Salted baits…you can catch anything with these!

Salted baits…you can catch anything with these!

You can salt a bait so easy and then catch a fish with it…so easy.

 

Salted baits have been a real eye opener for me. I’ve been surprised with the success of baits I salted myself and just had to keep experimenting with the types of bait that work.

 

So why is it worth you trying this stuff?

Well, have you ever been fishing and run out of bait or wanted to go fishing and couldn’t buy bait?

 

It’s used to happen to me but that’s all changed.

 

Salted baits keep for a long time….I’m talking months, and they don’t need refrigeration…what a bonus.

 

I now have 3 or 4 different salted baits in my tackle bag so they are ready to use…in any fishing emergency – like when I go somewhere new and, unexpectedly, there’s  water there...you gotta drop in a bait, right?

 

Actually, salting bait is as simple as 1,2,3 – 1. collect bait, 2. add salt, 3. store it….that’s it.

 

I’ve tried a few different baits but have really focused on soft baits that get easily ripped off the hook like prawns and fish fillets.

 

The great thing about salting is your bait toughens up and stays on the hook way longer. If you like fishing with prawns you’ll find they work real well when salted.

 

The salting process is simple. You want to start with non iodised salt, which you can find at the supermarket. It’s cheap and easy to get.

 

DONT USE IODISED SALT!

Iodised salt contains a small amount of potassium iodate.   This does not work well, so don’t use it.

 

Next – you need a plastic container to put the salt and bait in.

Whatever container you use make sure you put holes in the bottom so any moisture from the bait can drain out. This way the salt won’t get saturated and stop the drying process.

 

Put a layer of salt on the bottom, deep enough to provide a good bed of salt. The depth of salt depends on the size of the bait… for instance, when I salted 12 tiger prawns, I made it 3 centimetres deep.

 

Next –  place the bait on that  bed of salt but not touching the sides of the container. You want the salt to completely cover the bait on all sides so it will dry properly.

 

Cover the bait with a few centimetres of salt and leave for a few days to dry. Make sure you check the bait regularly to check no moisture is collecting in the container.

 

After a few days you will notice how the bait has become thinner.

 

Two great things happen in the process. 1. The bait becomes tougher and will stay on the hook longer 2. The taste is intensified and I think the fish can sense this in the water.

 

The amount of time you leave the bait in the salt depends on the type and size of bait.  I found that small bait like thin fish fillets and prawns only need a few days before they really dry out and  become tough. Larger baits, like whole fish can take a lot longer and never seem to become quite as tough.

 

If you want to make a bait that has a long shelf life then drying it longer will help this. I kept the prawns I salted for 3 weeks before I used them and they showed no signs of rotting or bad smells.

 

When you salt your bait, if you make sure all the liquid can drain out, you can re-use the salt. I tend to use mine a few times before I change it….and salt’s so cheap it won’t break the bank anyway.

 

As you salt your bait, keep it in a cool dry place while the whole process is underway. Also, don’t seal the drying container.

 

My experiments have proven that the bait dries better if you don’t put a lid on the container, just put a rag or towel over the top that lets a bit of air flow but stops dust and anything else dropping in.

 

The amazing thing about this salt drying option is that you have a wide range of baits to use…

 

I caught a carp a while back and proved that some of the flesh could be cooked and eaten…but there was a lot of unusable meat.

 

I took this meat and dried it…and even caught fish with it!!!

 

Yep, that’s right, I caught fish!

…and more amazingly they were salt water fish – yellow eye mullet and Australian salmon.

 

Who would have thought that could happen with CARP?

 

So simple to do and so many possibilities!

 

Now, just one more word on using salted baits…SPICE!

 

When I used the carp, I didn’t just use them straight from the salt box, I added a few more things. To make things tastier I added tuna oil and garlic powder.

 

…About an hour before I went fishing I cut the carp fillets into small pieces and put them in a container with the tuna oil and garlic powder. This combination worked better than I expected.

 

It was amazing how unsalted soft baits like fresh prawns were being pulled off the hook but the carp pieces could take quite a bit of “pecking” by small, and not so small, fish and still stay on the hook.

 

I’m yet to do a side-by-side comparison with a fresh bait like pipi or prawn to see how a dried bait works in comparison but at least a few sessions have proven they DO work.

 

So, salting bait can catch you fish. It gives you a bait that you can keep in your bag without refrigeration and is easy to do.

 

Next time you go fishing try a salted bait…you could be surprised at the results.

 

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