How to Brine Fish Bait

How to Brine Fish Bait
Brining serves two purposes for anglers. First, it adds a unique flavor to the fish, often giving off a more pungent aroma that will attract a potential catch. But brining bait also helps to preserve it for later use without the fish decaying--or at least decaying at a slower rate. Many anglers take pride in the way they brine fish, often creating slight variations of a common brine recipe with the expectation that their adjustments will make the brine more effective.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cooler
  • Block or bag of ice
  • Plastic bags
  • Freshwater
  • Saltwater
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Bait
Step 1
Soak the bait in a mixture of saltwater and kosher salt at the bottom of your cooler. Use about a half-cup of kosher salt for every three or four fish being brined. Some anglers also add baking soda in varying amounts.
Step 2
Fill the cooler with ice, leaving three to four inches of the container unfilled.
Step 3
Mix into the ice three to four pounds of kosher salt, stirring the ice and salt until the salt dissolves. Kosher salt helps meat maintain its texture and consistency when it is thawed out after being frozen. As the ice melts, it will add salt to the mixture along with the water, preventing the brine from becoming diluted.
Step 4
Remove your bait fish from the brine when you get home, and place them in a sealable plastic bag. Cover each individual bait fish in a liberal amount of kosher salt and baking powder--the amount is irrelevant as long as the fish is covered.
Step 5
Seal the bag, and place it in your freezer until you are ready to use the bait.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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