Preping shad for the "Big Chill"

Discussion in 'Shad Talk' started by bnewsom71, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. bnewsom71

    bnewsom71 New Member

    Messages:
    537
    State:
    Mathervill
    I found a place that I can get coolers full of shad so I am going to try freezing a bunch of shad this fall. What is the best process for preparing and freezing shad so they will not be a pile of mush when I thaw them out next spring? All I know so far is that I will be vacuum packing them. All help is greatly appreciated folks. And BTW, these shad that I am catching are all about 6-7 inches.
     
  2. mdavis

    mdavis New Member

    Messages:
    139
    State:
    Iowa
    How I freeze my shad:

    · Catch and throw shad directly in an ice chest full of ice
    · Take home and place 8 in vacuum-pack bag (I do not stack them on top of each other)
    · Pace paper towel toward the top of bag to be sealed (keeps juices from flowing into your vacuum machine)
    · Vacuum, seal and throw in freezer.
    · Take out of freezer throw in ice chest and go fishing
    · Hook in head and catch big catfish… :)


    Just as good as cathing fresh shad!

    The only time I get "Mushy Shad" is when I try to refreeze the shad I go fishing with and don’t use. So I don’t even bother doing that any longer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009

  3. catfisherman369

    catfisherman369 Floyd

    Messages:
    4,944
    State:
    Nashville Il.
    vacuum sealing them is the main thing . Used to be able to get loads of shad around here . Now the damn asain carp have took over its almost impossible to get a shad .
     
  4. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    Has anyone tried this vacuum sealing method with shiners, suckers, or chubs? Do you think they would be effective?
     
  5. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla

    I vacuum seal chubs and use them in the winter as cut bait for blues. I haven't found any big shiners yet. I always vacuum seal shad and skip jack.
     
  6. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    Good Dirtdobber, we have a vacuum sealer. But for sure I'll have to wait till my better half is away from home.:wink: I can get chubs from 4" to 7" and shiners about the same size out of my creek. They're hard to catch during the winter months, so I better stock up now.

     
  7. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I havent tried using the vacume sealer ,As my wife might throw the cast iron skillet at my if I did. The way I freeze them is
    place on ice as soon as caugh
    1 Drain all liquid off before bagging,place an amount you think you will use in bags
    2 SALT HEAVILY with a NON IODISED SALT,Pickling salt or sea salt works
    great for this,I place about 1/8 cup salt per 2 dozen shad 3-5"
    3 Seal and work salt all over the shad
    4 freeze.
     
  8. bnewsom71

    bnewsom71 New Member

    Messages:
    537
    State:
    Mathervill
    Thank You everyone for your replies! I think I have a pretty good game plan now. Just one more question for all you pros.

    Should I salt them even when I vacuum seal them? Or is that just for non-vacuum sealed freezing?
     
  9. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla
    I do them both ways. Some I put garlic salt, some just salt and some plain.
     
  10. puppypal

    puppypal New Member

    Messages:
    2,294
    State:
    Sheridan, Ar
    I agree with the others. A love my sealer. We had caught like 135 skipjacks and was detrimined to save for the winter. As soon as we caught them we placed them in ziplock bags and put them on the top of the ice in the cooler. Kept them that way til we got in. Then we personally wrapped each one. They were huge! in saran wrap and then vacumn sealed them. So far they are great. Let ya know a month or two from now
     
  11. on_the_fly

    on_the_fly New Member

    Messages:
    606
    State:
    Kentucky
    this is the way I have been doing it for a few years now and is the best way that I have ever done only thing I can add to it is if your running low on the paper towles then just put them in the frezer for about fifteen mins before you vaccume seal. that gives the slime coat time to start to freze and will not end up in your sealer. (but most of the time I use the paper towl too)
     
  12. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    Gotta love the home vaccum sealers,I place fresh dead shad on a big cookie sheet on wax paper in my big deep freeze thenafter they a mostly froze vaccum seal and return the the freezer, I don't salt them because the salt will keep them from freezing as hard just like when you put salt on a driveway after a snow/ice storm,but I've salted them good when taking out and right before going fishing,it'll thaw them quick. I have also preserved them in salt,you can take a big bucket and a 50 lb bag of salt from the feed store,then put about 4 inches of salt in the bucket,gut the shad(freeze and save the shad guts in a mason freezer jar) then pack salt into the fishes gut cavity and roll it well in salt then lay in the bucket til you have a layer then pour in salt to cover and repeat doing this till bucket is full. this bucket of salted fish requires no refrigeration and can just sit in the garage or whereever with a lid,it's a little more time consuming and the salt will cost you about 8 or 9 bucks,but save your freezer space and the fish love these in the early spring. And no there's no bad odor from the bucket either.
     
  13. mdavis

    mdavis New Member

    Messages:
    139
    State:
    Iowa
    If you see my above post I do the same thing with chubs also.
     
  14. Scott C.

    Scott C. Member

    Messages:
    511
    State:
    NKY
    Some guys do like to freeze them first overnight before vacum sealing them. The theory is if you vacum seal prior to freezing you pull all the blood closer to the skin and they get a little mushy when dethawing.

    Personally, I throw about 5 in a grocery store platic bag, throw em in the deep freezer and forget about em until I need em and they work just fine (as long as they're 15+ inches). The smaller ones tend to get mushy a lot easier than the big ones.
     
  15. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    They will not turn to mush if you vaccum seal them or just put them in freezer bags.

    But you must keep them cold and on ice while using frozen shad to preven them from getting mushy.

    I put a couple bags in a cooler full of ice, and they will pretty much stay froze for a day of fishing, I cut them while frozen
     
  16. catin38

    catin38 New Member

    Messages:
    272
    State:
    alabama
    vacuum seal is the only way to go..
     
  17. Flootie16

    Flootie16 New Member

    Messages:
    1,268
    State:
    Indiana
    Scott i wanna know where the heck your catching 15 inch shad at right now!
     
  18. JBrooks

    JBrooks New Member

    Messages:
    742
    State:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Care to tell me where you're getting shad as big as some of my channel cats I catch? :smile2:
     
  19. dominoman

    dominoman New Member

    Messages:
    445
    State:
    Dale, Texa
    When we can catch shad, I got one of the hand vacuum pumps for the Ziplock bags. Carry it in the boat, I can seal and pack them while waiting for the next bite. Easy to clean, don't need electricity. It packs them as well as the sealer I had been using until the boss found out I was using it to pack bait.
     
  20. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    I caught 300+ shad in May after high water stranded on a golf coarse,and vaccum sealed them. They do great and like has been said leave them in the cooler with ice till you are ready to put on the hook. I like putting them on thehook frozen because we all know ice cubes float, and I figure they float a while too till they thaw.