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Author Topic: Six week old stinky blue fish  (Read 1766 times)
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RavenChief
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« on: August 05, 2017, 03:53:55 PM »

Ok, so my buddy Mike put six good size blue fish in a stainless steel pan with a lid and placed them in a fridge in his basement.  This basement fridge is not opened very often...  Any way time slipped away and the blue fish quickly reached their sell by date and for the past six or maybe eight weeks have been in the process of putrefaction. 
So yesterday, I am getting ready to bait my crab pots with frozen chicken necks, when Mike says "Hey, I got something better for you to use for bait." 
I can't describe the smell, but I can tell you that I had a really hard time trying not to vomit. 

So what do you guys think?  Good Idea?  Bad Idea? 
If I catch crabs will the nastiness of the rotten fish affect the quality of the crab?


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partime59
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2017, 04:20:19 PM »

u nevr kno, try it, mayb its the new secret weapon,,,,,,,,
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Mikie
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2017, 05:19:05 PM »

Fresh bluefish makes excellent crab bait. Nothing rotten makes good crab bait.
Besides, if you caught something that was eating that, would you want to turn around and eat them? Roll Eyes
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evinrude 130
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 05:57:04 PM »

At first thought, you think rotten bluefish would make a great crab bait. Personally, I couldn't tell you one way or another if using it would catch crabs or be a good thing to do. Because it stinks and probably looking real bad, most folks probably wouldn't bother touching it.

 But, on the other hand, who knows what crabs eat during their lifetime, LOL.  Mostly dead things is what comes to mind. For an experiment, I'd try it as bait. You may discover something better then the current baits now being used, LOL. If it catches nothing, you still have a result from experimenting.  That result being never try it again and then spread the word to others.
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jack1747
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2017, 06:06:54 PM »

At first thought, you think rotten bluefish would make a great crab bait. Personally, I couldn't tell you one way or another if using it would catch crabs or be a good thing to do. Because it stinks and probably looking real bad, most folks probably wouldn't bother touching it.

 But, on the other hand, who knows what crabs eat during their lifetime, LOL.  Mostly dead things is what comes to mind. For an experiment, I'd try it as bait. You may discover something better then the current baits now being used, LOL. If it catches nothing, you still have a result from experimenting.  That result being never try it again and then spread the word to others.
Callinectes sapidus are very good hunters.  When I was a kid, I first saw this while sitting over a sand bar.  Crabs were everywhere.  At least one every square foot.  They were catching bait fish as the fish washed over the bar.  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2017, 06:09:45 PM »

Fresh bluefish makes excellent crab bait. Nothing rotten makes good crab bait.

I used some heads from 10-16lb bluefish once.  Caught nothing.  I guess the crabs didn't care to crawl into a pot with that many teeth...  Grin
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evinrude 130
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2017, 06:26:19 PM »

Callinectes sapidus are very good hunters.  When I was a kid, I first saw this while sitting over a sand bar.  Crabs were everywhere.  At least one every square foot.  They were catching bait fish as the fish washed over the bar.  Smiley


Thanks for sharing that story.  I often wonder what it must have been like in the Chesapeake Bay before mankind started targeting the fish and crabs for a living. And to see the water before industry started. Had to been an awesome sight to see.  But now days, times have changed. Everyone who can afford a boat or a rental boat, wants to catch what's in the Bay .  A lot of pressure on the resources the Bay has to offer.  Can't really blame them, there's some good eats that come from those waters.

 Unfortunately, the crabs must  have gotten lazy because they keep eating eel, bull lips, dead fish, and chicken necks.  All dead things.  Plus they are not as numerous any more.  LOL
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2017, 08:29:56 PM »

I used some heads from 10-16lb bluefish once.  Caught nothing.  I guess the crabs didn't care to crawl into a pot with that many teeth...  Grin

Years ago when the bluefish were plentiful and I used traps I would save all of the heads in the freezer. I'd wire them into the traps by the jaw. Caught crabs like crazy and the bait lasted all day. Guess VA crabs are skittish! Grin
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2017, 08:59:02 PM »

Years ago when the bluefish were plentiful and I used traps I would save all of the heads in the freezer. I'd wire them into the traps by the jaw. Caught crabs like crazy and the bait lasted all day. Guess VA crabs are skittish! Grin
There are still plenty of BIG fish.  We catch them seaside.  For some reason the big ones just stopped coming in the Bay. They just pass on by. I'm thinking they stopped after hurricane Agnis...  Huh  Don't remember for sure.  This pic would be from about mid/early 70's...
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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2017, 08:56:15 AM »

Agnes was in June 1972. I don't remember exactly when the big blues stopped coming up but I know they were still here in the mid 1980's. They put the rockfish moratorium on in 1985 - 1990, when the rockfish started making a comeback the bluefish started drying up. Seems like you can't have large concentrations of both species at the same time and place.
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2017, 10:01:00 AM »

Don't use the rotten  bait!  Crabs are scavangers, they do not eat carrion.
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2017, 11:50:30 AM »

Had someone bring rotten chicken (left overnight) and the smell could not be described.  The crabs did not go for it at all. 

save your nose and just go with fresh bait.
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RavenChief
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2017, 03:43:55 PM »

OK guys, here is my report on the "six week old stinky blue fish":   The "pots" that I am using are actually what you call 1/2 pots.  So some of the crabs do tend to escape.  Mike and I set four 1/2 pots with six week old blue fish.  Pots were in the water about 48 hours.   They really did attract crabs!   Total keepers 25.  Throw backs were 31.  Average ~ six keepers per pot.  That was better than I usually do with chicken necks, so I guess it was a success.  Although I have not tried razor clams or other fish. 
As a side note, two of the whole blue fish that were not tied inside the traps were MIA.  I don't know how that happened. 
The other two were picked clean down to the bones...  Just the skeletal head and spines were left over.  Some crabs do apparently like stinky fish...
 I wish I had brought my iPhone with me so I could take a picture to show you.  But I left it in my truck.  I don't have a good place on my boat to put it where it is safe so I tend to not bring it with me...

Cheers,
RavenChief
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evinrude 130
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2017, 06:39:40 PM »

Thanks for the report with interesting results.  I guess maybe you should have took a pic of the bluefish so we could see what kind of deterioration had occurred.  But from your trip, crabs eat dead 6 week old bluefish.  Now to figure whether to put the bluefish in a bag or clip it to the trotline, LOL.

 Look out razor clams , you have competition.   LOL
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2017, 06:52:17 PM »

I used to use mullet that were left in an igloo for a couple of days of Texas summer heat. They worked well in my traps (pots). That was in my younger years when I drank a lot more beer than now. Fresh chicken or mullet works almost as well and is much easier to stomach.
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2017, 06:56:50 PM »

WTG when I  young long time ago my father always used blue fish alvays came home with a bushel and that was hand lineing
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« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2017, 05:45:27 AM »

think i would have lost some money on a bet
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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2017, 03:16:56 PM »

This post reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where the valet parking guy stank up Jerrys car so bad, that nothing would take the smell out.

I had a trap that wasn't checked for a few days in the summer, and when I pulled it, the valet guy smell was all over it, and my hands from just touching the wire.
I have smelt that funk in Houston once at a seafood retail shop. The live crabs for sale all had that smell.  Crabber probably didn't check his traps for a week in the summertime to get a smell like that.

I'm like most on here, use fresh bait if I'm eating the catch.

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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2017, 11:34:44 AM »

Rotten bait does work! Back in the summer of '89 one week I went crabbing came home and put my gear in the shed. Opened the shed the following Saturday and boy the smell could knock you over! I had left some mackerel in a bucket!  Cool Took one of the buckets that I used for pier crabbing with some rope, knives, etc. in it put it in the back of the station wagon. Picked up my friend and stopped to get fresh mackerel. Got to Woodland Beach and got out on pier and my friend was baiting up the traps as I was putting them out. He said " Ed, this bucket stinks." I said " It's ok ". He said "there's bait in here, mackerel, but it really stinks!" I said " just use it ". He went to grab a Mackerel and started hurling chunks on the pier!  rolleyes5 rolleyes4 rolleyes3 After he stopped hurling he says " Ed, I can't do this, there are maggots in the mackerel." I said " you are just a puss, here I'll do it." I'll have to admit the smell was pretty ripe and the sight wasn't pretty either. I finished baiting the traps and put them in the water. Couldn't of had a better day! Doubles and triples in the baskets every pull. People were asking "how are you guys getting so many? " I replied "Ancient Chinese secret" ( a line from a t.v. commercial for you younger folks )  Grin Packed a bushel in a couple hrs.
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