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Should you scale kahawai pre-freezing for bait

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    Posted: 03 May 2021 at 8:23pm
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Had few kahawai live baits which took recently and filleted off for snapper bait prior to freezing... but was bit lazy and didn’t scale them Which normally do.
Interested if others scale prior to filleting and freezing for bait. I do normally unless smaller whole fish. These were bigger models. Will fish/ snapper still like them. Can you scale after.? Or just chop up and use and make sure hook is clear of any scales?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2021 at 6:02pm
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I scale..
Reasons
1/ super glue was discovered from someone figuring out why fish scales stick to boats and boards Wink
2/ Putting baits on hooks thru scales very quickly takes the edge.. or point off hooks.. and bait knives.
3/ It is easier in the long run to scale than deal with glued scales , blunt hooks and knives.

I fillet my KY, trevs, mullet, put the slabs on the smoker grills in a large chilly/ fish bin, covered in a good layer of salt. Lid down. next day sprinkle little more salt.. Then 3 or 4th day pack into zip locks (1/2 fillets) add the juice out of the bin, remove the air and freeze.
 These bags dont freeze solid, so always ready to use, and since salted dont go mushy when re freeze and re use several times.

Any whole bait fish,  roughly scale then freeze.

As to if fish prefer scaled un scaled.. IF was to comment possibly the baits are taken quicker, less picking then take...maybe...no real or significant difference noticed when crew bring their own superglue unscaled fish.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote shaneg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2021 at 6:58pm
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thanks Steps for the informative reply, agree with scales thing. 
Might have to defrost them (in bags of four fillets), smoke em and turn into fish pie instead of using for bait.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote waynorth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2021 at 7:44pm
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Definitely scale them, or just skin them. Kahawai flesh on its own it is a good & tough bait - don't need the skin. If you salt it, as Steps suggests, it can be defrosted and refrozen a few times, and is a bit tougher again. Personally I dump the liquid drawn out by the salt.

I used to run a salted bait bucket that got all the leftover bits of bait. Never got frozen, used to smell pretty fishy after a couple of weeks, but the baits seemed to still work ok. Pilchards lose their belly to bacteria pretty quickly but the salt toughens them up nicely. 
treat fish like fish
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kitno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2021 at 7:48pm
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Larger kahawai that I plan on keeping for bait, de-scale, take fillets off, dry off surface, vac pack and freeze about 4 fillets per bag. Heads and guts get frozen in containers for making berley later.
De scaling the kahawai is primarily for ease of use on the day. As steps said, not ideal for your knife edge or hook points.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2021 at 7:58pm
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We put a few unscaled kahawai in a bag and chuck them in the freezer as is. We catch a few fish on them
Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote shaneg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2021 at 8:30pm
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Wonder what Snapper Geoff does? 
Like your reply Smudge. Gives me some optimism, probably need to use unscaled first hand and see, as with most things with fishing. But always scaled them.
How a  few lazier moments on my part can create such a personal quandary and a little debate.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2021 at 8:57am
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Might have to defrost them (in bags of four fillets), smoke em and turn into fish pie instead of using for bait.

1st bag on the bait board will get used.. 2nd bag peel a couple fillets off before fully defrost and put back in the bait/ burly chilly bin.
I have a smaller chilly bin, enough for 5 2L milk bottles of frozen home made burly (see below)  and bags of bait lay on top.

For a few yrs, east coast fishing I didnt salt. I just scaled and cut into bait strips, Zip lock, remove air in a bucket of water.
Not too many per bag as took longer to thaw on the bait board.
 Anything left over went to the burley. If unsalted , re freeze , just turn to one hit  mushy wonders.
 Like Kito, the frames and heads... Chopper/ machete thru the head couple times, remove tail and fins by gills (these block the mulcher, and if get thru that, mess up the burly net.. chop the spine in a few places,fold up and put in bags in the bait freezer. Let over bait, muscles, few muscle shells, scallop skirts, even a lot of the scales.
 
As the burly goes down, the bags of frames fills up the freezer.
 Then its semi defrost the bags over night, thru the mulcher next day... Here is why the heads get a 2 or 3 good deep slices in the heads.. they break up far easier in the mulcher.
Crap 2 1/2 job from coffee cup to end of long hot shower).. smelly but the worst is packing the semi frozen burly into the 2L milk containers ( note the bottom pic with the neck cut off the bottle) Fingers get real cold.. have electric jug and bucket water close by.

 Surprising the clean down is very easy and quick. Setup on slight slope.. plastic/ tarp down..bottom end has 'catchment' V with couple bits timber.

I have been putting off the next batch, freezer full, down to the last 2 containers...Someone want to come help for couple hrs?


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote cirrus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2021 at 4:51pm
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I present Kahawai to the fish Au Naturel.  Scales and all. 

Never scale Kahawai before freezing. 
Last thursday ,short trip into the gulf.  5 snapper to 48 cm. All on unscaled frozen kahawai bait. 
And when skinning kahawai for eating, i freeze the skins.
Lot of oil under the skin. Recently caught a nice gurnard on a small square of  Kahawai skin with scales.
Same for jack mack skins.

Once you start scaling kahawai scales turn up for months in diverse places. All over the place despite care
Havent found they blunten hooks or knives.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kitno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2021 at 5:01pm
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I think it's more a matter of personal preference, with or without scales. One won't out catch the other.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2021 at 6:33pm
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Scales will definitely blunten your knives but we have a cheapy diamond sharpener on board most times for our bait knives. It is important not to let scales foul the points of your hooks as they may not set so well on a bite. 

Fish are so easy to scale when fresh, all I use is the back edge of a knife. To prevent scales going everywhere scale the fish in a bin of water while fresh. It works a treat and really keeps the mess down. One of many tips I learned from the great Eric Mormon (Lethal RIP).
Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote shaneg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2021 at 7:52pm
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I’ve actually got one of those old royobi  mulchers too steps , pretty gutless in garden but glad didn’t chuck it, looks like primo option for making berley.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Reel Deal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2021 at 6:50am
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you got a cunning process in play there steps.
The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2021 at 9:53am
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The mulcher goes back to the 1990s.. garden got rather too big for it.
Couple things with it thu.
1/ notice the lid is off.. a fish head will bounce out every now and then.
2/ Feed bit at a time and consistent and clear thru the side 'stick port'
3/ Just hose out while running
4/Sharp blades.. the plate blades wear back .. I run the mig down the blade edge,  little higher than std, then quench then file new edge.. dont do it a grinder.. too much heat, soft edge.
4/ Plenty of elcheapo crc /rd40 type product after cleaning, espec unde the blade plate.. leave sitting around for next week so everytime you pass it give the blade a bit of a spin.

If you dont the top bearing will tend to seize up.. bit of a bugga to set up a yr later then have to work it free.

Scaling.. I scale at home on the filleting bench.. after all the eating fish has been done. Use a bucket or plastic bag.. the old banned ones where good. Put fish in bag as far as convientant and scale.. catches 90+% of scales.

For scaling.. tried a few over the yrs, always go back to a  solid std stainless  dinner table knife.
Thu the grand children brought from the $2 shop a white plastic scaler that has semi loose red knobbly things.. that works real well... down side.. doesnt take long to wear down... So spend $4 and buy 2 Wink

you got a cunning process in play there steps.

Nope..
Grandfather used to say "work hard at being lazy"
To be truly lazy in the positive meaning you need everything done and cleaned up quicker and better.
And being partly disabled for a few decades has a huge advantage to be lazy when throw in my grand mothers " If you want something , you will get it.. if you dont get it you didnt really want it in the 1st place.. So dont waste my time and yours talking about it"

And "Never try and do your best, just go and DO your best.. ppl who try are by nature trying ppl"



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