Salt Curing Skipjack?

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by 1442ncs, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. 1442ncs

    1442ncs New Member

    Messages:
    64
    State:
    Muhlenburg, KY
    Anybody out there ever tried this and how does it work. I talked to a guy at Barkley and he said he has kept them for up to 2 years in salt alone. Also read something about it in a trapping magazine. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've done it, but as a side benefit of leaching oil out of the skipjack. You can use most any old container that you don't plan to ever use for anything else but catfish bait, but if you plan on doing a big bunch, an old cooler with a drain plug works very well. I've also used gallon sized glass pickle jugs, but there's no handy way to drain them. Go down to your local co-op/feed store and buy a 50# bag of salt; probably cost you about $5.00 for the bag. Fillet the skipjack. I guess you could cut them in chunks, but I've never tried that. Lay down a layer of salt about 1/4" thick in the bottom of the container. Lay down a layer of fillets. Another layer of salt, same thickness. Layer of fillets, salt, etc. Finish with a layer of salt. Set the container in the shade for a month or more. You'll notice a bunch of oil gathering in the bottom of the container. This oil is very thick and super sticky; you won't get it off your hands without soap. This oil makes a very good scent additive, whether you add it to a stink bait, inject it into a bait, or simply dip your cut bait into it before casting it. You can use the cured skipjack fillets for bait, and they're really handy if you don't have any frozen skippies, but I think the frozen skippies work better than the cured ones.
     

  3. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Thanks for this very informative post. I had never heard of salt curing bait. That is a good alternative
     
  4. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    As a backup bait, quite a few of us have been salt curing chicken livers for years now. They'll last for a year or more without refrigeration. Personally, I don't think anything works better than fresh cut shad or skipjack....usually. But for those times when the cats want something different, or I run out of my preferred bait, it's nice to have a backup bait on hand.
     
  5. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    I have never tried the salt. But if you vacuum pack the skipjack they will last for some time and be affective when you go to use them.
     
  6. 1442ncs

    1442ncs New Member

    Messages:
    64
    State:
    Muhlenburg, KY
    Thanks for the replies guys. I got some vacuum packed in the freezer but my wife is needing some room as well, with the holidays coming. We put about twenty in an old cooler today with the salt. We kept ours whole so I guess we'll see.
     
  7. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Gonna be a lot harder for the salt to get to the meat to cure it. It will probably still work, but take a lot longer to cure. If you'll read up on how the cod fishermen preserved their catch before refrigeration, you'll find that they split the cod before salting them. Incidentally, when we cure chicken livers, we add some flavoring, usually garlic or anise. Seems to make the livers more attractive; maybe that would work with the skipjack too. Never heard of anybody trying it, so you've got an opportunity to be the first.
     
  8. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I seems that the salt would leach out all the blood and oils and leave the bait un-desirable. I'll stick to fresh baits with plenty of blood!!!:big_smile: