Gonna freeze some shad

Discussion in 'KENTUCKY RIVERS TALK' started by bnt55, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    I am planning a bait catching trip in the morning. I have my 70 qt cooler filled with ice and I am planning on catching about 50-100 shad (depending on size) to freeze for the hard to find bait mornings. Anyone have some tips for the care and handling while freezing them puppies? I have heard that it is not good to keep shad in ice water instead they are supposed to be on ice, i was thinking about laying down some thin plastic on top of the ice so they dont drop down into the ice water? Once I get them home I will hose them off and put them into 1 gallon freezer bags for later use. Hows that sound?

    Bill
     
  2. PHLIPS4BIGKATS

    PHLIPS4BIGKATS New Member

    Messages:
    2,679
    State:
    Alma Kansas
    If you cover them with some salt(garlic) it might help not turn to mush when you thaw them back out on future uses. Thats what I do and it works well for me.:0a26:
     

  3. seahaggy

    seahaggy New Member

    Messages:
    219
    State:
    kentucky
    Go out and buy a vacuum food sealer.This will seal them and they will be as fresh as the day you caught for a long time.
     
  4. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    I am tapped out this week in purchases...I hit up cabelas.com and my wife has given me the evil eye....so looks like I will have to make the best of plastic baggies.
     
  5. seahaggy

    seahaggy New Member

    Messages:
    219
    State:
    kentucky
    :wink: "BUT" it's for her!!!!!!! for those delicious leftovers:0a19:Better stop for i get you in trouble.
     
  6. river1214rat

    river1214rat New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    West Point, KY
    I would suggest using smaller bags to freeze them in. I pulled some out of the freezer last night for a quick trip down to the river, they were put up in double seal sandwich bags and were not mushy at all. Once I open a bigger bag, what I do not use is pretty mushy by the end of my trip out. Good luck!

    Linda
     
  7. coltsfan

    coltsfan New Member

    Messages:
    714
    State:
    ohio
    go to wally world and get you the ziploc sealer it's ten bucks plus the bags .it's small and runs on batteries.i take a cooler of ice .when i catch 5 or 6 shad put them in the bag suck the air out put them on ice .when you get enough go home and put in freezer
     
  8. on_the_fly

    on_the_fly New Member

    Messages:
    606
    State:
    Kentucky
    vacume sealer is the only way to fly. Wal-mart black n decker for 50 bucks and a food saver for 100 bucks. I have the food saver but I have a friend that uses the black n decker one and he says it works but he didnt think it was as strong as the one I have. I will fill up my 120 gal cooler with skipps and seal 3 or 4 to a bag and have them untill I run out.
     
  9. lissaannjon

    lissaannjon New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Dubuque, IA
    Ive experminted with about everything under the sun when it comes to freezing these little critters. if you just throw them in a bag wet they will freeze as one big chunk. The problem i found with this is that when you unthaw them they are completely mush. the smaller they are the even more mushy they will be. its nasty and you have wasted good bait and time! to solve this I use cookie sheets (shhh dont tell momma you took them out of the cupboard)and lay the shad so they dont touch each other one by one on the sheet. I then place a layer of waxpaper over them and lay another row AND ANOTHER AND ANOTHER (you get the idea) and freeze them overnight in the freezer. This will keep the blood in them and they wont freeze in a chunk. I completely agree with seahaggy and I then put them in vacuum sealed bags and put them in the freezer until you are ready to use them. Another thing i have found is if you try to keep them alive like you would for live bait and allow them to puke and change water on them before getting them home several times they freeze even better and i have no idea why unless it has something to do with the stomach acid they no longer have in their bellies. when you unthaw them using this method they wiill bleed at that time. you CANNOT refreeze them though if you dont use them. once they are thawed either use them or dump them because if you try theye will turn to mush the second time in the freezer. hope this helps you out a little and good luck. It is a little work but when i cant find bait its sure nice to cut open a bag of ALMOST FRESH and go fishin!:big_smile:
     
  10. Boomer

    Boomer New Member

    Messages:
    1,037
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I like to freeze mine in water. I add nothing to the water. A gallon baggie, pack it full of shad, then add water to cover all of them. They dont get mushy this way. The only problem you have is thawing them out. What I usually do is take a 5 gallon bucket with me, and put some lake water in it, and thaw them that way. The advantage to this is a if you take more than one baggie full of shad with you, can keep the extra frozen in a cooler until time to use.
     
  11. Kerplunkd

    Kerplunkd New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    North Carolina
    Sounds like all of you have this down to a science. I figured the vacuum sealer I have in the kitchen would be perfect for the job. Good info.
     
  12. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    I suggest vaccum seal, that works best for me
     
  13. iluvcatfishin

    iluvcatfishin New Member

    Messages:
    31
    State:
    Kentucky
    I have to agree wit Gary. I freeze mine in water too. I just use a ziplock bag or a pint container with a lid and put about 6 -12 in them, then put enough water to cover them up and freeze. When they thaw they are fresh. I did this with shiners and, other than being dead, they were as fresh as the day I got them.
     
  14. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    well i got about 4 doz shad today and i froze them in ziplock bags laid flat and tried to get the air out of the bag as much as possible. I did individualize each shad to make it easier to get out later. thanks for the comments and tips
     

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