Freezing Shad, Am I wasting my time?

Discussion in 'Fishing Bait Review' started by Grits, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Grits

    Grits New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Arknasas
    I am in a position where I can catch a whole lot of shad. Some times when I go fishing I have trouble catching fresh bait.

    My thoughts we to put the shad in the freezer whole right after it is caught, then vacuum pack it as soon as it is frozen. It is hard to vacuum pack things that have any juice because the pump will suck it up. That is why I would freeze them when they are still flopping.

    Has anyone done this or is frozen shad a waste of time no matter how you do it.

    Thank you for all your comments and ideas.

    Grits
     
  2. enfausen

    enfausen New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Indiana (Rising Sun)
    Well of course fresh bait is always best. However I have used frozen shad, and skip jack with good results. Sometimes when they thaw out the are mushy, so I would use a cooler and keep them frozen until I put them on the hook.
     

  3. prostreetS10

    prostreetS10 New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    ohio
    I agree the fresher the better but i caught my biggest blue and i know a few other that caught their PB off of frozen shad. They just start getting really mushy when you freeze them and thaw them a few times. so you are definantly not wasting your time.
     
  4. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK

    That's the only worthwhile way to freeze shad is by this method. The only thing different is, I put a couple of frozen two liters of water in my ice chest to keep them cold on the way home before I vacuum seal them up. Two liters work best since when they melt they don't dilute the shad oil's. They are not mushy like using the same method exept usings ziplocs....that way is totally worthless.
     
  5. Grits

    Grits New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Arknasas
    I am putting them on top of ice and then they will be in the freezer within fifteen minutes.

    Grits
     
  6. randallewis

    randallewis New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Louisiana --Shreveport
    I spread my live shad on newspaper. This drys them off a bit. Sprinkle good with borax then vacuum seal. They are not stuck together when you thaw them out. Sometimes I just put them a zip lock bag. Someone posted this before I think he was from Missouri.
     
  7. luckey wade

    luckey wade New Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    ohio
    looking to bye anew depth finder an gps.
    only want to spend 500.........oo$$$.
    any ideas something to figrue out easy!!
    Thanks RAndy
     
  8. Bacardipr05

    Bacardipr05 New Member

    Messages:
    1,424
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    Not sure about Shad but I bought a similar looking fish from an Asian Supermarket about two weeks back. Froze them up thaw them out yesterday and it worked like a charm ( at least for my fishing buddy)......LoL...
     
  9. jerryb

    jerryb New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    Ohio
    I;ve used frozen shad several times and did okay with it.. but like the others said, once you've thawed 'em out, don't try to refreeze or you'll most likely get shad mush...
     
  10. Crucial

    Crucial New Member

    Messages:
    225
    State:
    Virginia Beach VA
    As your planning and others have mentioned, get the fish on ice as soon as possible. I use the Ice+Water+kosher salt slurry in a Styrofoam cooler to freeze the fish as soon as they come out of their water.

    The one thing I've noticed that helps keep the fish firm(or I believe it does any way) is to thaw your bait slowly in the fridge days before your fishing trip. Just take a batch from the freezer on Wed if your going fishing on Fri and lay them in the fridge and let them thaw nice and slow.

    I used to just take a "brick" of bait fishing with me and let it thaw out in the sun or in the water where I'm fishing. This rapid thaw seems to do more tissue damage than the I was previously aware. Your mileage may vary, and maybe it's "something" else I'm doing differently and haven't noticed.. but if your not doing a slow pre-thaw and your bait is getting really mushy, give it a try and see if it doesn't help a little
     
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've had such poor success using frozen shad, that I quit trying to use them long before I started freezing skipjack. Fresh shad are very good bait, though. Other places may experience different results, and using some special method of freezing, such as vacuum packing, might make a difference. Like most everything else, try it for yourself and see if it works for you...but don't pin all your hopes on it when you do.
     
  12. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,177
    State:
    NC
    DO NOT FREEZE THEM BEFORE VACUUM SEALING!!

    You need to ice the shad until you get home or keep them alive if possible. Then place them in a vacuum bag with a paper towel beween the fish and the mouth of the bag. The paper towel will absorb the wate during the vacuum sealing.

    While not "fresh out of the water", they are pretty dang good!
     
  13. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    I agree with this post here.
    I towel dry mine, then vac pak them. Thaw slowly, and fish. I usually take 2 quart size bags with me just incase i cannot find the shad when i go out.
     
  14. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    Fresh is always best but some would be OK. I have to travel 3-4 hrs round trip to fish the Flats and if I don't have fresh......I DON'T GO!

    :0a30:
     
  15. KingKaTdood

    KingKaTdood New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    Wisconsin
    hello.
    I've froze shad for a week or two and then wen't up to the mississippi river with them. I didn't catch a thing. Not worth it in my opinion.