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This topic came up after a report i made so i figured i'd throw in a little lesson of how I salt baits down for year long use...For me it makes a box of squid, a pound of shrimp 30 spot and about 30 blues last all year long...

Salting Squid: Thaw a frozen box of squid, separate the squids and remove heads(these can be salted aswell). Make a slit from top to bottom And open the body. Clean out all of the guts and the clear Pen-quill. Flip the body over and gently scrape or peel away the skin. Now cut up the squid in strips or cubes slightly larger than the size you normally use(this allows for shrinkage to occur during curing). In a medium tupperware, layer Salt, Squid, Salt, Squid, etc. until all of your bait is in the tupperware, as i said the heads may be salted aswell. Allow to cure for at least one full day before using(i generally let it go for a few days before use shaking up the tupperware occasionally to ensure constant salt contact). This will last up to a year, less if you use more squid than i do, but it lasts a little longer on the hook, and a box lasts about a year for me done this way...

Salting Shrimp: 1lb of e-z peel shrimp(small ones) from farm fresh. Peel the shrimp. Two ways to cut it. 1: Cut it into about 1/2" long chunks, or 2:Cut in lengthwise to make two longer thinner pieces. Either way is fine but i prefer the chunks. Again layer Salt, Shrimp, Salt, Shrimp, etc. until all the bait is used. Same curing time, with occasional shaking to ensure constant salt contact.

Salting Strips of Fish: Fillet fish as normal leaving scales on. Now back-fillet as if you were going to make a skinless fillet, but make sure you leave some meat on the skin(usually half the thickness of the original fillet). Strip out the fillets, and again layer Salt, Strips, Salt, Strips, etc. THIS TIME using about twice as much salt as fish strips (this is because the fish has more liquid content than the other two baits described above) Curing time is a little longer, maybe three days max shaking occasionally to ensure constant salt contact. This will last as long as the bait does.

Salting Whole Bait Fish: Small finger mullet and menhaden are excellent bait and will hold up even better if salted. for peanut bunker, i usually just layer 2X salt to 1X bunker, but for finger mullet i remove the backbone and tail (by performing a backwards fillet up each side and then breaking out the backbone near the head(this method also allows for greater scent dispersion and movement once salted[i've tried it with bunker but they're just too soft, better to leave em whole]). Again layer 2X salt to 1X mullet until the bait is all salted. Curing times for whole baitfish can be in excess of 3 days, sometimes less depending on the size of the baits. Shaking occasionally to ensure constant salt contact.


I hope someone finds some good in this post, just thought i'd share my method of salting to preserve baits, they hold up much better than fresh or frozen in my opinion, and last longer too...the salting process will hold the bait until it is used up, and does not take away the natural scent of the bait. Another note, do not rinse the baits before salting, as this will wash away their scent. I wish i'dve taken some picture to go along, but i've already salted my baits for this year... enjoy and good salting! Andrew
 

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Are you freezing, refrigerating or just allowing the salted bait to sit in room temperature?

When you say layer 2X salt do you mean lay down a layer twice the thickness of the bait?

Thanks!
 

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basic refridgeration is all you need to keep the bait...yes 2X means double the amount (depth) of salt versus bait...
 

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and if you keep the shells on the shrimp they stay better on the hook
after the salting process, with the shells removed they are tough as nails, one piece of shrimp will last multiple fish, as will the squid after salting...as far as salt to use, ive used everything, and it doenst really seem to matter...
 

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salted baits

Thanks for your time with this. I asked the how do you question on here early spring for fishing in florida. got a good sugestion on adding rit dye to squid: i liked orange and red. publix has small pelled shrimp on sale for less than bait shop regulars and like someone mentioned, they get tough as shoe leather but work great on whitting etc.
I found that canning salt ( green box by morton salt in with the rest of salt in bigger grocery stores publix again) is pure salt with nothing added) works good and is less$$. I was cleaning out my fishing wagon getttiing ready for summer on the gulf and found a bag of red squid (from riit dye) that i had done in january. it had been in the truck for six months with only the canning salt certainly no refrig. and was as good as the day I put it up. still is, used it up this am on siesta key.
 

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Question

So how do salted baits compare with fresh? I’ve always been told fresh, fresh, fresh, when it comes to bait.
I mostly go to SPSP (Md) with the kids, and will be in Sandbridge (Va) with the family again this August.

I find the talk of salted baits interesting because much of my beach fishing time includes up to ten family members who never fish any other time. Keeping up with the bait is always a chore and last year I was reduced to just having sand fleas, fishbites, and slices of spot. (I’m so thrilled to have the older cousins fishing with my kids that I try to do the dirty work.) You folks have me interested in prepping a bunch of shrimp (that stay on the hook longer), and maybe some other baits.
 

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Openboat

Thanks for posting pictures from the spring fling. That was a very memorable day.
I salted a bag of shrimp back in may while at the OBX. I used kosher salt, and loaded them down. I left them overnite in the fridge. They shrink down and get tough. I peeled them,and cut them in half,and used them for sea mullet. They kept in the cooler for the better part of the week until I used them up.
I bought fresh shrimp for the last two days, and to answer your question,the salted out fished the fresh and stay on the hook much better!
Merlin
 

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Shrimp is back on the menu

Thanks Merlin,
That’s good enough for me. Shrimp is back on the menu.:fishing:
If you want high resolution copies of those pics (five of you) send a pm with your e-mail. I can send them one or two at a time.

LarryB, same offer, I also have five nice pics of you from the Fling.

E-Mag, let me know if you want that good one of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So how do salted baits compare with fresh? I’ve always been told fresh, fresh, fresh, when it comes to bait.
I mostly go to SPSP (Md) with the kids, and will be in Sandbridge (Va) with the family again this August.

I find the talk of salted baits interesting because much of my beach fishing time includes up to ten family members who never fish any other time. Keeping up with the bait is always a chore and last year I was reduced to just having sand fleas, fishbites, and slices of spot. (I’m so thrilled to have the older cousins fishing with my kids that I try to do the dirty work.) You folks have me interested in prepping a bunch of shrimp (that stay on the hook longer), and maybe some other baits.
as far as comparison goes, i find that salted baits work as well if not better than fresh, and certainly work better than frozen...better than fresh because they hold to the hook better than fresh baits, and the scent seems to be amplified through the salting process...ive marinated baits in peeler juice or menhaden oil aswell before the salting process and it still does fine, now i just strip out some baits, chop some shrimp, strip some squid and salt em up, works great, holds freshness till its gone...
 

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for finger mullet i remove the backbone and tail (by performing a backwards fillet up each side and then breaking out the backbone near the head(this method also allows for greater scent dispersion and movement once salted


What? Do you have any pictures of a salted finger mullet prepared this way. I'm having a hard time visualizing this.
 

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Last night tried filleting finger mullet as described... it wasn't pretty! After doing about five of them I gave up. I did go ahead and salt them to see what happens. Had to use alot more salt than I thought but $0.33 Wally World salt didn't break the bank.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What? Do you have any pictures of a salted finger mullet prepared this way. I'm having a hard time visualizing this.
sorry i dont have any pictures, but maybe a better description...fillet the mullet up both sides starting near the tail but do not detach the fillets, end the fillet just behind the head...once both sides are filleted, the backbone should be free in the middle to detach, either by cutting or breaking near the head... what should be left is the head, and both fillets supported by a small amount of the backbone remaining...
 

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Ok;

All bait covered except for Sand Fleas,,,can you salt them and still catch fish. I can catch a thousand at the Fort if I wanted, well at least several hundred.

Also once salted does freezing hurt or help???? Not sure on the above answers
 
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