Can You Freeze Luncheon Meat for Fishing?

You can hardly wait to feel that sudden tug on your fishing line and to begin the dance of push and pull until that fish is completely in your grasp. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on fishing from the bank, using your waders in the stream, or fishing from the comfort of your trolling boat, the thrill of the catch remains the same. The question is: what bait are you going to use?

Can you freeze luncheon meat for fishing? The short answer is, yes, you can freeze lunch meat in preparation for your fishing trip. If you want the lunch meat to be frozen when you reach your destination, you will need to keep it packed on dry ice.

Freezing your lunch meat isn’t your only option for luring fish toward your hook. Let’s talk about several different options right from your pantry, or easy to find at the grocery, that you can use for bait for your next fishing trip.

Types of Fish You Can Lure When Using Lunch Meat to Bait Your Hook

Does it really matter what type of lunch meat you use for your fish bait? No. What matters is what type of fish you’re chasing.

Following is a list of fish that are particularly fond of meat as bait:

  1. Perch
  2. Northern Pike
  3. Carp
  4. Catfish
  5. Largemouth and Striped Bass
  6. Snapper
  7. Grouper
  8. Cod
  9. Crab. Ok. This is a shellfish, but they are partial to meat for their bait.

Different Lunch Meats You Can Use for Your Fish Bait

When you think of lunch meat, the chances are that you think of something different than your neighbor may. With that in mind, let’s make a list of different options:

  1. Wafer sliced packaged lunch meat

Wafer sliced packaged meat tends to be the most affordable/least expensive lunch meat option. A single piece can be torn in multiple sections. To keep it on your hook, fold it several times to give it a little texture.

  1. Deli sliced lunch meat

Deli sliced lunch meat tends to be sliced a little thicker and easier to attach to your hook.

  1. Chicken breast

The best way to use a chicken breast is first to cut it into chunks.

Tip: Do not use spices on chicken breast if you plan to use it as bait.

  1. Hamburger

Globs of cooked or raw hamburger can be effective bait. Like the chicken breast, make sure it is void of spices – although fish find parsley attractive.

Nine Other Grocery Options to Use as Bait for Your Fishing Trip

The nice thing about using lunch meat for your bait is that you don’t need to be concerned about the typical 3-month freezing time frame before using it. That is unless you’re planning on the same lunch meat for your sandwiches. To avoid freezer burn, don’t freeze lunch meat you’re going to eat for more than 3-months.

Now…Back to fish bait.

  1. Canned meat

The first thing that naturally comes to mind is the age-old canned standby – SPAM. This works well whether you cut it into chunks, or you roll it into balls.

Other options for the canned meat category could be:

  • Vienna sausages. They’re easy to chop into small pieces and will stay on your hook better than most soft lunch meats.
  • Tiny shrimp. Fish love these – it’s a delicacy they have trouble resisting.
  • Sardines. Yes, fish find sardines to be a wonderful treat.
  • Oysters. Bonus is the rubbery texture of these canned shellfish helps them stick to your hook.
  1. Peanut butter

No, it isn’t likely that a glob of peanut butter will stay on your hook, but… if you make a thick peanut butter sandwich, the bread will help you easily bait your hook.

Tip: Consider using very stale bread, and you’ll be ahead of the curve for easy hook baiting.

  1. Canned corn

Canned corn is the important thing in this one. Fish prefer to chase the canned corn rather than fresh or frozen. Fill your hook with three or four kernels of corn, and you will be ready to go.

Tip: Have you ever been to a fish hatchery at feeding time? Or maybe you’ve been at the lake and have witnessed the fish’s love of chasing the bugs that light on the water at dusk.

In keeping with that concept, if you throw a handful of corn kernels out to the water before you send your baited hook in, you will have “primed the pump” so to speak. The fish will be ready to gobble up your corn-laden hook.

  1. Cheese

It doesn’t matter if you prefer to pick up a sharp cheddar, a limburger that requires a clothespin on your nose, or a waxy processed, cheese has been proven to be a very successful bait for reaching your limit.

  1. Chicken liver

Catfish and striped bass can’t resist the smell of chicken livers. The red coloring also helps attract fish in the murky waters.

  1. Meatballs

This is a quick grab and go option. You can quickly find meatballs in the freezer section of your grocer. When you get to your favorite fishing hole, simply break the meatballs in quarters, and you’ll be ready to drop your line in the water.

  1. Raisins

Some experts say that golden raisins, in particular, are irresistible – especially to catfish. They are attracted to the bright color, and the raisins begin to ferment as they sit on your hook in the water. The scent draws the fish much like a child is drawn to the off-limits cookie jar.

  1. Mini Marshmallows

They’re not just for your hot chocolate anymore. Mini marshmallows carry a sweet smell that Bluegill and some other species of sunfish can’t resist.

  1. Soap

You read that right. Unscented soap has been used as effective fishing bait for centuries. You can even use a chunk of your own home-made unscented lye soap.

Tip: It is important to note that Trout is not really meat-eaters. You will do better with cheese, bread, marshmallows, or fruit when you are trying to tease either the rainbow or brown trout.

More Tips for Fish Bait

  • Fish are very sensitive to the smell of human skin. Before baiting your hook, either put gloves on your hands or rub fish oil on your hands. Either option will disguise your scent and help you attract fish toward your baited hook.
  • Some food-based baits are a bit more delicate than others, so they may not be the most effective choice for long, or distance, casts as you may lose them in the casting process.

As you prepare your tackle box for your next adventure, remember that digging in your garden for fresh worms is often an option, but it doesn’t have to be the only kind of bait you consider. There are several types of bait you can use straight from your pantry or grocer that will help you get your catch daily limit.

In Conclusion

Fishing is a pastime many take up simply for the joy of experiencing nature, quiet, and solitude. Sometimes, though, those pesky fish just won’t leave your line alone.

Whether you are fishing to catch tonight’s dinner or practicing catch and release for the satisfaction of the win, you have several options to offer a tempting treat to those sometimes-elusive creatures. And you don’t have to run to the bait shop in order to get started!

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