I have cut clams and used them after 2 days of refrigeration (kept in a bucket with all the juice to keep them moist). I caught so I guess it worked. I think it depends on how long you're talking. Obviously the fresher the better. And freezing, in my opinion, can't be great for bait.
Last Monday a friend of mine left a bushel of clams on my boat. I thought we use them during the week and I never go back down to the weekend. They were pretty ripe. Instead of throwing them away I just pulled them open and threw them in for chum. I was not sure if they would work but after opening an 18lbers belly I found some of these rank clams. They were still nasty smelling and discolored from sitting for the week.
you can leave them in the shell and keep ice on top of them and they will last a good while (maybe a week). just empty the water from the cooler as the ice melts, if it does. keep them as cold as possible, without actually freezing them.
Put a layer of ice in a coolerand then stand the clams up with the hinge part up and the opening down. Add some more ice and leave the cooler drain open so the water does not build up. they will keep alive an amazing amount of time. We do that all Spring on the drum and striper trips. Saves a bunch of money.
1. Cut open the clams and dice them into small pieces while saving all the juice that comes out when they are opened.
2. Ladle the soup-like mixture of diced clam and clam juice into snack-sized ziploc bags and then place the snack bags into a larger 1/2 gallon ziploc before freezing them to prevent the possibility of spillage in the freezer.
Simply take the frozen bags, separate them, put a few slices in the baggie, and add them to your chum pot as needed. As the frozen chum thaws inthe water, it leaves a nice continous chum line of tiny bits and scent.
The snack-sized bags work great, because they are small enough to fit into a standard chum pot, and they are big enough that they last for a little while before they need to be freshened up with additional bags. Regular sandwich bags tend to be too big if you fill them to the top.
Try it ... it works great!
[ 11-22-2005, 05:48 PM: Message edited by: Gr8ful One ]
Hey Perch, I keep them in my cooler with ice under them. I use the plastic flat (upside down) that my wifes flowers come on. It keeps the clams up off the ice, and it fits inside my cooler perfect, they usually stay for a while. I even keep the cooler out on my rod cart on the truck. That goes over big with the wife, there not even inside the house.