Freezing Shad

Discussion in 'OKLAHOMA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by ronlyn239, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. ronlyn239

    ronlyn239 New Member

    Messages:
    270
    State:
    Bartlesvil
    I was wondering if anyone out there had tried using a Foodsaver vacuum packer to freeze shad or skipjack? The most common comment is that the shad turns mushy after freezing in water or just by themselves.

    I bought a Foodsaver last year for the specific reason of freezing my catch. (Not that I haven't frozen a ribeye or two.....but, I digress.) Anyway, the difference between freezing my fish in water versus the foodsaver is amazing. The redfish I caught in Louisiana last year tastes like fresh, whereas in the past, they just weren't near as good as fresh caught.

    Before I use those expensive bags for the shad, I wanna know if anyone has pioneered the way and could tell me if the shad would be much better vacuum packed?
     
  2. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I have done this for the last few years and it works great.
     

  3. jdorton

    jdorton New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    oklahoma
    ive done and ended up getting a new foodsaver and keeping the old one for just that. i think keeping as much water off them as posible helps.
     
  4. catfishcrazy256

    catfishcrazy256 New Member

    Messages:
    2,648
    State:
    Indiana
    works for me the bigger the bait the better
     
  5. labdog9099

    labdog9099 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    texas
    have you tried the vacume jar that comes with a food saver
     
  6. jdorton

    jdorton New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    oklahoma
    never tried it for shad, that might cause me trouble when i dump out the rice or flower thats in them. good idea though
     
  7. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Zip Loc now has a small handheld machine with ziploc bags to match it. The bag has a spot on it were you put the suction cup on it and it sucks the air out. The devise is small and battery operated. I've got one I use in the kitchen, and it works great. It's really good for leftovers or jobs were you don't want to break out the big foodsaver.

    I'm gonna give it a try on fish and shad, and if it works, then I can keep one with some bags in my tackle box and have them all bagged up before I get home so I won't have the mess in the yard. Oh yea, the Zip Loc machine only cost me 9.00 and came with batteries. The bags that go with it don't cost but a few cents more than the normal ones.
     
  8. ronlyn239

    ronlyn239 New Member

    Messages:
    270
    State:
    Bartlesvil
    Thanks for all the answers and advice, guys. It just seemed to me that it made sense to remove all the water, and it is a great machine for freezing fish. I'll never be without the foodsaver again for freezing my fish. Not only that, the flat package doesn't take near as much room as fish frozen in water.

    I had Redfish on the half-shell the other day from the trip to LA in May, and it was as good as the day I caught it. OK, OK, we did come in from that trip back to the cabin and grill them fresh, but fish always tastes best when you take it from the water to the grill. But you get the idea.

    Tight lines.........
     
  9. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    I was wonnderin the same thing. I am going to get one so I can have back up shad in the winter. Sometimes it just too hard to find em around here. Thanks guys!
     
  10. Phil Washburn

    Phil Washburn New Member

    Messages:
    7,680
    State:
    Shawnee OK
    i couldn't find anything made by ziploc, but i found this reynolds wrap item

    http://www.alcoa.com/reynoldskitchens/handi_vac/en/home.asp
     
  11. katcatchingfool

    katcatchingfool New Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    State:
    illinois
    i have owned a vacuum sealer for a couple of years now and i am still trying to find the best way to freeze skippies i have tried everything that i have read or come up with by myself and i always get mushy skippies when they thaw out... somebody help me!!!
     
  12. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    OOPS!!!!!!!!! My mistake, thanks for correcting me. Guess i need to look at the box better huh?LOL Yea, that's the one I've got and it works just like it says. It took awhile for me to get it to function right as I was pressing down too hard. You just lay the suction cup on the place on the bag with no pressure, and it works like a champ!
     
  13. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    Shad ends up getting alot more mussy after freezing than skipjack, also don't freeze them in water. The vacumm sealers are good, but try not to get the slime of the fish into them. I just freeze them in 1 gallon bags with no water, I try to get all the air out I can. Also the new commercials say that supposedly the double seal bags to as good if not better job than the vacuum setups.
     
  14. sminyard

    sminyard New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    oklahoma
    There is nothing like fresh caught shad.

     
  15. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I've got one of those, and so far it's worked great for me. It's nice to be able to do it right there by the water rather than mess with them at home. It might not be up to the large scale bait collection some folks do, but I sealed up about 25 skipjack a couple of weeks ago with no complaints.
     
  16. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    if you can find the blood pads, like the ones that are under steak when you buy it, lay those under your shad. then roll a napkin or paper towel in the mouth of the bag, leaving room for the seal. the foodsaver will suck the slime into the napkin and give you a better seal than it will with slime or water in it.
     
  17. Little Mac

    Little Mac Active Member

    Messages:
    1,828
    State:
    NW Arkansa
    I bought a food saver early 07, and froze several bags of large shad, 6 months later they still bleed when cut and are firm not mushy So I believe in the food saver as the ultimate in saving bait. I dont know how it would be for small shad as fresh caught starts getting mushy pretty darn fast. Does excellent for Skips too. I double seal the opening. MassaGeorge has a very good idea, I will have to try that. Thanks.
     
  18. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I recently bought one of the little Handi-Vac battery operated vacuum sealers and some matching bags. These bags have a double zip-lock seal and a place down on one corner where you hold the vacuum sealer to extract the air. Works fairly well if you don't have much to do. When I bought it, I had the idea that I might be able to rig my shop vac to extract the air when sealing up skipjack. I haven't tried it yet, but it sure looks like it will work. One big advantage will be that I won't have to worry about sucking liquid into the shop vac, since it's made to vacuum up liquids as well as solids. I won't know till I give it a try, but it won't surprise me if I have to use some duct tape to neck down the vacuum hose to a piece of water hose.
     
  19. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    food savers are great, but I freeze alot of shad and just dont like to take the extra time...If I freeze them dry, and not long after catching them, and keep them froze on ice while using I dont have a problem.
     
  20. Little Mac

    Little Mac Active Member

    Messages:
    1,828
    State:
    NW Arkansa
    Jerry, Down at wally world they got a kit for the shop vacs that has many different sizes of nozzles, they get pretty small, might look into that, I tried necking down to a tube with mine to clean my pellet stove used duct tape and still had leaks in the suction, got one of those kits and all is good. Just a suggestion for ya. Mac