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Preserving smelt?


bmc

Question

I was just wondering if anyone had any tips for me on how to preserve this spring's smelt for next year's ice fishing season? Is there a borax mixture that I need to put them in, or will just freezing them in a plastic freezer bag work? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

bmc

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

If your using them for bait use small ziplocks. Fill with smelt and add enough water to displace all the air. Squeeze the bag till water starts to flow out then zipup. The object is to get all the air out.
This is the same way I freeze them to eat later. Always freeze whole and clean when it time to eat.

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Try using a "foodsaver" .
Its the vacume sealing machine available at target,walmart,fleetfarm
It can also be used for freezing your catch!
I ues it for freezing my fish and it will keep in the freezer twice as long .

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Just freeze them. I have alway just frooze my left overs and have never had any problems. As long as they stink you'll get fish. In my opinion you don't need to package bait like you package fish. If they get a little freeze burned it won't make any difference. If you get smelt from a whole saler all they do is freeze them they don't vaccum seal or anything like that just throw ice on them and put them in the freezer. Freezing is a lot easier than messing around with the other options that were mentioned.

------------------
Grip it and Rip it

IFFWalleyes
I Fish For Walleyes

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Theres a few reasons why the bait shops "just freeze um"
1.It takes a little more time to do.
2.If bait shops packaged bait that lasts 10 times longer it wouldn't be in their best intrest.
3. Bait froze in water takes longer to thaw out then loose packed.

Loose packed bait might be fine froze for a month. When you package smelt in the spring and plan on using them up till Feb or March you better have put the extra time in packaging them. Not only will you have freezer burn but they'll be rancid too.
I guess its not a lot of trouble to put a little water in a bag and squeeze out the air out to have a higher quality bait.
After all if I gave you the choice to use a died out, burned up rancid smelt or a fresh, silvery sleek looking smelt with all its fins what would you pick?

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I guess every one has there opinion but I have done the just freezing method for years and once they thaw they have always been just fine for me. What ever you want to do. They still are a nice silver color and so what if some fins are missing they are dead and I don't think a Pike takes the time to count the fins. If it stinks he bites. This is just my finding everyone has the opinion of what works.

------------------
Grip it and Rip it

IFFWalleyes
I Fish For Walleyes

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