Processing anchovies

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Fixit, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. Fixit

    Fixit Well-Known Member

    3A1486AA-C32C-4348-AE8C-1E4F112263EB.jpeg Sea lions are hammering the anchovies in Howe sound. I got lucky and found a massive school and had my cast net on board.
    Anyone have any good tips on processing these guys? I’ve been freezing and vacuuming bagging them, wondering if I should try to duplicate the Rhys Davis method ? Freezing then glazing with water... anyone else packing away bait?
    Do you think safeway would give away a bunch of styrofoam trays? Or do they even package in store anymore
  2. RiverBoy

    RiverBoy Well-Known Member

    Nice! yes freeze and glaze. you can use wax paper on cookie sheets ( wives love this ) and spritz water on them too. if you just chuck them in and do nothing the belly’s will rot and yellow

    we scooped up a buttload of herring once and i froze them with out any sort of prep and they were all ruined. they ended up being good ling bait though
  3. runamuk

    runamuk Member

    I freeze mine in freezer bags packed with a pile of coarse salt .. I have yet to have a bad batch
  4. Fixit

    Fixit Well-Known Member

    Do they actually freeze like that? I find my salted anchovies from Saturday are never frozen on Sunday
  5. adanac

    adanac Well-Known Member

    Gut then grill whole! Slathered in garlic , olive oil, parsley , chilli , finish with a squirt of lemon and eat with a nice bread and Greek salad. Amazing eats. Have always had problems freezing whole herring or anchovy’s with soft bloated bellies.
    donnie d and Rain City like this.
  6. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Rhys Davis starves the anchovies in pens for enough time to allow stomach contents to be expelled...this time also makes the anchovies more streamlined...they have a bit of a drop belly like big lings otherwise and are harder to roll when like that. The secret to not having the bellies fall out within minutes of being in the water in your teaser head (without the ability to starve them) is getting them from the time of death to the freezer as fast as possible. The sooner this is done the sooner the stomach digestive enzymes stop being produced and are neutralized.
    fshnfnatic, kingblazer84 and Derby like this.
  7. runamuk

    runamuk Member

    Yes I usually have them frozen before I leave my cabin, so never more than a couple days, and they are in my freezer at home summer long
  8. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Just to add to my post above and for the sake of preventing waste. I only take larger amounts of bait from ballups if I'm prepared with lots of empty trays on hand and I'm on my way home so that they are in a freezer within an hour. If I'm fishing and get into a ballup and have no intention of heading in...I will scoop a reasonable amount to get a good sample and drop them into a bucket of seawater....then I will pick out a dozen or so of the size I like and then dump the rest back. This gives me enough for the day's fishing.
    eriks, Corey_lax, Tydey and 1 other person like this.
  9. wescanmarine

    wescanmarine Member

    I have tried this a lot. With herring. All different ways. Glazing is a pain in the butt if your doing large batches. Vac locking doesn't work, you absolutely cannot freeze them with salt will never freeze properly and will go rancid, freezing bait fish in water like we do prawns works pretty damn good but not as good as blast frozen and glazed professionally packed bait. Bellies will still go soft just not as bad. Profisher is right, and if your trying to mimic at home what ou buy from Rhys Davis probably won't happen unless you have a ton of time on your hands. However my opinion on bait that is not 100 percent.. still work depends on how your fishing. Happy fishing
  10. Mike1266

    Mike1266 Member

    I've got some chovies that I picked up from White Rock a while back in the winter. I froze half with salt, and half with nothing. I plan to use them for lings when it opens since salmon isn't open for retention. They look pretty good in the freezer, spread them out flat in a ziplock bag before you freeze.
  11. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    wescanmarine mentions vac packing and that reminded me that in the past 4-5 years I've had my own commercial chamber vac machine. I started using it when I was freezing fresh bait. It does work well at prolonging how long the bait stays fresh looking without drying out and turning yellow. The trick is to freeze the bait in open trays just long enough to harden them up...then pack them. This prevents the vacuum pressure from squishing them flat as you seal. I'm using 4ml bags which helps even more when it comes to preventing freezer burn.
    Oly1 and Dogbreath like this.

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