freezing shad

Discussion in 'Shad Talk' started by nevets91, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. nevets91

    nevets91 New Member

    Messages:
    604
    State:
    rock hill south carolina
    im wanting to have a bunch of frozen shad on hand in case i have a trip where i cant catch bait. what is the best way to keep them if i dont have vacuum sealer? i have several dozen just frozen with some water but havent thawed them to see if it worked well or not? will they be mush when i thaw them? if so what can i do to them so they wont be for the next time i freeze some
     
  2. boombalaty

    boombalaty New Member

    Messages:
    1,536
    State:
    Kansas
    Ziplock makes a really sweet hand pump for their special bags. It works great and is only like 10 bucks for the pump and like 5 bags! Get em at wally world.:wink:
     

  3. nevets91

    nevets91 New Member

    Messages:
    604
    State:
    rock hill south carolina
    thanks do you think that the shad i just froze in a regular zip lock bag will be no good?
     
  4. Catfish_Scooter

    Catfish_Scooter New Member

    Messages:
    2,055
    State:
    Tennessee
    Airtight in a regular ziplock should do it.:wink:
     
  5. Colsrob

    Colsrob Active Member

    Messages:
    862
    State:
    Ohio, Columbus
    Yeah, the hand pump sealer works fine.

    I don't add water to mine. I prefer that they stay as dry as possible. The water seems to add to the mushy feeling when they thaw. I allow them to drain as much as they will before freezing. with no water, it also takes less time to thaw. At least that's my experience.
     
  6. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    My Experience is that if you freeze the shad more than a few months they turn to mush or worse. I no longer freeze shad because,it seems that the freezing process breaks down the fish odor. I have used frozen shad in a large school of suspended blues and lost but 1 bait in 30 hooks. I never caught a fish. Thereafter I have never frozen any shad. I am now just freezing skippies.
     
  7. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    I get ice, put a towel on the ice, then my shad or herring. When I get home I dump them out on towels again...get all the water off that you can and keep them as cold as possible.

    I take a regular pleated baggie and fill it 1/2 way with bait....if that. After filling a few of those pleated bags, I take those and put them in a zip-loc bags.

    I do this because if I only put a few in each bag I wont be pulling them all in/out of the cooler, just a few at time...keeping the rest of them cold. I also don't like to waste bait by filling bags of bait, fishing, not using them all and throwing them out.

    I use the pleated bags because they are cheaper and easier to open/close while fishing.
     
  8. randallewis

    randallewis New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Louisiana --Shreveport
    I dry mine on newspaper or paper towels after they quit spitting and peeing.
    Sprinkle a little Borax then put in ziplock bags about 25 to a bag. I add about 1/4 cup of Borax to the bag and shake and freeze. The Borax (washing powder) keeps them from sticking together. They will be firm and not mushy.
     
  9. rcbbracing

    rcbbracing New Member

    Messages:
    757
    State:
    Ohio
    We usually place the bag under water, all except the zipper, make sure not to let water get into the bag obviously. The pressure of the water around the bag forces the air out...its kinda a poor mans vaccuum sealer...its not as good as a vaccuum sealer but is a very close second...
     
  10. BigBird

    BigBird New Member

    Messages:
    2,104
    State:
    Charlotte, NC
    i do the same thing-except i fold up a paper towel and put in the bottom to soak up any moisture.
    Love the poor man's ideas!
     
  11. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    2 cups of stock mineral salt type found in feedstore as a feed additive. To 1/2 gallon of water mix well -- soak chunked shad overnight in brine solution then freeze in bags or tubs with brine. Keep in brine when unthawen for bait. It firms up shad and mooneye and the cats seem to like this lil salty snack. This works best with fresh shad that have been kept cool and slime rinsed off. dont worry if all the salt dont mix pour it in with the bait anyhow and freeze with the bait. It will take longer to freeze being its salt water the bait will freeze before the brine. This has worked wonders for me as a bait when I cant get fresh and even had it outfish fresh a time or 2. Seems cats have taste for salt like other wildlife and fish.
     
  12. mintaka

    mintaka Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,470
    State:
    Charlotte , N.C
    From my experience , they should be fine. I have a bag that I've been using for over a month and they still produce , albeit better in some lakes than others.
     
  13. Blind In Texas

    Blind In Texas New Member

    Messages:
    143
    State:
    Houston, T-E-X-A-S
    I have done this. It works pretty well.

    Get a 5 pound bag of kosher salt. Obtain a large container with a flat bottom. It could be something similar in structure to a margarine tub (actually, they work pretty well). Drain the shad and let them dry to the touch.

    In the container, put a thin layer of kosher in the bottom to cover it then make a flat layer of shad and cover with kosher. Make a second layer and cover with kosher. Repeat this process until the container is full (making sure the last layer is covered with kosher.

    I leave the lid OFF, for fluid evaporation. They should cure up nicely after about 24 hours. I like to leave them in the tub for a couple of days. This gives the bodily fluids a chance to evaporate without souring. By osmosis the salt will displace bodily fluids and thereby be absorbed into the skin.

    I have left an open bag of them in the back of the truck for two days after a two cure time. They never smelled any worse than dry fish. There was hardly a fly to be seen.

    That salt can be re-used!!

    Good luck!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  14. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    I haven't tried saltin em, but it sounds good. I catch em fresh and put em on ice, drainin off excess water if I have time to stop the truck. I just put 4-5 in a bag and squeeze as much air as I can out and toss in the freezer. Now if I could just go out with one bag a trip instead of 3 to 4.... always wanting a fantastic bait usin winter trip..... it would last longer lol!
     
  15. baitnwait

    baitnwait New Member

    Messages:
    159
    State:
    North Carolina
    Here is another method you can try for larger shad. I try to keep mine alive in the bait tank until I get them home or at least iced down. Then I take a small section of plywood that will fit in my chest freezer and cover it with wax paper. I lay the shad on this and let them freeze solid. Then take individual shad and dip them in cold water and lay them back on the board in the freezer. Repeat this process two or three times to coat the shad in a thin layer of ice before placing them in a large ziploc bag. You can then remove the number of individual shad you need for each trip. The larger shad don't tend to get as soft as the small ones. I have even had good success using fillet strips from these frozen shad to drift fish with.
     
  16. fishjunky

    fishjunky Member

    Messages:
    118
    State:
    North Carolina
    Blind in Texas.... do you freeze them after salting them?