How to Preserve Mullet Fillets for Bait

by Floyd Drake III

Mullet is a popular bait fish in the southern United States. Preserving mullet allows you to always have fresh bait on hand. The salt in the following preserving process dehydrates mullet fillets, keeping them firm even when refrozen and thawed out. When bait is firm, it holds better to the hook and does not fall apart.

Items you will need

  • Mullet fillets
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Kosher salt
  • Portable cooler with drain valve
  • 1-qt. freezer ziplock bags
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Step 1

Fill a portable cooler roughly 1/3 of the way with cold water. Pour 4 cups of kosher salt into the water and stir to dissolve. Layer the mullet fillets evenly in this brine solution, then top with enough ice keep the fillets very cold. Allow the fillets to soak for 2 to 3 hours.

Step 2

Drain the cooler by opening the drain valve on the bottom. Scoop out the ice and place the mullet fillets on a work surface.

Step 3

Place two or three fillets, depending on the size, in each plastic freezer bag. Pour an additional cup of salt into each bag. Shake the bag to evenly cover the fillets with the salt. Repeat this process with each freezer bag.

Step 4

Remove as much air in the freezer bags as possible. Fold the bag to push out the air before sealing with the zipper. The bags should be neatly flattened for easy storage.

Step 5

Store the fillets in your freezer until the next fishing trip. Mullet bait can be stored in the freezer for months. The salt keeps the fish firm and extends its freezer life.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to have plenty of kosher salt on hand -- there is no such thing as using too much. Kosher salt is commonly found in 3-pound boxes at most supermarkets

Photo Credits

  • Karl Weatherly/Digital Vision/Getty Images