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Ballyhoo Brine

Old 05-06-2020, 11:29 AM
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Default Ballyhoo Brine

Do you guys put your ballyhoo in a brine when thawing them out? Do you do a wet or dry brine and for how long? Iíve been ordering my ballyhoo directly from baitmasters and I purchased a brine solution from them, and Iím trying to figure out how to get the best results any help would be great!
Old 05-06-2020, 11:34 AM
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I always thaw them by putting the vacuum sealed bag in a bucket of room temp water. Once thawed I poop and de-eye them, coat liberally with kosher salt and then store them on a bait tray on ice.
Old 05-06-2020, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Graddy-fied View Post
I always thaw them by putting the vacuum sealed bag in a bucket of room temp water. Once thawed I poop and de-eye them, coat liberally with kosher salt and then store them on a bait tray on ice.
This^^^^
Old 05-06-2020, 11:38 AM
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FYI Mix of kosher salt and baking soda is all baitmasters bionic brine is. Cheaper to make it yourself
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:50 AM
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what is the ratio of salt : soda?
Old 05-06-2020, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by PelagicHunter View Post
what is the ratio of salt : soda?
50/50 or less on the baking soda side. Probably more like 75 salt, 25 baking soda if I had to guess.

Kosher salt by itself works just fine.
Old 05-06-2020, 02:51 PM
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I usually will brine my ballyhoo in saltwater/ice/kosher salt mix when thawing them out for about 30 mins, rig, then put them in the ice chest on a bait tray. I have not had any issues with them blowing out on me with this process, but will probably start to add some salt to them while in the cooler. I also don't pre-rig the day before

Last edited by Southern_Fish; 05-06-2020 at 06:36 PM.
Old 05-06-2020, 03:59 PM
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I thaw in a saturated kosher salt solution. Makes them nice and tough. Once thawed, I roll the bellies in salt, then store them in Tupperware on ice. We don't bother with baking soda.

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Old 05-06-2020, 04:05 PM
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I thaw my on the way out in a bucket with kosher salt and baking soda solution (out of the bag). Once thawed, I do the eye ball and poop routine and put them on the bait tray with a dusting of bionic brine. I rig about a dozen to be ready for when we arrive.

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Old 05-07-2020, 05:38 AM
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Open the bag before thawing and they will stay cleaner as well. The vacuum in the bag will pull the juices out of the bait if you leave it sealed as you thaw.
Old 05-07-2020, 09:34 AM
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I use a mix of 3 parts kosher salt to 2 parts baking soda for my brine. Use old spice containers and I have bionic brine at less than half the cost. I purchased the 25# bag of salt at a country store and the 15# bag of soda at a warehouse club more than 10 years ago. Salt and baking soda do not expire.

When prepping ballyhoo, I empty the back into a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 filled with salt water and a little ice, making sure the beaks are pointed down in order not to damage the rudders. Once thawed, they are pooped, eyes removed, beaks pulled off and backs broken. Then placed in bait tray and belly is coated with brine. At least 1/2 dozen are rigged for first thing in the morning.
Old 05-08-2020, 08:27 AM
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I thaw in salt water from the dock...then coat liberally after I have prepped them with solutions described above...lay them in the tray on their backs can coat.
Old 05-08-2020, 10:19 AM
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Related question, how bad do you think it is to thaw, rig ,and REFREEZE in vacumn bags?
Old 05-08-2020, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DarcizzleOffshore View Post
Related question, how bad do you think it is to thaw, rig ,and REFREEZE in vacumn bags?
So long as the vacuum is still good NBD. If not, open them and re vac
Old 05-08-2020, 03:57 PM
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I saltwater thaw, rig, then drop into brined slushy, when done rigging baits line em up on the bait tray and brine the bellys, I also dont break the backs and limber until I am ready to deploy the baits. While billfishing I am changing/assessing baits every 45 min or so regardless, tons of theories on what makes em last longer etc.
Old 05-09-2020, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by DarcizzleOffshore View Post
Related question, how bad do you think it is to thaw, rig ,and REFREEZE in vacumn bags?
We do this, and as long as they were in real good shape before refreezing I havenít seen an issue. Perfect for those mornings when you might be feeling the ill effects of the night before. We mostly catch dolphin on the troll and they could care less. In fact the last blue marlin we caught was on a refrozen bait that we just threw in the vacuum bag still rigged on an illander tracker. I donít think they would do well long term. Weíve never saved them for more than a week or two.
Old 05-13-2020, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by John_Madison CT View Post
I thaw in a saturated kosher salt solution. Makes them nice and tough. Once thawed, I roll the bellies in salt, then store them in Tupperware on ice. We don't bother with baking soda.
I have found that the baking soda helps them to maintain their natural colors u only need a small amount.
Old 05-13-2020, 05:49 PM
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When I also fished belly strips I put salt on them also to toughen them up.

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