We have in the past gone to great lengths to publicize the need to maintain our sandeels in good condition in order to maximise catches.  The importance of this cannot be over emphasized, and the situation may be summed up as follows:

The sandeels are delivered to the dealer in perfect, deep frozen condition.  The backs of the sandeels are a steely blue-grey colour, and their bellies are white.  When thawed these eels will be firm, they retain their natural iridescence, and they will not burst when put on the hook correctly.

Frozen sandeels must be kept in the freezer at -18°C or colder in order to maintain their perfect condition.  If they are kept at a higher temperature than this they will gradually become brown in colour.  Such sandeels are soft when thawed, and will likely burst when put on the hook.

Nowadays most shops do take the trouble to look after their frozen bait properly, but sadly there are still shops where our sandeels are offered for sale in the inferior, brown condition. Reasons for this are:

  • The dealer did not put the sandeels into the freezer immediately
  • The freezer is in poor condition, or it is not set to run at a low enough temperature
  • Fresh unfrozen product has been placed in the freezer to be frozen and has temporarily warmed up the frozen bait already in the freezer
  • The frozen sandeels are kept near the top of the freezer, and in a warm retail environment, say on a busy Saturday morning, the freezer door is constantly opened and shut, opened and shut…it won’t be long before the eels begin to deteriorate.

Once the sandeel has been purchased, it is time for the angler to do his bit, and a little effort here will reap the maximum rewards!  Your dealer will (hopefully) already have wrapped the eels in several layers of newspaper, and for a short while this may be sufficient. In hot weather or if you need to travel some distance, it is essential that you take other measures to keep your frozen eels in top condition.  We now produce an Ammo Cool Bag which is designed to keep your Ammo bait frozen for short periods, and are very pleased with its’ performance.  It is not designed to keep the bait frozen for hours, but it will slow the thawing process and help maintain the quality of the bait.  The addition of a pre-frozen ice pack will greatly enhance its’ performance.  Alternatively you can take a prefrozen cool box to the tackle shop when you buy your frozen bait.