Vacuum Seal - First Attempt

Discussion in 'Skipjack Herring' started by SmokinBarrel, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. SmokinBarrel

    SmokinBarrel New Member

    St. Louis, MO
    Well, I went and bought a vacuum sealer, $89 (reg $129) at Bass Pro.

    The Skipjack and Shad have been in a cooler iced down for two days inside gallon storage bags. There wasn't much liquid or juice, but for some reason the Shad didn't seal as well as the Skipjack.

    My reasoning is as follows:
    1. I only sealed 3 Skipjack versus 8 - 10 Shad.
    2. The Vacuum Sealer I purchased doesn't have that powerful of a piston for vacuuming.
    3. I think it would help to pat them dry before sealing.
    4. Seal less Shad, maybe 3 at a time versus 8 - 10.

    As you can see, there are still several pockets of air left within the Shad seal. The Skipjack seemed to do okay, and next to zero pockets of air left. I may go to Bass Pro while I am in Spfld, MO for Thanksgiving and consider an exchange for a better model. Possibly the Ary (VacMaster90) ($140). Not sure if that will do any better.

    How about you, do you use an expensive model, or cheaper model? And, have you been happy with the results? No effect on the frozen bait when you use it, etc....?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009

  2. puppypal

    puppypal Well-Known Member

    Sheridan, Ar
    Well we always wrap theskips in saran wrap before we put them into the suck up bag! LOL Might want to try that or possibly change the sealing process. Example wet to dry or dry to wet. That can nake all the difference
  3. flatheadslayer

    flatheadslayer New Member

    Thomaston, Geor
    i lay a folded paper towel long ways right before where the seal will be to catch exceass liquid.always seals great for me,i use a food saver.i have found that the cheaper bags do not work as well as the name brand bags.hope this helps.
  4. tswebb71

    tswebb71 Member

    So. IL
    I wrap mine in freezer paper for two reasons. First, it helps with the liquid problem and you won't sucking juice up to the sealing edge of the bag, which will prevent a good seal. Second, sometimes the "belly fins" on the skipjack will poke a hole in the back when you suck it down tight. The freezer paper prevents this. I use a gamesaver. They seem to work the best for me. U can also try and freeze the bait for a few hours to make sure that all of the juices are frozen and then seal them. This will keep all of the juices inside the fish so that they will bleed more when you use them. Hope this helps.
  5. BIG_D

    BIG_D New Member

    Batchtown IL.
    looks like you are set on bait for a wile
  6. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Winfield, MO
    The FoodSaver bags are best. The WallyWorld bags aren't worth the little money you'll save by the time you throw away the defective bags. I wrap my skips in Saran Wrap first, all of them. Then the vacuuming process is a clean operation. You will no longer have juices sucking out of the bag and another benefit is your individual baitfish will not be frozen together when it's time to use them. This also allows you to grab 1 or 2 baits for a short trip instead of taking a whole frozen-together bag. I also use the 'wet' setting on the machine as it pulls a stronger vacuum.

    I use a mid-range priced FoodSaver machine.
  7. Mickey

    Mickey New Member

    I agree with Darryl on this post. This is the best method and will save you headaches in the future.
  8. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Northern KY
    Try soaking your bait in a brine solution before freezing, they will retain their moisture and stay together when thawed, works great!:wink:
  9. keepitsimple

    keepitsimple New Member

    I pretty much do the same as flatheadslayer, put a paper towel inside along the top so when you vac it the liquid doesen't get in where it seals. If your bags are not vacuming out all the air your defeating the purpose of vacuum packing.either your bags aren;t good or you have a cheaper unit. Foodsaver is the best in my opinion with foodsaver bags. Costco has a new unit with alot of features that mine doesen't have, can't wait til I wear my old 1 out.
  10. Tool958

    Tool958 New Member

    I just got back from Kentucky Dam and froze some skipjack and catfish fillets both up. I bought a FoodSaver vacuum sealer from Wal-Mart. It is an upright model that holds the bags inside and automatically seals the bag when you insert it into the sealer. It has a setting on it for dry and wet goods. It was $145. I had a cheaper model of another brand before and I might just as well have put the bait in ZipLocs. It didn't seal well at all. The one I used this time did an excellent job. It took all of the air out and was real easy to use. I imagine I will use this sealer a lot now that I have something that works the way it's supposed to.
  11. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    I use the little Zip-loc hand vac pump with great success. there are some pics in one of my albums of some shad caught and sealed with it. I save the bag as I empty them to reuse for more bait. Wife says she don't want fishy smelling food.