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Salting mullet for later use

Salting mullet for later use




I'm staying in Nags Head this fall and into winter and am doing as much fishing as I can around work. Because I only get a short window of time M-F to fish I've been going to the Little Bridge and using artificial. I'd like to have mullet on hand for surf fishing, but I'd not be able to use a whole one before it started to turn. I could of course chunk it and freeze it in small baggies, but an old timer at the Little Bridge last night told me about salting bait. I was intrigued and watched some videos on the process and it seems straightforward.

Has anyone here preserved cut bait like this for later use? Does it stay firm enough to stay on the hook without being so firm as to be like leather? Is there any noticeable difference in its ability to attract fish?

From what I could gather online and from speaking with that guy, I need a drip pan setup using stacked containers with holes in the the upper/salting container or I need pour off any accumulated liquid. Only salt for ~24 hours else it gets too firm (apparently you can mix borax in to prevent over firming). After salted you can basically leave it out at room temp, but refrigerating will prolong it. The idea sounds good to me because then I could hop over to the surf at a moment's notice and have thawed bait ready to roll without having to lose time by driving to the bait store.


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RE: Salting mullet for later use




I bought some earlier this year at a tackle shop - I'm not naming names because I assume they bought it from somebody else - and it would not stay on the hook well enough to cast it 50 feet. I suppose for bottom fishing it could have worked briefly. Oh well, give it a try and let us know.




RE: Salting mullet for later use




I bought some earlier this year at a tackle shop - I'm not naming names because I assume they bought it from somebody else - and it would not stay on the hook well enough to cast it 50 feet. I suppose for bottom fishing it could have worked briefly. Oh well, give it a try and let us know.

johnbt


Thanks. I'll watch more vids/read more on forums and grab some mullet this weekend to start a batch. I'll report back later in the week if the weather is suitable for fishing. Mostly I'm interested in preserving small chunks for my bottom rig/pup rod, but would like a few large chunks that can survive my heaver.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




Salted bait for years. Bunker, spot,mullet(sea),bloodworms. Made sure it was fully covered with salt after filleting, wrapped in foil then plastic bag and store in the freezer. Bloodworms in a butter container covering with salt and then into the freezer.
Leave skin and scales on the fish.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




Salted bait for years. Bunker, spot,mullet(sea),bloodworms. Made sure it was fully covered with salt after filleting, wrapped in foil then plastic bag and store in the freezer. Bloodworms in a butter container covering with salt and then into the freezer.
Leave skin and scales on the fish.

hookedonfishing


I think I'll try the freezer route after salting. From what I am reading they don't really freeze hard since the water has been extracted so you can go right from freezer to beach and it's pliable enough to work with. Thanks for the info, I'll hit the Dollar Tree today for some containers and then Ocean's East for some bait. I picked up a few lbs of kosher salt at Walmart last night.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




Bait is salted. Smells like bait up close, but no fishy smell even a foot away. Texture is like a beef jerky. I am putting these in fridge until I can use. I’m freezing one bag and I left one with my tackle at room temp to see how each turns out after some time.




RE: Salting mullet for later use




Can you try shrimp as well? Curious if works as well as frozen shirmp.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




You were at the Little Bridge talking to an old timer last Thursday evening? By any chance did you happen to net a decent puppy drum for that old timer? Right around dark?

Sorry, no input about the bait salting, although I've heard many do it.



RE: Salting mullet for later use




You were at the Little Bridge talking to an old timer last Thursday evening? By any chance did you happen to net a decent puppy drum for that old timer? Right around dark?

Sorry, no input about the bait salting, although I've heard many do it.

troutslayer


lol, are you the old timer!? I sure did run the net. It was my only chance to touch a fish that night.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




Can you try shrimp as well? Curious if works as well as frozen shirmp.

J4yDubs


I have seen online folks salting everything. Shrimp, squid, bloodworms, etc. It's been too windy here this week thus far to get any fishing in so I haven't put the mullet up to the cast test yet. Hopefully later in the week. I have some fam coming down today so fishing might be on hold for a bit.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




You were at the Little Bridge talking to an old timer last Thursday evening? By any chance did you happen to net a decent puppy drum for that old timer? Right around dark?

Sorry, no input about the bait salting, although I've heard many do it.

troutslayer


lol, are you the old timer!? I sure did run the net. It was my only chance to touch a fish that night.

Mstaszew


No, I'm not him, but I was the guy who started fishing the bridge while you tossed a popping cork off the pier, then I moved to the rocks to the right of the crabbing pier, and was still there when the old guy hooked the drum

I did talk to him a bit when he first got there.

Fishing was terrible for me that day


RE: Salting mullet for later use




You were at the Little Bridge talking to an old timer last Thursday evening? By any chance did you happen to net a decent puppy drum for that old timer? Right around dark?

Sorry, no input about the bait salting, although I've heard many do it.

troutslayer


lol, are you the old timer!? I sure did run the net. It was my only chance to touch a fish that night.

Mstaszew


No, I'm not him, but I was the guy who started fishing the bridge while you tossed a popping cork off the pier, then I moved to the rocks to the right of the crabbing pier, and was still there when the old guy hooked the drum

I did talk to him a bit when he first got there.

Fishing was terrible for me that day

troutslayer


Fishing has been rough there for me for weeks. I haven't caught anything, but I haven't really tried hard to get out at first light, either. I've just been hitting it in the evenings time permitting. That guy almost had the rod ripped from his hand. He was starting to reel his double rig in to prepare for next cast and the drum took it right by the pier. I thought he had hung rocks underneath and when I looked over the edge I saw large white flash and it was on! We didn't put a tape on it, but I'd guess it was ~25".


RE: Salting mullet for later use




Besides little bridge, I hit up several very reliable spots that day...and got one bluefish for my efforts. Disappointing.

Eager to hear how the salted bait holds up...something my surf fishing bud would probably try if we had 1st hand reports of it working. Let us know how it works out.




RE: Salting mullet for later use




Besides little bridge, I hit up several very reliable spots that day...and got one bluefish for my efforts. Disappointing.

Eager to hear how the salted bait holds up...something my surf fishing bud would probably try if we had 1st hand reports of it working. Let us know how it works out.

troutslayer


My stepdad and I went to the surf by the drainage pipe at the end of Old Oregon Inlet Rd today. We didn’t catch anything in the 90 mins we were there and the guy to our north was just killing time too. The bait seemed OK, i.e. well preserved even the bag left at room temp. It was easy to put on the hook and stayed on just fine for casting even on my 12’ rod. During a bait check it appeared just like fresh mullet after a good soak. Something was out there stealing bait as we returned with just skin several times. I think I’ll be salting bait from now on when I won’t be able to use a whole mullet in a day or two. Next year I’ll probably do the same with finger mullet when they are plentiful in October and I can net far too many to use in a trip.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




Thanks for the update. I'm going to have to try it.

If you're looking to do it on a bigger scale, go to a pool store and ask for a 40 pound bag of salt. They have them because of salt water pools and normally they are pure. Just check to make sure. I have to buy four 40 pound bags every spring because I drain our pool below the returns. They are usually less than $5 a bag, but I'm sure they are more now, just like everything. Still probably cheaper than the 5 pound bags of kosher salt.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




Thanks for the update. I'm going to have to try it.

If you're looking to do it on a bigger scale, go to a pool store and ask for a 40 pound bag of salt. They have them because of salt water pools and normally they are pure. Just check to make sure. I have to buy four 40 pound bags every spring because I drain our pool below the returns. They are usually less than $5 a bag, but I'm sure they are more now, just like everything. Still probably cheaper than the 5 pound bags of kosher salt.

J4yDubs
You can't use iodized salt. Well you can but you won't like the results.



RE: Salting mullet for later use




Thanks for the update. I'm going to have to try it.

If you're looking to do it on a bigger scale, go to a pool store and ask for a 40 pound bag of salt. They have them because of salt water pools and normally they are pure. Just check to make sure. I have to buy four 40 pound bags every spring because I drain our pool below the returns. They are usually less than $5 a bag, but I'm sure they are more now, just like everything. Still probably cheaper than the 5 pound bags of kosher salt.

J4yDubs
You can't use iodized salt. Well you can but you won't like the results.

SandRider

Why do you think pool salt is iodized? It's not. It's about as pure as you can get.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




Thanks for the update. I'm going to have to try it.

If you're looking to do it on a bigger scale, go to a pool store and ask for a 40 pound bag of salt. They have them because of salt water pools and normally they are pure. Just check to make sure. I have to buy four 40 pound bags every spring because I drain our pool below the returns. They are usually less than $5 a bag, but I'm sure they are more now, just like everything. Still probably cheaper than the 5 pound bags of kosher salt.

J4yDubs
You can't use iodized salt. Well you can but you won't like the results.

SandRider

Why do you think pool salt is iodized? It's not. It's about as pure as you can get.

J4yDubs
[/QUOTE

You are right! I am a certified pool operator ( took the CPO class many years ago) and the salt is very pure and not iodized.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




Thanks for the update. I'm going to have to try it.

If you're looking to do it on a bigger scale, go to a pool store and ask for a 40 pound bag of salt. They have them because of salt water pools and normally they are pure. Just check to make sure. I have to buy four 40 pound bags every spring because I drain our pool below the returns. They are usually less than $5 a bag, but I'm sure they are more now, just like everything. Still probably cheaper than the 5 pound bags of kosher salt.

J4yDubs
You can't use iodized salt. Well you can but you won't like the results.

SandRider

Why do you think pool salt is iodized? It's not. It's about as pure as you can get.

J4yDubs
I didn't say that it was.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




I didn't say that it was.

SandRider

You quoted my whole message which was about pool salt and replied to it. Troll on robluc. I'm done replying to you.


RE: Salting mullet for later use




I didn't say that it was.

SandRider

You quoted my whole message which was about pool salt and replied to it. Troll on robluc. I'm done replying to you.

J4yDubs
What a hostile little dude. You chirped in on a perfectly good going thread on something you know absolutely nothing about. As normal for you. Don't use iodized salt and you will be fine. You didn't know that, don't act like you did.Fish Fish Fish Fish Crying smiley Crying smiley


RE: Salting mullet for later use




Eager to hear how the salted bait holds up...something my surf fishing bud would probably try if we had 1st hand reports of it working. Let us know how it works out.

troutslayer


We went out Friday and Sunday. The bait held up well. As far as I'm concerned it's basically like using fresh mullet, but is longer term shelf stable. Friday and Sunday we had good catches of dogfish with one tiny blue in the mix. Yesterday my stepdad had something toothy hit his bottom rig. He had a bobble on the rod tip and then nothing. Both of the hooks were clean cut through when he checked his bait. Usually this time of year I am catching skates and dogfish primarily (fishing above Oregon Inlet) so I'm not seeing any difference in how the salted bait performs. So that's all I have on my salted bait testing and I'll be using this method when I won't be able to fish daily. I'll be buying several mullet here soon to salt so that I have bait to use through the winter and early spring.


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