freezing skipjacks

Discussion in 'Skipjack Herring' started by dotbasser, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. dotbasser

    dotbasser New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Kentucky
    hello everyone this is my first post. Just wondering how you prepare and package skipjacks for freezing.I double bag mine. Is there something else I should be doing. Caught 45 at Cumberland City yesterday in two hours.Some of the biggest I,ve ever caught. Just a report for everyone.

    Thanks, dotbasser

    Barry
     
  2. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    Vacuum Sealing is the best method. A little expensive but they'll last forever that way.
    Congrats on a good skipjack run. 45 in two hours is pretty good.
     

  3. steveturner024

    steveturner024 Active Member

    Messages:
    825
    State:
    Illinois
    Name:
    Steve Turner
    I would freeze them first then vacuum seal them so the blood and juices don't suck out of the fish. When you go to thaw them out cut a whole in the bag to relieve the pressure before they thaw or it will still suck out the blood.
     
  4. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,507
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    Good advise above. Welcome to the USCA.,
     
  5. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    I do a two step operation. One guy handles the slimy skips and lays them on the saran wrap that another guy has ready. Second guy wraps and tosses in a wheelbarrow. The vacuum sealing is a clean operation after that. No juices sucking out and ruining the seal. Also your skips will not freeze together so you can easily grab a couple for a short trip.
     
  6. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo
    cool advise daryl thank you !!!!!!
     
  7. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    One other tip. Look for the plastic wrap that has little slider doo dad on the box that slices the plastic for you, much much easier. I buy the jumbo roll at COSTCO.
     
  8. dotbasser

    dotbasser New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Kentucky
    Thanks for the replies. As for the vacuum sealer,is there a lot of upkeep? Looking at one in Bass Pro catalog and it says theres a heavy-duty seal bar for 50 or more repetitive seals. Does this mean it has to be replaced often?
    Also don't understand about it sucking the blood out of whole fish. Please imform me further. Thanks Barry
     
  9. Angler2007

    Angler2007 New Member

    Messages:
    489
    State:
    Missouri
    skipeye, the plastic bags you get from the grocery store/walmart work also.
     
  10. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    I have had issues with the walmart bags myself. By the time you toss out defective ones you have eaten up the cost savings. I buy only the Foodsaver brand bulk rolls.

    To the poster that said something about sucking the blood out of the skips when they thaw, that doesn't even make sense to me. The contents remain under a vacuum during the thaw so where is this pressure differential coming from thats sucking the blood out of your bait? Never seen it happen. Skips are slimy, you'll have juices after thawing. Doesn't mean it was 'sucked' outta your bait.
     
  11. dinger66

    dinger66 New Member

    Messages:
    899
    State:
    north alabama
    what about salting before you vac seal them, just thinking of trying it
     
  12. alton

    alton New Member

    Messages:
    1,045
    State:
    Illinois
    Welcome to the BOC from Alton, IL. Nice haul on the skipjack. SkipEye will give you all the info you need in regard to freezing skipjack. Good luck.
     
  13. efrith

    efrith New Member

    Messages:
    1,306
    State:
    Seale Alabama
    I too rap mine in before sealing them they seam to seal better and last a long time.
     
  14. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    I agree with Skip on this. Saran wrap then vacuum seal.
     
  15. cattracker13

    cattracker13 New Member

    Messages:
    509
    State:
    tennessee
    This is my second year of catching skips and freezing them. I did not even know what a skippy was til two years ago. I have been buying two bxs of 1 gal zip loc bags at a time so to have plenty. If the skips are big, like most of the time, I cut off the tail and cut them in half and put in 1 bag. Get most all of the air out and then put it in another bag and get the air out of it then off to the freezer. My wife(I so love her !!) recommended that I get a food saver, just for my skippys..! I dont know how expensive they are but it is on the list of my must haves..
     
  16. rahughes

    rahughes New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    North Carolina
    Welcome, I fold a paper towel and lay it across the top inside the bag before vacum sealing it soaks up the slime and does not inter and ruin the machine. Good Luck.
     
  17. Todd Strong

    Todd Strong Active Member

    Messages:
    1,023
    State:
    Cambridge, Ne
    Over a period of time this off season, I have done some research and testing of freezing baitfish using flash freezing. The biggest problem we, as fishermen encounter is the success rate with using frozen bait. Which in my findings, I have found many interesting factors.
    Fish muscle usually contains 60-80 per cent water, depending on species and season, but the tissue fluid contains oils and other compounds in solution, and the muscle freezes in rather a different manner from water. The speed of freezing is an important factor in preserving the quality of the bait. The object is to pass from lets say 60 degrees to 0 degrees Fahrenheit as quickly as possible. Crystals stop forming at 14 degrees, but may still change at lower temperatures.
    Freezing creates crystals, which increase in size as the temperature decreases, until 14 degrees. The longer it takes to freeze the produce completely, the greater the number of crystals created. The higher the temperature frozen product is stored at, the greater the number, and size, of crystals created. Therefore, more (and larger) crystals will be created by storing at 30 degrees than at 14 degrees. Items that are flash freezing will show little change in cell structure.
    By the time 8 hours have passed to freeze seafood to 14 degrees by conventional (non flash freeze) the proteins have already been denatured and oxidation of the fatty acids has occurred. Ruptured tissue cells means increased drip-loss during thawing. The moisture loss from thaw-dripping and the associated loss of water-soluble parts of the damaged tissue will, in turn, affect both the texture and freshness of the bait. In turn causing your bait to be mushy and unproductive.
    I am not going to go into how this is done at this point till I have tested this on shad, Shad is the main baitfish that seems to have its problems. Plus little hard to get fresh shad at this point. But I am hoping this has a great success, I will sure share it with my fellow freinds on the USCA .
     
  18. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    And how do we get our hands on any flash-freezing apparatus? LOL!

    Great Post and I am looking forward to reading your findings.
     
  19. efrith

    efrith New Member

    Messages:
    1,306
    State:
    Seale Alabama
    Interesting I work on refrigeration equipment on my job and have extra parts maybe I can build a flash freezer for skipjack.
    I have seen a flash freezer for fish once in a book it gave details on how it worked so maybe I can get one working.
     
  20. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    a liquid nitrogen dip? I am shure it wouldent be cost effective but tongs+skip+ dip 1 min then seal? Or try packing on dry ice after sealing? Just a though on flash freezing. It dont affect me much as I dont use skipjack often. I pefer brined mooneye, shad or fresh caught bait.