Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
RK

Keeping cut bait fresh?

9 posts in this topic

Hiya -

You guys ok with a bass/muskie guy sneaking in here once in a while? wink

Quick question - I figure one of you guys has solved this... I fish channel cats on a small river where bait shops are few and far between. Lots of times I need to bring bait from home to use for cut bait (at least the first morning until I can leave the cats alone long enough to catch some chubs or suckers...) Keeping bait alive until I get there isn't practical in this case so I'm limited to dead bait. Anyone have any good ways to keep it from getting soft other than just putting it on ice? Freezing it work? Better off leaving it whole or cutting it up? I go through the stuff at a pretty furious pace when it starts getting soft, so be nice to figure out a way to keep it a little tougher longer...

Thanks for any tips...

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes freezing it does work. Being "stuck" with dead bait isn't always bad either. The majority of the time channels will prefer cut bait over live. Cut your suckers into thirds and freeze them if you cant fish with them right away. They will stay just as fresh as when you cut them. I haven't had a problem with them getting soft after freezing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been trying to cut my bait up before I freeze them. I typically do a few different sizes and then keep smaller amounts in a few different bags in a small cooler packed to the brim with ice. I like to throw down a layer of ice in the cooler, followed by a bag or two of cut bait, more ice, more cut bait etc. This minimizes the amount of exposure the rest of my bait get to the sun, heat etc. Before I was doing this I kept my bait whole in gallon size bags and it just didn't keep very well. Another way to seperate the layers is to add cold packs between layers of ice and cutbait. I feel like this might seal off those bottom layers and keep them frozen longer. I've also tried adding salt and a little water to the bottom layer of ice in my cooler and stirring it for a few minutes. As we all know, the salt lowers the freezing temp and it seems to work as well. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, freezing does work. The size of the bait will determine whether or not I pre-cut before freezing. For obvious reasons you don’t want to freeze a 2lb sucker whole. Well you can, but it takes forever for the thing to thaw out.

What I like to do is use 4-7” creek chubs or suckers and I will keep them alive and count out approx 6-8 of them and vacuum pack them live and then freeze. Yes it sounds a bit in-humane, but it is the best way to keep them fresh. Whenever possible I try not to refreeze as they get super soft (hence the small qty packages). I try to only take out what I will use, but would rather toss out a few then run out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What river do you fish? You could alwasy just hit one of the small creeks on your way to the river.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiya -

Cool - thanks guys. I hadn't thought of the vacuum sealer - thanks dtro. I'll do some cut and some whole for next time. Yeah, the gallon bag thing hasn't worked too well for me either. The river I fish is a wade wet deal, so everything has to go in a 'cat bag' over my shoulder with a cooler in the truck for extra bait so I can restock when I change areas.

The BOSS has never made a fuss about nightcrawlers or maggots in the fridge, cleaning fish and butchering deer on the counter or letting our 3 year old play with left over minnows in the bathroom sink. I wonder if she'll draw the line at using the Food Saver to seal up live creek chubs? smile

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What river do you fish? You could alwasy just hit one of the small creeks on your way to the river.

The river I fish is a creek, more or less - heh. It's a trib of the Miss. I can catch bait in there no problem (I catch an amazing number of chubs on 1/0 circle hooks even when I'm not trying to catch bait), but always like to have some pre-packed too - but the problem, especially when it's warm, is keeping it from getting too soft too fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if it is the same one I am thinking of, you should drop an email, jpbrown77@yahoo.com, I always have fresh bait and lost of private land to fish, and no date for the dance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RK-

Sounds like these guys have already given you some good advice but here's my 2 cents for what it's worth. Like Dtro, I always will freeze my bait live. This goes for suckers, golden eye, moon eye and frogs too. There are a couple of advantages to this. For one thing a long nap in the freezer is actually quite a humane way to dispatch your bait. sleep The best thing about freezing them alive is all the blood freezes in the tissue. I actually freeze my suckers etc individually, even the 14" to 16" ones. Frozen suckers are actually easier to cut than fresh ones as long as you are using a serrated knife. grin Some of the guys I fish with tell me my bait looks more like sushi than cut bait because of the straight cuts. I don't even let them thaw before I use them. It only takes a few minutes in 70 degree water for a chunk to thaw. What's even better is that as they thaw the blood is released from the tissue and you know what that means... If you are looking for a cheap way to insulate your bait while your carry it give this a shot: After you have your bait frozen in bags wrap each one in a couple layers of newspaper. You'll be amazed how long your bait will stay frozen. Good luck!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Went out today in the metro areas without any luck. Didn't even see any ramps in the usual spots, and I thought they were earlier than the morels. 
    • Day 4 Morning   I think we were both tired of trying to call birds across private fences, so we decided to try going for the distant gobbles I heard when I shot my bird.   There was actually a decent gravel road that went into this area and allowed us to have an easy walk into where I felt the birds should be.   We got in early to try to get there ahead of any other hunters, but it didn't seem to matter.   Forest roads were abundant, so walking was easy.  We went right to the spot I had a bird gobble from a few days prior, and waited.     It didn't take long for the flock to start making noise, and we only had to move a little ways to get close to them.   As usual the turkeys all came down and went away from us.  They set up shop on a long ridge and seemed content to just stay there.   We had no easy approach so set up our own position on the forest road we were on which was covered in tracks.   Other birds were gobbling in the distance the opposite way, and when one sounded close we chose to go for him.   Nothing came of that little walk other than the loss of a $65 custom call...  On the plus side we found a nice deer skull.     Back to the flock, one gobbler would respond to a crow call, so we knew they were still up on the hill.  We made a painfully slow walk straight at them since they were high enough up they hopefully wouldn't see us.  When we got to the timber they stopped responding, so we guessed they went over the top.  We worked our way up and found where they had been feeding.  Just shy of the top we set up to call just in case they were over the lip of the hill.     We received an immediate response to some lite hen yelps and clucks.  A hen with the gobbler was not at all pleased that we were there.  We got into a bit of a yelling match with her.  She was coming closer, dragging the gobbler with her.  When I heard drumming I motioned for my uncle to get the gun up since he was still calling.  In a few moments I saw a tail fan cresting the hill.  He angled left, looked around, went behind a tree.  I heard him go into strut and drum...   BANG!           
    • Day 3 Afternoon   We went for a short walk into the area I thought I heard the birds gobble in the distance when I shot my bird.  We couldn't find any birds and were nearly done with our walk when I glassed across a cow pasture and saw birds up in some trees!   I quickly checked the map and found that they were dangerously close to public land.   We made a dash for the car.   The walk in to this spot was pretty short and very close to houses and the farm that had the cows.   We ended up close to the fence and I felt the turkeys we saw should be just below us.   Some whitetail deer spooked and then turkeys started filing past along the fence.  I counted four or five hens, but no gobbler.  We stayed a bit and crow called thinking maybe a flock got busted up.  In the end we just backed out without spooking the hens off. 
    • North Metro Bass Academy Custom Tackle is having a 15% off sale this week 4/23-4/30 on all custom jigs orders.  We are also running 10% off all of our Tungsten Weights .... Flipping, Worm, and Drop Shot.  This will be our last sale before the season opens - so get in on it this week.  Tight Lines!  All of our products are on our web page North Metro Bass Academy   [/URL] [/URL] [/URL] [/URL] [/URL]
    • I agree.   I have said in the past, i learn to be a better hunter when they aren't easy.  Turkeys seem to become an obsession if you allow yourself to let them get in your blood! Love the chase.
    • ya but its fun! It was nice getting out i am learning alot watching them and being out there gets me more experience since i shot mine this year after being out a total of probably 6 hours for two days
    • Frustrating buggers aren't they!
    • well gobbled like crazy in the morning finally got a hen to come out she came 1 foot away from blind. Then 4 more came behind her 2 toms and 2 hens then the hens went back to the woods and one tom followed the other tom stayed in the open strutting back and forth just out of range then a crane came and he strutted at that then a goose came and he strutted at that they all came out just out of range and cut to our side. They sat there strutting at each other and couldn't get them to come in. One of them came back started walking to our decoys once again just out of range. Uncle tried to get out and go through the dirt bike track he's currently laying on top a jump within 60 yards of them no other options to sneak he chose the wrong way to go should have crawled against the burn... Man these buggers suck going to change blind spots next time know where they roost and see where they strut on the property. should of had a fan decoy out I bet that would have drawn them in
    • Well our lilacs were just starting to bud out yesterday and I was thinking we should go take a peek today. Unfortunately we got 2 inches of snow overnight and it's still coming down! I'm pretty sure Hubbard county will have to wait at least a week to ten days with the temps forecast.
  • Our Sponsors