Skipjacks in the freezer

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by Tyme2fish, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Tyme2fish

    Tyme2fish New Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Greenville,Indi
    When and if I get lucky enough to catch some skipjacks, how do y'all freeze them? Whole with guts and all?
    I know fresh is better but sometimes you gotta take a different approach.:embarassed:
     
  2. 10gaOkie

    10gaOkie New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I can tell ya how I freeze shad. I am sure it will work the same with skipjack. The shad I freeze are 4 to 6 inches. I put about ten in a vacuum seal pouch and freeze. Nothing to it. If you just put them in zip lock bags they will get freezer burn. I let them thaw about 30 minutes on the way to my fishing spot and then put them in a ice chest. They will be about right to cut. If they are slightly froze when you put them on the hook, that's ok, they will finish thawing in the water. If you don't already have a vacuum sealer, you can buy one like mine that is hand held about the size of hair clippers for about 10 or 12 bucks. They sell special bags just for it. It is made by Reynolds. The same company that makes aluminum foil. When vacumm sealing shad you get water and fish juice in the end of the sealer. The clear end comes off easily so keep an eye on it and dump the water out every once and a while or it wont pull a good vacuum.
    Chris
     

  3. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I prefer to freeze my skipjack whole. I think that keeps the blood & juices more intact so that they're there to seep out when I put the bait on my hook.
     
  4. tufffish

    tufffish New Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    State:
    Texas
    try adding some pickling salt to them. it helps preserve them.
     
  5. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Putting salt on the skipjack will draw the oil out of them. That's what I use to extract skipjack oil to use as an additive to other baits. It's a really sticky oil; a little goes a long way.
     
  6. puddle jumper

    puddle jumper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,507
    State:
    NW.Georgia
    Hey Jerry,
    I would love to know more about this skipjack oil trick???:wink: if your willing...
    Thanks
    Puddle...
     
  7. Tyme2fish

    Tyme2fish New Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Greenville,Indi
    Thanks for the replies. I did some searching and reading here and found that I'm not the first to to ask this question. Sorry for a repost, but thanks for the help.:big_smile:
     
  8. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    You can buy a 50# bag of salt at your local feed store for about $5.00. Lots cheaper than using table salt. To make skipjack oil, all I do is lay down a layer of salt, lay down a layer of skipjack fillets, layer of salt, layer of skipjack, etc., till the container is full, or all the fillets are gone. If you're trying to make a huge amount, you can use an old cooler and simply drain the oil out using the drain hole. For the average person's use, get something like a big old glass pickle jar. My grandsons devour dill pickles like they were popsicles, so I have plenty of empties available. After you put the salt & fillets into the jar, cooler, or whatever, simply put the top on and leave it alone. An advantage to using a glass jar is that you can watch as the oil seeps out of the fillets over a period of a few weeks.
    Be careful with this stuff! The closest thing to it I can remember seeing is used linseed oil that we used in junior high shop back in the 50s. Really sticky stuff. I've tried using the salted fillets for bait, and couldn't rinse the oil off my fingers after baiting my hook. And when I stuck my fingers down into the water, an oil slick about 10' in diameter formed. Incidentally, I thought I had better luck using unsalted skipjack from my freezer than with the salted fillets, but I only tried that one time, and we were catching more on cured chicken livers than any other bait. That's the only time I've seen livers outproduce skipjack. But the salt does toughen up the skipjack fillets, much as it does chicken livers, so further experimentation with the salted fillets is in order. I've got several jars of salted fillets/oil on hand, so when I get some trotlines set out, I'll alternate salted and unsalted skipjack on one of them to give them a fair try. If this fails to answer any of your questions, don't hesitate to ask.
     
  9. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    When catching your skips have a cooler or bucket handy to put them in. Put about 2 inches of water in the bottom. Then just catch the skips and throw them in the bucket. When you get home, immediatley put them in zip locks or vacum seal them. I take the water that was in the bottom, which is now skip jack oil and put a small amount in each bag. Then freeze em up good until you are ready to use them. It takes a good 24 hours to thaw them so you have to plan ahead. If they are not completly unthawed they don't work as well.