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Some background: I go fishing 3-4 times a week at a local river for catfish, carp, perch, bass, and sunfish. My favorite bait for catfish (and the one that I find most consistent) is fresh cut perch/sunfish. I will usually jig a small nightcrawler in the shallows to catch a perch/sunfish and then chop it up and use the fresh cut pieces to catch larger flathead and channel catfish. This technique has which consistently produced bites and fish (regardless of where I'm at). Recently, the perch bite has been super hot so I will end up catching three or four perch and only end up using maybe one and a half during that fishing session. I have been taking the remaining bait home and freezing it and then bringing it out the next day. The problem I have been finding is that the frozen cut bait gets significantly less bites than the fresh cut bait, somedays the frozen bait will literally get no bites in a 2-3 hour period.

My question is: does freezing cut bait really make it less attractive to fish? The bait shops that I go to all sell their cut bait frozen so I figured that was standard practice. But given the last month or so, I am really questioning if frozen cut bait is even worth using. I guess additionally, I was wondering if anyone knows if there are any ways to make frozen cut bait more attractive to fish?

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YES. Freezing any type of bait definitely makes it less attractive to fish.

Freezing depletes the bait of it's scent and essential oils that attract fish. The scent and oils are still there, but they are dilluted during the thawing process.

There should really be no reason to freeze the perch that you use for bait if you are going to use it the next day. As long as the bait is kept cool, you can keep it in a bait cooler for 2-3 days.

Also, if you have a significant amount of bait and you're unable to use it within 2-3 days, the best thing to do would be to cure the bait in a brine rather than freeze it.

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