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DoorGunner

Strip baits.

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List is endless but we seem to stay focused on a few like bluefish, flounder belly and mackerel. Just about anything you can fillet can be used for a strip bait and you can salt them and keep them refrigerated all season long. If you freshwater fish for sport but catch one or two that won't survive then fillet them down for the saltwater. Even if you catch weakies or stripers to eat try first cut the belly section out for strip baits. 

One little trick I found out years ago that it can help if you let them go a little rank first. Took a few croakers that had been left out for a day. Pretty much bloated but I wanted to try so I filleted them down, washed them off then salted them down overnight. Next day I couldn't put strips on fast enough. Strong aroma even if it's rank seems to attract more attention. 

I always use kosher salt and have a large plastic container to store the fillets in. One layer of fillets skin side down then sprinkle a good amount of salt on them. Another layer of fillet skin side down and repeat with the salt. Refrigerate overnight and check the next day. The salt has removed much of the moisture from the fillets. Enough that they will be almost completely under the liquid. You can just keep adding more fillets and salt and you don't need to freeze. Salting is an art that preserved meats and fish before we had refrigerators and freezers. I have a plastic container with fillets in it from last spring in the refrigerator and no odor at all. 

Leave the fillets whole until ready to use. DON'T cut them into strips before salting because removing the liquid from the flesh will shrink them a little. If you cut them into strips first then you won't get the right size strips when they shrink.    

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DG, have you ever salted bunker strips or bloodworms?

 

Just curious. I have some bloods I salted while they were still alive - well not for long after salting! They seem like they’ll catch just fine if there are a few hungry fish around.

 

What about bay anchovies, silversides, spearing, minnows, etc. Ever salt any of those or just strip bait?

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1 hour ago, EricDice said:

DG, have you ever salted bunker strips or bloodworms?

 

Just curious. I have some bloods I salted while they were still alive - well not for long after salting! They seem like they’ll catch just fine if there are a few hungry fish around.

 

What about bay anchovies, silversides, spearing, minnows, etc. Ever salt any of those or just strip bait?

 

Just strip baits. Spearing are great thawed out but soft. Maybe this year when I net some of the super sized spearing I will try salting. I can get minnows all the time so no need to salt them. Salting baits is so easy and I guess the sky is the limit as to the different kinds of bait you can try it on. Keep us posted on the bloods.  

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every sea robbin we get goes in the cooler. fresh strips or salt the rest.  not legal but we also salt the flounder ribbons from todays catch for tomorrows trip. we always use them all or discard the balance on the way in. cant see throwing ribbons in the trash when they are a great bait.

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A friend of mine will fillet the ribbons for those small pieces of flesh. Makes fish cakes out of them and they are delicious. Have a slightly stronger flavor than the rest of the flounder. 

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1 hour ago, DoorGunner said:

A friend of mine will fillet the ribbons for those small pieces of flesh. Makes fish cakes out of them and they are delicious. Have a slightly stronger flavor than the rest of the flounder. 

kind of like skate wing ?

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4 hours ago, fd4mcola said:

belly strips from stripers and weakies were the best flounder bait I ever used

So basically.... Strips of gamefish work pretty darn well for catching other gamefish? Seems very reasonable

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