How do you all freeze your skipjacks???

Discussion in 'Skipjack Herring' started by rspd507, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. rspd507

    rspd507 New Member

    Messages:
    729
    State:
    Rising Sun,IN
    Just wondering how you guys freeze your skipjacks? I freeze mine as well as my shad in water. They seem to keep better this way, not as quick to get mushy when they are thawed out. Any and all replys will be appreciated. Thanks, rspd507
     
  2. Duckpoor

    Duckpoor New Member

    Messages:
    184
    State:
    Illinois
    It's Shad for us around here . Same,? mabey different but here is how we deal with it.

    Fast frozen Dry for short term, because they Thaw faster and are closer to fresh than soaking for hours, waiting for the surrounding chunk of Ice to melt.

    But : For long term the water preserves them Much better than Dry.
    They seem to crisp right up and change color with out water in a short time.
     

  3. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Having frozen catfish fillets in water very successfully, I'd have to say that that's probably the most effective way to preserve skipjack, too. Vacuum sealing looks like it would be very effective as well, but I haven't got one of those, so I simply wrap mine in plastic wrap. (I home to have a vacuum sealer by next spring.)
     
  4. fastfrank

    fastfrank New Member

    Messages:
    75
    State:
    Elgin, Alabama
    My best experience has been with vacuum frozen skipjacks. I'll give fresh skips the #1 vote, but vacuum -sealed have produced many big blues for me.
     
  5. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat New Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    If I am going to keep them for a while vaccum seal or cut their tails off and throw them in a ziploc
     
  6. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,696
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    i wrap mine in saran wrap one at a time that way its like vacum sealing and then i put them in ziplock bags.when i go fishing i can take only what i need and leave the rest at home.
     
  7. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Oxford,Miss
    I freeze skipjacks in the plastic bags they use for news papers and it works very good for me,shad I freeze dry in zip lock bags and I put them on ice as soon as I net them.
     
  8. RIVER3782

    RIVER3782 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    Terre Haute Indana
    I seal fish bait by Food Saver
     
  9. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    State:
    Dallas, GA
    I use a vacuum sealer also. It seems to work really well. You can get a good one for around $40 at Walmart. Bags are a bit expensive, but I think it is worth the cost.
     
  10. catfishbills

    catfishbills New Member

    Messages:
    630
    State:
    Tennessee
    I vacum seal them, if I have the time, but have kept them for a year frozen in "ziplock" bags also. The vacum bags ARE expensive, when your trying to freeze 300 18-20" skips! If you go 20 or so trips and have a couple friends that want bait they dont last over about 6 months normally.:wink:
     
  11. shadguts

    shadguts New Member

    Messages:
    564
    State:
    Tennessee
    I freeze mine in gallon size ziploc bags. I put the fish in and partially seal the bag, roll out all the air I can and finish sealing the bag. They never last more than a few months because I use them.
     
  12. memphisbobby

    memphisbobby New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    Memphis
    1 Gallon freezer bags
    airtight as possible
     
  13. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    In the past I have used 1 gallon ziploc bags with and without water. This time I think I will freeze them individualy, or atleast most. Has anybody packed them in salt, maybe a little expensive, but if you dont experiment how do you know.:smile2:
     
  14. CaptainBrad

    CaptainBrad Member

    Messages:
    610
    State:
    North Dakota
    I take a towel and dry the skins while they are still alive then run the vacuum sealer on them. I have found this to provide as close to fresh as I can find without having live ones in the boat.

    When I take them out of the freezer fishing I put the packages in a plastic grocery bag and pack them with ice to keep them as frozen as possible until use. The reason for this is they will get mushy if thawed to long and if I don't open a package I can get them back to the freezer for another day still preserved.
     
  15. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've packed them in salt, but only after filleting them first. That's the way I extract the oil from the skipjack. You'll find that it makes a big change in the way the skipjack looks, feels, & smells, not to mention being covered with very heavy sticky oil. I've only tried using the salted fillets for bait one time, and as it happened, on that day, the cats weren't interested in anything but cured chicken livers. Yes, we tried unsalted skipjack, and also fresh livers.


    I've bought one of those portable, battery operated vacuum sealers to try out. It looks to me like you could simply put the nozzle of your wet/dry shop vac over the little nipple on the bag and create an excellent vacuum. This would not only eliminate having to replace batteries, but eliminate any concern about liquid getting into the sealer and ruining it. I mean, it may make your shop vac stink, but it's not gonna really hurt it. Won't know till I try it on the skippies next spring.
     
  16. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I tried something recently, since my wife for whatever reason sold my vaccum sealer at a yard sale...:angry:. I simply took a drinking straw, and used electrical tape to fit it to the end of my shopvac. I put the shad in the bags, closed them up except for the very end, stuck the straw in and turned it on, it works very much like a vaccum sealer for the shad. Now for whatever reason it didnt work as well on the skips, which you would think would be opposite since it only has to seal 1 fish as opposed to 30??But who knows. It was cheap, and it seemed to work just fine getting most if not all air out of the bags.
     
  17. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Just a guess, but if you look at Food Saver bags, they have thousands of little dimples on the inside. I assume this is so the bag won't "stick" to itself, and prevent air from being sucked out.

    That could be a problem with ziplocs, but there must be a way around this.

    Johnnie's method-saran wrapping each fish- makes an awful lot of sense, to me.
     
  18. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've been wrapping one large fish, two medium fish, or three or four small fish in each package of Saran-Wrap....mostly. I make some small packages and large packages to allow me to take just the amount of skipjack I think I'm likely to use on the trip.