Freezing shad

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Alsey, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Alsey

    Alsey New Member

    Alright BOC'rs here's the question. I've always heard that if you freeze shad(say in a block of water in a ziplock bag) that when you thaw them they're all mushy and won't stay on a hook, especially if you're trying to cast a couple miles. I cut big shad in half and put them on number 8 circle hooks. It seems that the muscle and bone in the top half of a large shad wouldn't get mushy even if you froze it.

    What say you BOC'rs?
  2. Catchinbiguns

    Catchinbiguns Member

    Kansas City, Ks
    I do it all the time, I must say I have never had that problem.

  3. BullDaddy

    BullDaddy New Member

    Bossier City, La.
    If you get them on ice as soon as you catch them they will not get mushy. The only time it happens to me is when I catch shad and don't have them on ice for a while, then they get real slimy and mushy.
  4. beeheck

    beeheck New Member

    Iowa / Missouri
    Never had a problem with it. I've heard people talk about cutting their shad in half and sometimes fish like the head and sometimes the tail. To eliminate that problem and to come up with what I think is a better looking presentation is to cut my shad in half lengthwise. I lay the shad down on my board and run a fillet knife up one side of his spine head to tail. Now at the head I have to kind of chop or force my way through but it can be done. I get a longer strip that undulates in the water and just looks morw natural as they see a head and tail. I will also on the skin side cut little slits in the skin to allow for the shads natural oils to escape and leave a scent trail. The lengthwise cut allows more surface area for oils to get out. Tie up a couple large hooks in line and hook the first one through the tail and then one up by your sinker through the head area leaving a little loose line between the two hooks so the shad doesn't bend and want to twist in the water. I hook some up before I freeze them and put them in these cheap plastic trays with lids like Tupperware and freeze them. I don't do many like that but a few to get me started and then I have the others thawing as I always forget to get them out until I'm ready to go. Wish I had a memory, but I can't remember what I did with it.
  5. Deltalover

    Deltalover New Member

    Tracy Calif
    I freeze them in a zip lock bag. I think the important thing is getting them frozen quickly. Also in a single layer seems to work best for me! At best they are only good for a couple of monthes. I have never tried freezing them in water, I wouldnt think it work as well. I will have to do a test! I do know they dont sell them frozen in water!
  6. oldwhiskers

    oldwhiskers New Member

    Memphis, TN
    I will have to give freezing them a try. I will be fishing in MS and non-residents aren't allowed to catch them with a cast net. So it looks like I will need to go fishing in TN and catch some to freeze then go to MS.
  7. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Vacuum sealed bags are the way to go, and freeze them as soon as possible. I don't like them dead to long because some breakdown seems to take place.

    CATFISHPAT New Member

    I like them live,But the gut's hold up good in the freezer...
  9. tufffish

    tufffish New Member

    i put some up with pickling salt on them and they lasted 3 months. i have not tried long time freezing.
  10. Vonroc

    Vonroc New Member

    Central Ohio
    I use a cast net ,put them on ice for the trip home. I place them in ziplock bag no water 1 layer. These seem to last all year.Still frozen when I head out for fishing, after about an hour they thaw.I use these as cut or whole on the bottom or under bobber. I'm sure fresh is always best but these work good.
  11. Abu65

    Abu65 Active Member

    I may go overboard here but my preferred method for both shad & skipjack is to put them in a ziplock bag. Then on ice so the chlorinated water from ice melting doesnt get to them. Then once home I get a 5 gallon bucket of pond, creek or river water (no chlorine) then I either cut or leave whole (I prefer whole) in a bag submerse the entire bag in the bucket and zip it closed underwater no air (poor mans vaccum sealer). Then I freeze seems like alot of trouble but provides a good quality frozen bait.
  12. G3Morton

    G3Morton New Member

    I am using skip jacks, but shad should be about the same.

    I have caught several 6" - 8" skips late last summer/early fall. I have froze all of them in 1 gallon zip-lock bags. I have about three bags full with the pickle salt on them and another 3 bags with out salt on them. When this cold a$$ weather breaks and I get a chance to go fishing I plan on thawing some of them out and see what the difference is, if any.

    I will report back at a later time.
  13. fishoutloud

    fishoutloud New Member

    abu65- This is the method I use also! You pointed out the most important part- no chlorine!! The only thing I would add is that when I fish with them I try to keep them semi frozen in a cooler- it makes it a little harder getting the hook thru them but I think the scent lasts longer and is hevier!
  14. ersel

    ersel New Member

    Haughton Louisiana
    I put corn meal on the shad before freezing them keeps them from melding together
  15. ASASIN

    ASASIN New Member

    Lawson Missouri
    Here's the best way known to freeze them and keep them from falling apart:take your shad and add put them in a gallon ziploc bag immediately upon catching them. Add one cup of Canning/Pickling salt and the shad along with water to fill the bag up as best as possible. This will keep the shad from TOTALLY freezing and the shad will work as good as, if not better than, regular cut shad. I've had excellent luck with them in ponds and lakes. God bless.