t plan to do any chumming in Bristol Bay, as Alaska outlaws using corn for chumming here. For all other lakes, it’s okay!


From one of the coldest states to one of the hottest, Arizona is another state that permits anglers to chum with corn. This could be a good method for catching fish at Lake Pleasant, Theodore Roosevelt Lake, Lake Havasu, or Lees Ferry. 


It’s presumed legal to chum with corn in Arkansas as well, so plan for a day of fishing at Lake Catherine, Lake Dardanelle, Lake Maumelle, Lake Fort Smith, or the DeGray Lake, which are regarded as the nicest lakes in the state! 


Of all the states in the United States, California attracts the most tourists. If you’re visiting hoping to chum with corn, sorry to break it to you, but almost every lake and river across the state bans the practice.

The only exception is the Salton Sea between Imperial and Riverside counties. This is a shallow, salty, landlocked body of water, which may explain the legality of chumming with corn here. 


Another beautiful state that attracts its fair share of tourists is Colorado. The practice of chumming with corn is outlawed in this state, and there are no exceptions like in California. 


Over on the east coast, you’re within your legal rights to chum with corn in Connecticut. Why not explore Crescent Lake, Farmington River, Candlewood Lake, or Lake Zoar with a can of corn and see what you catch? You probably won’t be disappointed! 


From Cape Henlopen State Park to Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is a great state for fishing. You can chum with corn here legally, whether fishing in an ocean, lake, river, or bay, which is awesome! 


As one of the sunniest and hottest states, fishing never stops in Florida. If chumming with corn is your preferred method of catching fish, you can do it here with no problem. Maybe you’ll do some fishing at Pensacola Bay or perhaps along the Gulf of Mexico? 


The southern state of Georgia brings the heat and the anglers, especially since chumming with corn is legal here too. Now you can fish at Lake Lanier, Blue Ridge, Tybee Island, Big Lazer Creek, and the Lake at Evans County just the way you like to. 


The clear, pristine, oceanic waters of Hawaii naturally call out to many anglers, but unfortunately, you cannot chum with corn here. There are no exceptions. You can use corn as bait legally in Hawaii, though. 


Idaho is another state that bans anglers from chumming with corn. As is the case with Hawaii, Idaho has a hardline stance on the rule with no exceptions. Keep the corn at home if you want to fish here! 


Illinois is rife with great fishing spots, which is great for you, as you can chum with corn legally here. Get a can of corn and your fishing gear and head out to Little Grassy Lake, Lake Shelbyville, Clinton Lake, Lake of Egypt, or Rend Lake. 


It’s presumed legal to chum with corn in Indiana. If you want to come home with a cooler full of fish, be sure to check out Lake Monroe, Patoka Lake, Sundance Lake, Eel River, or Lake Maxinkuckee. 


Iowa has thousands of ponds and lakes that are stocked full of fish, and you can chum with corn legally in any of them. Lake Rathbun, Black Hawk Lake, Clear Lake, Lake Macbride, and Prairie Rose Lake are some of the most renowned bodies of water in this great state. 


Kansas gives anglers the green light to chum with corn. Tuttle Creek Lake, Milford Lake, Wilson Lake, Melvern Lake, Hillside Lake, El Dorado Lake, and Clinton Lake are some of the most popular lakes, so be sure to arrive early to stake out a good fishing spot. 


Kentucky puts the kibosh on chumming with corn. There are no exceptions across its various lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. You’ll have to find some other type of lure to attract the fish instead.  


Unlike Kentucky, Louisiana is a southern state that does permit anglers to chum with corn. Lake Charles, Lake Ponchartrain, and the Grand Isle are some of the most picturesque fishing spots in this state, and Caddo Lake, Henderson Lake, and Caney Lake are good too. 


Maine is the first east coast state we’ve discussed that does not allow anglers to chum with corn. As has been the case with the last couple of states we’ve discussed, there are no exceptions to Maine’s chumming rule. 


Further down the east coast is Maryland, a state that does welcome anglers to chum with corn. Ocean City will be busy but have some great fishing opportunities. You can also try Deep Creek Lake, Liberty Reservoir, Centennial Lake, and the Potomac River.  


The gorgeous state of Massachusetts has no laws barring chumming with corn. You can bring corn to Nantucket or Cape Cod or venture off the beaten path and do some fishing at the Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Plymouth Harbor, or Norton Reservoir. 


If you were hoping to do some chumming with corn in Michigan, you’d have to make other plans. This is another state that bans the practice. 


Yet another northern state that does not permit chumming with corn is Minnesota. This state also makes it clear that no exceptions are allowed, so plan to use a different style of fishing if you’re passing through here. 


It’s presumed legal to chum with corn in Mississippi. You should be free and clear to use this fishing style when dropping your line in Pickwick Lake, Okhissa Lake in the Homochitto National Forest, Lake Tangipahoa, or Grenada Lake. 


Missouri is one of those states that have no beef with anglers who want to go chumming with corn. You might explore the sizable Lake of the Ozarks or perhaps Lake Taneycomo, Table Rock Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, the Osage River, or Wappapello Lake. 


With no rules to the contrary that we were able to find, anglers who want to chum with corn in Montana should run into no opposition. The Madison River, Missouri River, Hyalite Reservoir, Big Hole River, Beaverhead River, and Hebgen Lake are not to be missed. 


Nebraska makes it legal to chum with corn as you wish. You can ensure your days of fishing at McConaughy Lake, Sandhills Lakes, Wagon Train Lake, Merritt Reservoir, and Box Butte Reservoir are fruitful. 


Fishing is a popular activity in Nevada but chumming with corn is prohibited in this state. Only anglers who want to chum in Lake Mead can bring out the corn for chumming, but Nevada prefers you keep chummed corn out of all other bodies of water.  

New Hampshire

At least if you wanted to go chumming with corn in New Hampshire, it’s assumed to be legal here. Now’s the perfect time to get out and go visit Contoocook Lake, Crystal Lake, Grafton Pond, Millsfield Pond, Lake Sunapee, or Lake Francis. 

New Jersey

Like its east coast cousin New Hampshire, New Jersey also doesn’t bar chumming with corn. This state has lots of great beaches for fishing, including Belmar and Cape May, as well as rivers and reservoirs like the Delaware River, Round Valley Reservoir, and Merrill Creek Reservoir. 

New Mexico

In New Mexico, it’s perfectly legal to chum with corn in bodies of water such as Ute Lake State Park, Pecos River, Conchas Lake State Park, San Juan River, Bluewater Lake State Park, and Navajo Lake State Park. 

New York

New York is yet a third east coast state in which chumming with corn is presumed legal. You can venture out to beachside towns like Montauk or Long Island and try fishing there. You can also go chumming with corn on Lake Champlain, Cayuga Lake, Clear Creek, or Eastern Lake Ontario. 

North Carolina

In North Carolina, it’s presumed legal to chum with corn. You can go fishing at Oak Island, Wrightsville Beach, or Carolina Beach, and be ready to fish, fish, fish as much as you can. Lake Fontana, High Rock Lake, Lake James, and Lake Norman are also other top-notch spots. 

North Dakota

Over in the Midwest, North Dakota outlaws chumming with corn. Nowhere in this state can you practice chumming, so you’ll have to use another fishing technique if you hope to fish at Devils Lake or Lake Sakakawea. 


Ohio, another Midwest state, has no qualms about anglers chumming with corn. Venture out to Put-in-Bay, Sandusky, or Port Clinton for some lovely sights when fishing. Greenfield Lake, Clear Creek Nature Preserve, and Berlin Lake also come highly recommended. 


Down south in Oklahoma, the fishing is good. What makes it even better is that you can chum with corn. Broken Bow Lake, Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Lake Texoma, Flint Creek, and Beavers Bend State Park are excellent spots to visit. 


Oregon also prohibits anglers from chumming with corn. With about 1,400 lakes, there are a lot of places where chumming is off-limits. It’s worth skipping the chumming to stay on the right side of the law, we’d say! 


In Pennsylvania, it’s presumed legal to chum with corn to catch the selection of fish that abound here. Now you can plan a fishing day at Raystown Lake, Lake Wallenpaupack, Lake Erie, or Neshannock Creek to catch some channel catfish or bullhead catfish. 

Rhode Island

You can’t use corn as bait in Rhode Island, and you also can’t chum with corn here either. There are no exceptions to this rule, so you’re much better off leaving the corn at home. Try other edible baits or maybe an artificial lure. 

South Carolina

Back to back! That’s right, South Carolina also doesn’t permit anglers to chum with corn. As was the case with Rhode Island, there aren’t any exceptions, so don’t try to look for any loopholes. 

South Dakota

South Dakota law doesn’t say you can’t chum with corn, so it’s presumed legal. If you’ve never fished at Horse Thief Lake, Lake Sharpe, Big Stone Lake, Lake Thompson, or Lake Poinsett, now is your chance. 


Those down south in Tennessee who feel like chumming with corn can, as it’s presumed legal in this state as well. The Volunteer State has a multitude of fantastic fishing spots, such as Douglas Lake, Chickamauga Lake, Percy Priest Lake, Dale Hollow Reservoir, Cedar Hill Lake, and Cameron Brown Lake. 


Everything is bigger in Texas, so the fish must be too! You can chum with corn to find out for yourself. The top fishing spots here are South Padre Island, Port Aransas, Lake Conroe, Lake Palestine, O.H. Ivie Lake, Lake Buchanan, and Lake Fork. 


To keep Utah’s bodies of water full of fish, chumming with corn is deemed illegal here. If you’re really itching to do it, you can legally chum in Lake Powell, but no other bodies of water in this state allow it. 


Vermont also bars chumming with corn. It’s another of a long list of states in which no bodies of water are acceptable for this fishing activity. You’re better off fishing with a different type of bait altogether. 


It’s wholly legal in Virginia to chum with corn. Considering this state has so many beloved fishing spots, this benefits you. You might go fishing at Virginia Beach, Lake Moomaw, Lake Anna, Mossy Creek, or Smith Mountain Lake. 


You’re also legally allowed to chum with corn in Washington should you want to. Some of the state’s best fishing spots are the Lowland Lakes, Snoqualmie River, Columbia River, Joemma Beach State Park, Green Lake, Yakima River, and Fish Lake. 

West Virginia

Chumming with corn in West Virginia is presumed legal, which opens up your fishing options considerably. Try Burnsville Lake, Sutton Lake, Summersville Lake, Ohio River, Kanawha River, Tygart Lake, and Stonecoal Lake for fishing. 


Wisconsin is another state of many where chumming with fish is presumed to be a legal activity. Now it’s time to plan a day of fishing at Big Saint Germain Lake, Jute Lake, Eau Claire Chain of Lakes, and Lake Winnebago. 


Finally, there’s Wyoming, in which chumming with corn is also presumed to be legal. Between Yellowstone Lake, Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Snake River, North Platte River, and the Wind River Range, you have plenty of exceptional places to check out. 

Final Thoughts 

Corn may harm a fish’s digestive tract, which is why many states throughout the US have banned chumming with corn. A small handful of states count the activity as legal, and for plenty more, it’s presumed to be legal.

We hope this handy list helps you fish smartly! 

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

Recent Posts

outdoortroop-21 outdoortroop-20