SportFishing and Charters Forum - Storing frozen ballyhoo while fishing?

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04-19-2011, 06:17 AM
Ok..not sure if i am the only one with this problem! My preference is to fish with live bait, either slow troll or drift but just in case we can't score any greenies or sardines i take a couple of packs of frozen rigged ballyhoo. The problem is that once it thaws, you either use it or lose it. Does not really refreeze real well. Ice does not seem to keep them frozen. My question - is there a way to keep your bait frozen so that you are not wasting what is not used? ;?

04-19-2011, 07:34 AM
Well, we have a freezer on the boat that I fish on, so it wouldn't be an issue for us.

however, my first suggestion would be to buy it un-rigged, as it's cheaper and you won't hurt your pocket as much if you have to toss it. Also, when thawed and unused, you can refreeze it and use it as chum later.

I'd be curious to see if anyone recommends dry ice? or maybe a saltwater/ice brine that usually keeps things frozen.

04-19-2011, 07:44 AM
If I have to carry a bunch of frozen bait, I take along a dual voltage Norcold freezer. I run it on 110AC at home to get it cold, then plug it into 12V in the truck while towing, then transfer to the boat 12V before launch. It does not appear to be waterproof, so I put it in the console.

Prior to getting the Norcold, we used an old cooler layered with newspaper, frozen bait, and dry ice.

04-19-2011, 07:53 AM
pack them in dry ice. if u dont use them put em back in the freezer

04-19-2011, 08:37 AM
pack them in dry ice. if u dont use them put em back in the freezer

Yea..was wondering about dry ice. Anyone using it?

04-19-2011, 09:58 AM
Dry ice in a yeti cooler kept 3 packs of hoo frozen for 2 days on my last trip with a buddy. Hell, it even refroze a bag of thawed out squid that we tossed in the bait cooler on the trip in.

04-19-2011, 10:02 AM
Great stuff . . . careful it burns the skin

04-19-2011, 11:26 AM
and if the dry ice touches water, watch out for ghosts and spooky spirits!

04-19-2011, 06:15 PM
and if the dry ice touches water, watch out for ghosts and spooky spirits!

:rofl: :thumbsup:

04-19-2011, 06:46 PM
If you are going to use it in a couple of days, I have salted them down a ton and refreezed them. It's not the same as fresh though, and I stick them inside of islanders and on the ends of the teaser the second time around.

04-19-2011, 09:10 PM
i was amazed, a guy selling meat door to door. omaha beef company. had a box the size of the bed, in a 2wd toyota truck. 2" foam all around. 2 milk cases of dry ice.every two days he replenishes the dry ice. he told me it never thaws.

04-19-2011, 09:35 PM
As an aside, when we used to load up for a run to Isla Mujeres, we would by a TON of ballyhoo that was "pickled" first in a formaldehyde solution of some sort and then frozen. Made them a lot more durable.

04-20-2011, 04:15 AM
Was wondering about the dry ice....guess i will give it a shot. My cooler is an Igloo Marine which i guess is not the best, but sure don't want to spend the $ on a Frigid Rigid or Yeti as i have heard mixed reviews that they don't keep ice much longer than the cheaper igloos.....

04-20-2011, 06:41 AM
if you cant get dry ice, just make a brine and put the whole package in the brine, keep an eye on the brine and add ice during the day as needed

04-20-2011, 07:12 AM
Okay, here's my two cents. I like to rig all my ballyhoo before I leave the house for 2 reasons. Reason one, I don't want to have to use fishing time to rig baits. Reason two, I can't stand the smell of ballyhoo especially on a day when the seas aren't really nice. I partially thaw the ballyhoo out enough to rig them at home, then vacum pack them in lots of 6. Then they go back in the freezer. When I put them on the boat, I keep the packs covered in ice and pull them out one pack at a time. Even if they're slightly still frozen, they quickly thaw out in the warm sea water once they're in the spread. I usually take three dozen on a dolphin trip, any packs unopened (remember they've been kept covered with ice) go back in the freezer and will be reused one more trip. After that, if not used on the next trip out, will derig and cut ballyhoo up from frozen chunks to chum to schoolie dolphin. If I have a open pack of ballyhoo that doesn't get used up (say I open a pack of 6 late in the day and only use 2 out of the pack before heading back to the dock), they get cut up for chunks as well. End result, I don't throw any of the ballyhoo away, all gets used for some purpose. I've used refrozen ballyhoo that has been vacum packed 3-4 months old with great results, most dolphin aren't too picky! I really think the vacum packing is the trick.

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