Looking After Frozen Bait

Author: Tom Hughes Date: 18-07-2010

As a fishing tackle and bait retailer, I frequently encounter anglers who, it would seem, prefer not to fish unless they have fresh rag worm or lug worm as bait. The same anglers dismiss the frozen baits because; "Sandeels don't stay on the hook" or "Mackerel goes all mushy".

While there is a lot to be said for fresh natural baits, I can't help thinking that to dismiss frozen fish baits is to miss out on a lot of good fishing and often, that all important catch.

In this article, I aim to help you get the most out of your frozen baits and I hope, therefore, that you get the most out of your fishing.

The key to success with any bait is in the freshness. AMMO Mackerel and Sandeels are blast frozen as soon as possible after capture. AMMO then distribute their baits to their dealers in refrigerated lorries to ensure that the optimum temperature is maintained. On delivery, transfer to our own deep freezers takes only a couple of minutes. This ensures that your bait is as fresh when it reaches you as it was when it came out of the sea.

Storing Frozen Bait

AMMO recommend that baits be kept at a temperature of -18C or below. Even a brief fluctuation above this limit will cause Sandeels to turn brown and start to deteriorate.

The frequent opening of the bait freezer here in the shop on a busy Saturday morning could cause the temperature to rise sufficiently to cause some bait to deteriorate. We therefore take precautions to ensure that this does not happen. But once the bait leaves the shop however, things are out of our hands. This is where the problems can arise.

The Problem

We always sell bait to our customers wrapped in several layers of newspaper as that is all we can do to help you keep the bait as cool as possible. But this isn't nearly enough! Very often, your bait will have completely defrosted before you have even started fishing. Your Mackerel will be mush and your Sandeels won't stay on the hook.

The Solution

The key therefore, to successful fishing, is to keep the bait as frozen as possible, right up until it is actually needed. And only to defrost what you actually need to bait up your hooks. And the solution is a cool-box or an AMMO Coolbag.

I can count the number of customers who come into the shop to buy frozen bait, equipped with a Coolbag or cool-box, on one hand! (You know who you are!). It staggers me the number of anglers who are prepared to spend good money on bait, only to let it deteriorate before they have even started to fish. Cool boxes are cheap and widely available and an AMMO Coolbag is a mere £10. A small price to pay to keep your precious bait in the best condition.

But it doesn't stop there. Putting frozen bait into a warm Coolbag is counter productive. It is a good idea to keep your AMMO Coolbag in your freezer, preferably with an ice pack in it. This way, it will be pre-chilled when you take it out to go and buy bait.

Our stock of AMMO Coolbags are kept in a bait freezer and come with a free ice pack, subject to availability, and so are ready to use straight away.

If you are in the area on holiday and perhaps don't have freezer facilities to recharge your ice packs, bring them in to the shop in advance and we will be happy to put them in one of our freezers for you.

As a final aid to presentation, a bit of bait elastic is invaluable to help shape your bait and keep it on the hook.

Follow these simple tips and I'm sure you will get a lot more enjoyment out of your fishing, much better bait value for money and I hope, you'll catch a lot more fish.

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