Paddling and fishing go together like ham and cheese, beer and chips, and Brad and Angelina, but it is hard to lose yourself in the magic when the quality of your bait has turned south, contaminating your cooler with unspeakable slime and filling your nostrils with a stench too putrid to ignore. The solution to this age old problem has been to leave the fresh bait at home and fish with lures instead. However that is not always ideal, particularly when targeting a lure shy species or when a relaxing dangle over the side is in order. That’s where The Freeze Dried Bait Company comes in.
The Freeze Dried Bait Company sources the finest fresh squid from premium sustainability focussed suppliers, chops it into 40 gram pieces, and then freeze dries it following the same process that has been used for years to preserve food for hikers, astronauts, and soldiers. 98% of moisture is removed while all natural oils and solids remain virtually intact.
When it’s time to wet a line the bait is simply re-hydrated in fresh or salt water. Re-hydration occurs in around 6 minutes (or as long as it takes to rig a rod) and the result is a slightly rubbery texture. The firmness of re-hydrated bait ensures it grips the hook better than most fresh alternatives resulting in more casts from a single bait.
Squid was chosen because it can be used to catch most of the fish that are chased every day along the Australian coastline. Target species include tarwhine, pink snapper, flathead, north west snapper, silver trevally, West Australian dhufish, and school, yellowfin, and King George whiting. Other popular baits including mussels are coming in 2014.
I can’t claim to be any great fishing expert so I asked Andrew Smith from tacklerat.com and Northern Rivers kayak fishing identity Greg Staader to put Freeze Dried Bait through its paces for me. Here’s what Greg had to say.
“We were impressed with the bait as it performed as advertised.
Instead of hydrating the whole packet we placed half a dozen pieces at a time into a zip-lock bag with saltwater which was ready to use in 10-15 minutes.
The re-hydrated squid was less pungent and had a firmer texture than fresh squid making it pleasant to use, it still cut as easy but stayed on the hook much longer. The day we tried it the bait was hammered by small Bream which would normally would have picked fresh bait of in no time but the freeze dried bait persisted, in fact my bait lasted until I decided to freshen it up.
We were impressed by the number of bites and fish caught on the freeze dried bait, species caught were bream, flathead, whiting and flounder.
As a long time lure fisherman I am suitably impressed to included a packet of freeze dried bait in my kayaking tackle box.”
I’ll leave the final word to Andrew ‘AJ’ Jenour who co-founded the Freeze Dried Bait Company.
“The benefit is really in the fact your bait is reserved for 3 years without refrigeration, weighs 70% less and doesn’t stink like an old mans boots… You can carry so much more, leave it in your glove box and fish on your way home from work, camp longer, and best of all…. More beers on ice..”
Sea to Summit is the Australian distributor for Freeze Dried Bait. Use the store locator on the Sea to Summit website to find the stockist nearest you.