How to Freeze Herring?

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How to Freeze Herring?

Postby GroundSwatter » Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:26 am

So I'm new to this salt water fishing game, but I do know that Live Herring catches fish and fresh dead Herring catches fish, but frozen herring turns to mush when thawed.

I wanted to see if the wealth of knowledge here knows the best way to freeze herring. Being on GTMO we are in a unique situation that there is not really a bait shop. Normally we either have to go catch our herring with sibikis or a cast net. If we're looking for fresh herring, I typically don't mind fishing for them, but sometimes I don't like wasting time on the water looking for bait.

After doing some research on-line I'm trying a couple of different methods this first go around since I have a lot of dead herring and will not use it all this weekend.

1) I took fresh dead herring, it was on ice, and just vacuum sealed it.

2) Took fresh dead herring, covered in salt, then vacuum sealed it.

3) took fresh dead herring, covered in salt, let sit for an hour, then vacuum sealed it.

This is all I've done this morning. With whatever I have leftover tomorrow after fishing this weekend, I will most likely try to cover in salt for 12-24 hours, then vacuum seal it again.

I just wanted to see if anyone had experience with any of these methods or do you have a method of your own. Am I just destined to have mushy herring after thawing it out?

My backup plan is to just make it all into chum.
It's a fact that 70 percent of the people who purchase heavier tackle do so with the categorical I just lost a huge snook! Einstein Hairdo.The other 30 percent have either Tarpon Fever or are sporting a hand cramped into a claw from a deepwater grouper.
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Re: How to Freeze Herring?

Postby dmurano » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:20 pm

try this method we use it for tuna baits up here. fill a cooler with water, and add a layer of ice that covers the top couple of inches drop in your baits . next cover the layer of ice with kosher salt lay it on heavy so it forms a crust do not disturb the ice for a few hours your baits should be semi frozen or at least very firm then vacum pack and freeze , or you can take the bait out fishing they will soften while you fish in the warmer water. we have also froze them in Kayro syrup it keep the sparkle in the scales to help withe freezer burn.
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Re: How to Freeze Herring?

Postby JTR » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:56 am

I do a ton of striper fishing up in Massachusetts. I'm usually fishing 7 months out of the year in the salt. We use mainly mackerel and menhaden (we call them pogies, others call them bunker) for bait- I use mostly live bait, but I freeze what I don't use for lobster bait. I can safely say that there is not too much you can do about herring turning to mush. However, if you want to keep it as fresh as possible, make sure that your freezer is on the coldest setting, then vacuum seal and you get the bait into the freezer still flipping. Getting the bait to freeze as fast as possible is the key - think about how the Japanese prepare a fresh caught tuna for sushi. Those tuna are caught, bled, cleaned and flash frozen in minutes in order to keep the meat in prime condition. If the bait has been dead for any amount of time, there isn't too much you can do to keep it from turning to mush. My recommendation is to make a trip solely dedicated to catching bait. Get the bait frozen as fast as possible and you will be good to go.
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Re: How to Freeze Herring?

Postby GroundSwatter » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:41 am

The herring we have down here are called Greenies in florida.

I thawed out some the other day and the stuff I covered in salt and then vacuum sealed turned out pretty descent. Still kinda mushy, but tough enough to stay on a hook for a couple of runs.
It's a fact that 70 percent of the people who purchase heavier tackle do so with the categorical I just lost a huge snook! Einstein Hairdo.The other 30 percent have either Tarpon Fever or are sporting a hand cramped into a claw from a deepwater grouper.
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