How to freeze mullet so they are Not Soft when Thawed - 2CoolFishing
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:55 AM
pick44 pick44 is offline
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How to freeze mullet so they are Not Soft when Thawed

Need some suggestions....

I like to fish with fresh cut mullet for reds. But when I freeze the mullet and then thaw, they are really soft and don't stay on the hook.

Is there a way to prepare them before freezing which keeps their firmness when thawed?

Thanks,

pick ><>
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2009, 09:34 AM
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I cut mine up, salt them, bag em, & freeze em. Have'nt had a to soft problem.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:38 AM
JimD JimD is offline
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This is from Sam's old board and works well

http://www.coastalfishing.org/advice.htm

About three articles is the exact way to salt bait down to keep.

Works on Shrimp or for Mullet. Used to buy a pound or two of shrimp clean and cut up and do this or it is great during the fall when the bait takes off to have a bunch of mulled dried and frozen.

Takes the water out so they are dry and will freeze and keep on the hook when you cannot find bait.

JimD
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:52 AM
pick44 pick44 is offline
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Thanks guys...I will give it a try.... I guess you just cover the mullet in salt and put them in the freezer in a freezer bag?

pick
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:53 PM
JimD JimD is offline
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NO Read the article first:
An Old Timer's Bait Trick (Thanks to Surfrat for this tip!)
Years ago an old timer taught me a trick for keeping bait fresh enough to use without the benefit of refrigeration or even ice. The system works best with menhaden or shad but I have used it on small mullet also.
Grab the old cast net and a box of some sort (I use a 48qt cooler) and head for your favorite menhaden netting spot. You'll also need several pounds of the cheapest possible non-iodized table salt. Expect to use a pound of salt for no more than five pounds live weight of bait.
After covering the bottom of the cooler with bait about an inch thick, cover it liberally with the table salt. (leave the plug out on the cooler so the water drains out quickly) The bait should look like it got snowed over. Then go ahead and lay on more bait and more salt until you're done.
Let this whole thing sit and drain for 24 hours with no refrigeration. (Do NOT put any ice in there with the bait!) You'll be amazed at how much water the salt pulls out of the bait.
After 24 hours, rinse the majority of the salt off the bait with fresh water and let it drain.
If you're using the bait almost immediately, skip the rinse and just use the bait straight out of the salt. It'll actually stay fresh enough to use for several days if just left covered with salt and no refrigeration. (Don't lay it out in the sun, naturally!)
If you plan to store (refrigerate) the bait, place the rinsed and drained menhaden in zip-loc bags about the right size for fishing trips---sandwich size is about right---and stick them in the freezer.
If you've ever frozen bait without this treatment, you know that it tends to be really mushy when you thaw it. Bait treated as above will remain a lot fresher and not mushy.
If the bait was properly salted before freezing, it will never actually freeze solid because there is not much water left in it. Straight out of the freezer you can reach in and grab a single bait because they won't freeze together.
Haven't tried it, but I'm told that the menhaden can come straight out of the salt and go into one of those home food dehydrators and then be stored virtually without refrigeration for up to a year.
Personally, I save bait like this during certain times of the year for use during those times when fresh bait is very scarce, like mid-winter.
Reds, whiting, sand trout, croaker, and the occasional flounder will gobble this stuff up. Trout are usually too picky, even though they love the swimming around type menhaden.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:30 PM
Penn 309 Penn 309 is offline
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Try a small cooler and some dry ice. Most Krogers sell it. The dry ice freezes the bait much much faster than a freezer.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:19 PM
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salted bait

I can definitely vouch for the salted bait advantages, especially if you are trolling using frozen/thawed baitfish. At another time in my life I was a commercial salmon fishing troller on the west coast. If you were a bait fisherman, your bait of choice was usually frozen herring. We really didn't have the options of catching our own as we do here in the Gulf.

Anyhow, we would thaw the frozen herring until they would come apart without damaging or tearing the skin. The baits were then rigged with a 3" to 4" longshank 8/0 duranickle hook and wrapped at the nose with a brass escutcheon pin and copper wire or rubber band.

Then as the article above states, layer the bait in the bottom of a container (I used tupperware containers) cover with a medium layer of rock salt (like the type you buy for your ice cream maker) another layer of bait, another of salt up to maybe three or 4 layers. Put a cover on it and into the cooler it went though that was not necessary.

The baits were ready to fish the next morning and and actually tracked better when trolling than those unsalted. The salt depletes the moisture quickly. The durability of the salted baits was also far superior especially if the water you were fishing was fouled with grass or kelp.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:06 AM
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Do you think the salt had an effect on the scent of the bait fish?
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:54 AM
JimD JimD is offline
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I used to do a couple of pounds of shrimp by shelling them then cutting to the right size (figure shrinkage) then do this and you had a world of bait that you can tip your plastics with. I broke down enough for each trip and would throw a bag in the kayak cooler and take out enough to fish with for an hour or so. Probably not as good as fresh but no problems esp if the bait stand was out of the way or it looked more like 4 day old shirmp. These pieces will stay on the hook you can keep a small bag that does not need to be kept cool.

One guy that used to be on the board and worked at Med Center used to do this with finger mullet and such and go out to the jetties in the early winter and mop up on flounder after the bait all left and no one has any bait to buy. Not mushy, will not spoil, and easy to work with and caught a lot of fish if you like bait.

Another good article off this old site is the article for fishing under the lights that is one of several listed.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:25 AM
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all I do is cut them into the size I want for cut bait. Salt them with table salt and put in a bag and freeze. have done it this way for years.
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