Ramblings of a Carp Angler – The Secret to Preserving Bait

I’ve been using an assortment of shelf life and frozen baits well before becoming a bait consultant for Quality Baits. Despite the success I’ve had with the shelf life baits I still favour frozen baits over all and here is why.

As we all know one of the main problems with frozen baits is its deterioration during session fishing.  When travelling to France you may expect there to be sufficient freezer space made available… but more often than not the freezer space soon fills, leaving bait unfrozen and exposed to the elements. Well, I have found the answer…. vacuum packing!

For this I use an Andrew James Vacuum Sealer & it couldn’t be simpler to use.

Boilies ready for vacuum packing

Boilies ready for vacuum packing

Put the boilies in a vacuum bag & follow the instructions of the vacuum sealer unit, and voila, you have fully preserved boilies. These can either then be frozen for an indefinite period or left unfrozen for at least a month plus.  Because all the air has been extracted from the bag, the baits remain fully preserved and if frozen, will not get freezer burn. Sometimes the baits will go slightly out of shape but they still fly well in a throwing stick and they are different from the spherical boilie that everyone else is using.

Leave them in the sunlight or exposed to heat and the bait will start a chemical process as it sweats and it will go off. So it is imperative that any bait, shelf life or frozen, is kept in the shade in a cool place.

I’ve also used the vacuum packing on hemp, maize, and seed particle mix. The secret to vacuum packing particles is to rinse them thoroughly, drain as much water off as possible then vacuum pack. Any of these particles can be frozen for unlimited time and left unfrozen for at least a week.

Vacuum packed and ready for the freezer

Vacuum packed and ready for the freezer

I also use my vacuum packer for its original use, food storage, mainly meat. As soon as my meat is vacuum packed, it goes straight into the freezer and is ready for my next trip.

Jim and myself jointly own a gas fridge, so as long as this is kept in the shade and our meat is vacuum packed, meat usually lasts us between 5 to 7 days depending on what type of meat we have with us. Obviously if the venue has a freezer the meat will go straight into this on arrival. Meat in France is expensive and I do like to penny pinch.

The initial purchase of a vacuum packer is around £50, but you can save a fortune on bait that you do not use that can be taken back home with you. Remember keep it out of direct sunlight and away from heat.

Why not give my methods a try, you will be surprised how useful these tips are.

Paul Cooper


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