How Does Freezing Shad Affect the Texture

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by DemolitionMan, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Can anyone tell me how freezing shad will affect the texture/toughness of the bait as far as staying on the hook???? Just wondering whether it would be worth the effort to brine and then freeze the shad in vacuum sealed bags.....Dwight
     
  2. RiverKing

    RiverKing New Member

    Messages:
    2,232
    State:
    Yellow Spr

    If you plan on using it within a week, put it in the refridgerator. Frozen shad is mushy when it thaws. I catch my shad about 2 days before the trip, then put it in the fridge in vacuum sealed bags. It works just as good as fresh bait in my opinion.
     

  3. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Thanks for the info...I thought I had read somewhere that freezing would make em mushy....Hmmmm, I guess that would be good to grind em up and make "frozen" chum blocks with....Dwight
     
  4. riverdawg-1

    riverdawg-1 New Member

    Messages:
    738
    State:
    salem, va
    Big shad freeze better than the small ones. The small ones kinda fall apart when thawed. A 12-14 inch shad seems to freeze alot better.
    Chip
     
  5. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I have thought about this many times and pondered on the idea of "Why" they get mushy after frezing them. I have come to this conclusion.
    Shad have very small mucles and when you freeze them, the ice crystals that form in the muscle tissue shreds it (freezer burn). Therefore causing them to fall apart when thawed out.
    Vacuum sealing them does help but, doesn't stop it completely.
     
  6. shepdog

    shepdog New Member

    Messages:
    44
    State:
    Sherwood, Ar
    There was a post one here about this subject at one time. It stated that you need to get a cooler of ice and a pan with holes in it to drain the water off. You put the shad on the pan in the cooler as soon as you get them. I have tried this before and it seems to work ok but they are still somewhat soft when you thaw them out.
     
  7. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    Yes the freezing makes the the baits mushy but the heads will hold well on the hook!!!!!!

    :wink::wink::wink:
     
  8. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY


    Are you really that smart or did you sleep in a Holiday Inn Express that night??? :tounge_out::wink::big_smile::lol: Great thought though!!!
     
  9. fwmud

    fwmud New Member

    Messages:
    693
    State:
    Wilson's Mills,nc
    Theres a place near here where we cast net for the large gizzard shad when they "run".
    We caught several coolers full at a time.They were vacum sealed and froze while still kickin. We have used them to great sucess and not had the mushy problem.
    These were the large ones though, 8 to 14 inches.Even had good luck with letting them thaw and get a litle smelly before useing them.No brine or anything. Just into the bag with a couple or 3 and seal and freeze.
     
  10. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Thanks for all the comments....That's some food for thought, dreadnaught....I think you may be right.....I guess I might have to go with "skipjack herring" for the freezer.....BTW, as many people that seems to use Skipjack as a bait, why is there not a forum for Skipjack?????Just wondering....Thanks again guys....Dwight
     
  11. deerhunter4

    deerhunter4 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Illinois
    Thanks for all the post on here this was a great subject...

    Paul
     
  12. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Oxford,Miss
    Dwight I've been freezing shad for channel cats on a small river for many years with no problems.I net the shad,21/2 to 3 in., and put them on ice from the net and never let them get warm.When I get home I put as many shad dry with no water as I will use on one fishing trip in quart size ziplock bags,I hold the bag under water to remove the air from the bag then zip it up and freeze the bags.I have never had them get mushy when I do it that way.I would make my wife mad at me every time I did this because I always did it in the kitchen sink but I would put the shad ice and all in one side of the sink and clorine bleach and water(do not let bleach get on the shad) in the other side because it would remove the fish smell from the bags and not stink up the freezer and I would use the bleach water to clean up the sink.
     
  13. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Jim,

    Thanks for the info, my friend....Sounds like you've got it under controll....Thanks again, Dwight
     
  14. cook

    cook New Member

    Messages:
    1,494
    State:
    Plattsburg,Mo.(near K.C.)
    Ditto,when you freeze,the fluids in each cell expand and puncture the cell walls,when thawed,these fluids leak out into the surrounding tissue.This is also what happens when you get frostbite also.Kinda ugly.:eek:oooh:
     
  15. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    i vacuum seal my shad, and thaw them in the fridge. they are more firm that way. you want to freeze them with as little fluid in the bag as possible. what i do is roll up napkins tioward the end of the bag, leaving room for the seal. this way the suction pulls the juices into the napkin, and you get a really good seal. throw them in the fridge overnight and in the freezer the next day. i don't know why this works better, but it does. i can't take credit for the letting it sit idea, i ripped that one off of jim moyer! if you know who that is, you know he's a good one to learn from!
     
  16. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Yeah, we musta read the same article in the magazine.....Jim said he lets his skipjack sit for 3-5 days in the fridge before cutting up and useing for bait...He said the time gave the blood/oil time to settle....But he was talking about "blues"....I'm sure that would work on just about any cat but flatheads....Dwight
     
  17. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Oxford,Miss
    Dwight I just posted about this on another string so look my post.
     
  18. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    yeah dwight, i got it from the same article. i tried his skipjack method with the bigger shad and even bluegills, and it worked better.
    the other night i let a couple big bream sit in a ziploc in the cooler for two days while we were camping in oklahoma. i fished them side by side with fresh cut, and the 'marinated' bream outperformed the fresh cut 6-1.
    on the red river below lake texoma, i used 3 day old shad that were 15-19 inches on cats, and caught several nice blues and channels. i sat them in the cooler in ziploc bags so they wouldn't get wet. moyer said in the article that letting them sit brings the oils out to the surface of the skin. the only part of my 'study' that didn't affect anything was the gizzards... they worked just as good either way.
    this won't change my habit of using fresh cut shad, but it helps to know there's something to fall back on when i can't fish the same day i catch bait, or when i have to catch bait in a way different location days before a fishing trip.
    good fishing
    jordan
     
  19. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Jordon,

    Yeah, my brother called me today and gave me the same "oil" report on some small shad they cast netted last week...He said that three days and four nights in a ziploc outside in the ambient temps and there was oil in the bottom of the bags....

    It's good to hear your "research" results....Thats one thing I like about this BOC, there's a lot of people who aren't afraid to try something new....Thanks for the report....And don't forget...We have a Skipjack forum in the "Fishing America" section.....That's what I'm wanting to mess around with.....See ya around....Dwight
     
  20. large1

    large1 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    Louisiana
    Well,no one posted my method,so I'll throw in my two cents.I have found that if you freeze the 1-2 inch shad to prevent them from becoming mush and soft,you simply put them in a ziploc bag and pack them in regular table salt.It toughens them up so they stay together pretty well.They still smell the same and if the taste is different the cats don't seem to mind.They eat 'em up as good as fresh ones.