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Reader Tips: Chill Out

I have found that thawing bait slowly over a block of ice leaves it in far superior shape...

August 13, 2010
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I have a tip that helps frozen bait stay firmer, more durable and intact much longer when thawed. Instead of dropping my frozen bait into a bucket of water or laying it in the hot sun to thaw (both are popular methods), I have found that thawing it slowly over a block of ice leaves it in far superior shape. I place the frozen bait in an ice chest with a block of ice the night before a fishing trip and allow it to slowly thaw through the night. The slower thawing time allows the bait to gradually return to its natural, firm, freshly-caught state. Every fisherman knows that quality bait is important in any kind of fishing, and I have noticed a significant improvement with ballyhoo, menhaden, Spanish sardines and even shrimp since eliminating the mushy, soggy bodies brought about by fast and/or wet thawing procedures.

James Victory
Ocean Springs, Mississippi

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