Ready to go: Baits rigged and packed well ahead of time make trip prep a snap. Photo by George PoveromoPhoto by George Poveromo
1. The heavier the brine, the tougher and stiffer the baits become. A pure seawater slush is ideal. Baits should be durable yet flexible enough to swim enticingly, not look like a pencil dragged through the water. 2. When layering trolling baits in a cooler, sprinkle coarse salt over them sparingly. You want just enough salt to offset the fresh water from the melting ice. 3. With poor-quality baits (those with soft stomachs), liberally dust with salt, especially their bellies, to draws out moisture and toughen them. These baits will likely have stiff action, but they’ll last a bit longer. 4. Add a dusting of baking soda over the baits to help preserve scent and color. 5. Before deploying the baits, soak them in a bucket of seawater to thoroughly defrost them. 6. Cover the hook points on rigged baits with cardboard or foam packing peanuts before sealing to prevent piercing the vacuum bag.
**Cool Investment: **A quality vacuum bagger adds efficiency to bait prep, and provides a measure of quality in steaks and fillets destined for the table.
On the Job: A variety of ready-rigged baits means you’ll spend more time fishing