Is it too early to talk about halibut bait? =)

Fungunnin

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Feb 5, 2011
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Bill
For several years I've been hooking up the BD crews with what I think is some of the best halibut/lingcod bait out there.


These are Atlantic Salmon belly strips. They are loaded with oil and stay on the hook really well.

This year I am going to try and turn this into a business venture. I'd like some feedback from you guys.

The belly strips are between a quarter to a half a pound each. I'm thinking of freezing these in one pound pounches. Retail for $5.00
Thoughts?
 
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Rougarou

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Belly strips are awesome as bait and price seems right.

However, I don't know what the demand will be. I would assume most people who fish for halibut, fish for salmon and save bellies for bait. Plus there is the logistics of getting them from you.

Now if you were to take those frozen pouches and sit at the ramp at Neah opening morning...I'd think you'd make a killing!
 
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EJ Swanny

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Farm raised atlantic salmon is pretty cheap....one can buy a whole salmon, use the head and tail for crab bait, smoke the fillets, and cut some belly strips for the same price if not cheaper. Just giving you some feedback...not trying to crap on your idea....maybe I'm off on my logic...

Good luck Bill
 
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Fungunnin

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Feb 5, 2011
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Farm raised atlantic salmon is pretty cheap....one can buy a whole salmon, use the head and tail for crab bait, smoke the fillets, and cut some belly strips for the same price if not cheaper. Just giving you some feedback...not trying to crap on your idea....maybe I'm off on my logic...

Good luck Bill
Thank you. Good point!
The price point is just an idea at thus point. I was going off the goat raping prices that a tray of black label herring go for. I forget that Atlantic is actually sold for food ...
 

Fungunnin

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Feb 5, 2011
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Bill
Belly strips are awesome as bait and price seems right.

However, I don't know what the demand will be. I would assume most people who fish for halibut, fish for salmon and save bellies for bait. Plus there is the logistics of getting them from you.

Now if you were to take those frozen pouches and sit at the ramp at Neah opening morning...I'd think you'd make a killing!
Personally I fish for both but I don't turn any of my salmon into bait or use up freezer space to store it.

I am hoping to sell directly to guys as well as sell to tackle shops.
 

chumsalmon

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Nov 26, 2011
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Bill, I think if you are going to try and get this started (i have no doubt there is a market for the product) i'd start the price a little lower....Say, $4.50-$5.00 for a pound that is vac. packed and ready to go for retail purposes. At that price point it's low enough to attract some followers and you'd then be able to build on it from there....just my thought's.
 
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Pipejumper

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Dec 17, 2014
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If you call any fish market that cuts salmon you can usually pick up bellies and parts for $1 a pound.

With that said that takes someone going through the effort to work with a fish market to get their bellies if they haven't saved their own.
 

Fungunnin

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Feb 5, 2011
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Bill, I think if you are going to try and get this started (i have no doubt there is a market for the product) i'd start the price a little lower....Say, $4.50-$5.00 for a pound that is vac. packed and ready to go for retail purposes. At that price point it's low enough to attract some followers and you'd then be able to build on it from there....just my thought's.
Same thing from two different people... I'm adjusting the original post. Thanks!
 

Fungunnin

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Feb 5, 2011
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Bill
If you call any fish market that cuts salmon you can usually pick up bellies and parts for $1 a pound.

With that said that takes someone going through the effort to work with a fish market to get their bellies if they haven't saved their own.
While this is true for crab bait do you guys really get quality bait from the trimmings from a shop? I ran several shops and I'd sell you the spine and head but that's about it ...
 
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bdrlgion

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Apr 11, 2014
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Do it, Bill! Those belly strips got 90% of the big lings, and all the halibut, I caught in the past two seasons.
 
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flanker7

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Mar 31, 2011
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I'd buy a package or two to try em out if it wasn't a hassle to get them.
 

Fungunnin

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Do it, Bill! Those belly strips got 90% of the big lings, and all the halibut, I caught in the past two seasons.
They flat out catch fish!
One of the biggest surprises this year was that black cod love them too! 54 in one day to be exact.
 

bdrlgion

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Not only do they catch fish...but not having to check your gear every time you've missed a bite from 500 feet down is a life (or bicep) saver.
 
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MA9

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Feb 21, 2012
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While there's other ways to secure bait cheaper as mentioned above, time is money. There is something to be said for having a clean, packed out frozen bait tray, ready to go, and I'm willing to pay for it. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want to fvck with running to the grocery store, getting a bunch of odd trimmings and crap, separating out, and individually vacuum packing it, all while packing the boat and rig up for a trip. I don't have that much time these days. Pointless IMO to spend a few hours of my time to save a few bucks? You only get a few cracks at Hali and Ling a year,how much bait do you really use?

I say do it... While your at it, been a while since I've seen any decent crab bait that was reasonably priced. Boaters World used to have vac packed blocks of salmon trimmings for a few bucks a block. Whole Chicken is damn expensive, herring a small fortune as you need a few trays to pack a bait cage, and I don't always have a spare salmon carcass ready to go in the freezer.
 

DaKanati

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I think people will definitely buy it. I catch and make all my own bait, but every year at least a couple guys who fish with me will pick up a couple extra packs of something at big salmon
 

Clockwork

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Feb 16, 2011
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I would suggest diversifying your product line and you may have something. some people swear by salmon bellys, some tuna bellys, some mackerel, some octopus, some herring and theres some that just use a damn pipe. get a good selection cause fishermen are fickle.

also going to seattle for many of us is an ordeal and isn't exactly the halibut capital of the world so maybe get mobile and bring your stash to big time spots like NB, LP or WP.
 
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Fungunnin

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Feb 5, 2011
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Bill
I would suggest diversifying your product line and you may have something. some people swear by salmon bellys, some tuna bellys, some mackerel, some octopus, some herring and theres some that just use a damn pipe. get a good selection cause fishermen are fickle.

also going to seattle for many of us is an ordeal and isn't exactly the halibut capital of the world so maybe get mobile and bring your stash to big time spots like NB, LP or WP.
The problem is access to those bait sources at a price that allows for some margin for me.
I'm hoping to have the belly strips available at Big Salmon this year.
 
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C-Dawg

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Jun 29, 2011
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While there's other ways to secure bait cheaper as mentioned above, time is money. There is something to be said for having a clean, packed out frozen bait tray, ready to go, ...
Yep, that. I'd readily pay $5 for a tray of bellies that could last a trip or two. Consider all the salmon species bellies, tuna bellies, etc. Belly Bait, LLC... I see it now.
 

FishPimpII

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Guys unless you save your own salmon bellies for this purpose you can't beat this deal! And I don't know about Ratfish but it is oily and fresh and catches Hali and Lings and stays on the hook better than just about any other bait I have used.
Thanks for hooking the brotherhood up Bill!
 

EJ Swanny

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I say do it... While your at it, been a while since I've seen any decent crab bait that was reasonably priced. Boaters World used to have vac packed blocks of salmon trimmings for a few bucks a block. Whole Chicken is damn expensive, herring a small fortune as you need a few trays to pack a bait cage, and I don't always have a spare salmon carcass ready to go in the freezer.
Obviously you have not been aware that Bill has been gracious enough the last 3-4 years and offered free salmon trimmings to the whole board. Bring your cooler and he'd fill it up. Sounds like those days are over for the majority.

Bill's branching out...good for you...but diversifying may help also...hell, you can get a shitload of squid right now, I'm sure you have (or had) access to a shitload of tuna bellies, etc.

I have found out that fresh bait does make a difference for crab. I used to think the stinkier the better.....NOT the case..

Goodluck Bill
 

Fungunnin

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Feb 5, 2011
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Bill
Do you think there is interest in doing both sockeye belly strips and Atlantic? The sockeye would be quite a bit smaller.
 

chumsalmon

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Nov 26, 2011
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Do them both. I would think you'll have customers interested in one or the other. Also, if at all possible, try and get them in some sporting good stores. I don't think you are to early in knocking on their doors, they can be a hard nut to crack! As said before, fishermen are a fickle bunch....but, once they find something they like it's game on.
 
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Woodya

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Jun 3, 2014
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Grind em up and fill mesh bags and freeze em for chum bags

Me and stair guy spent a whole day making chum bags with a 100 lbs of salmon carcass and belly

I'll gladly buy those..... im not looking forward to the grinder this year