Are you looking to up your sturgeon fishing game?
One of the best baits to use during peak salmon runs is fresh, non-cured salmon roe. But how do you prepare it for the best results?
In this article, we’ll explore the process of curing salmon roe for sturgeon fishing. From when to use it to how to rig it up, we’ll cover everything you need to know to increase your chances of landing that big catch.
So grab your nitrate gloves and let’s get started!
How To Cure Salmon Roe For Sturgeon Fishing?
First things first, it’s important to note that sturgeon have an extremely acute olfactory sense. This means that any scent transferred to the roe can deter them from taking the bait. So, when handling the roe, make sure to wear nitrate gloves to avoid transferring your scent.
When it comes to curing the salmon roe, there are a few things to keep in mind. One of the most important factors is timing. Roe fishes best for sturgeon when the water is clean and the temperatures are a little warmer. This means that using it in the Bay during the fall, early winter, and spring is ideal.
Traditional salmon cures like Pro Cure, Pro Glo, and Pautzke’s Fire Cure don’t work well for sturgeon. Apparently, they don’t much care for the sodium sulfites and nitrates found in those types of cures. Instead, it’s best to run your eggs el natural or brine them in a light salt and sugar mixture.
To prepare the roe for curing, start by removing any excess blood or membrane from the egg sacs. Then, place them in a container with a lid and add enough salt to cover them completely. The ratio of salt to roe should be about 1:1. Next, add a small amount of sugar to help preserve the eggs and give them a slightly sweet taste.
Once you’ve added the salt and sugar, mix everything together until the roe is evenly coated. Then, put the lid on the container and place it in the fridge for three days. After three days, remove the eggs from the container and rinse them thoroughly with cold water.
If the eggs feel soft or soupy and you’re worried they won’t stay on the hook well, coat them in plain white borax before putting them back into the fridge overnight. This will tighten them up for your day of fishing.
Why Use Fresh, Non-Cured Salmon Roe For Sturgeon Fishing?
Fresh, non-cured salmon roe is one of the best baits to use for sturgeon during a peak salmon run. This is because the roe is as good as gold and can make a significant difference in the number of fish caught. Sturgeon have an acute sense of smell, and fresh non-cured roe ensures that there are no additional scents or smells that could deter them from taking the bait.
It’s important to note that if the roe is not kept cool and refrigerated, it will spoil. If possible, bleed the fish prior to collecting or removing the roe from the fish. The best method is to cut one or two of the gill plates. Blood in the roe or eggs can ruin the roe in less than an hour if not stored properly.
Curing salmon or trout roe allows you to store the roe in the refrigerator for a month or freezer for up to a year. However, cured roe may not be as effective as fresh non-cured roe for sturgeon fishing. This is because sturgeon have extremely poor vision, and fresh non-cured roe provides a more natural look and scent that can attract them better.
How To Select The Best Salmon Roe For Curing
When it comes to selecting the best salmon roe for sturgeon fishing, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure to use fresh roe. Roe that has been frozen and thawed multiple times will not cure as well and may not stay on the hook as long.
Secondly, look for egg skeins that are tight and intact. Loose or damaged egg skeins will not cure as well and may fall apart during the curing process or when on the hook.
Lastly, consider the species of salmon the roe came from. While all salmonids can produce prime eggs for curing, some species may produce eggs that are more appealing to sturgeon than others. Experiment with different types of salmon roe to see which works best for you.
The Curing Process: Step-by-Step Guide
Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of curing salmon roe for sturgeon fishing.
Step 1: Prepare the Roe
Start by removing the roe sacs from the fish and placing them in a container. Make sure to remove any excess blood or membrane from the egg sacs. You can do this by gently rinsing them under cold water.
Step 2: Add Salt and Sugar
Add enough salt to cover the roe completely. The ratio of salt to roe should be about 1:1. Then, add a small amount of sugar to help preserve the eggs and give them a slightly sweet taste.
Step 3: Mix Everything Together
Mix the salt and sugar with the roe until it’s evenly coated. Then, put the lid on the container and place it in the fridge for three days.
Step 4: Rinse Thoroughly
After three days, remove the eggs from the container and rinse them thoroughly with cold water. This will remove any excess salt and sugar from the roe.
Step 5: Optional Borax Coating
If you’re worried about the eggs being too soft or soupy, you can coat them in plain white borax before putting them back into the fridge overnight. This will tighten them up for your day of fishing.
And there you have it – a step-by-step guide to curing salmon roe for sturgeon fishing. Remember to wear nitrate gloves when handling the roe to avoid transferring your scent, and try to use it in clean water with slightly warmer temperatures for best results. Happy fishing!
Tips For Storing Cured Salmon Roe
After curing your salmon roe, it’s important to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh and usable for as long as possible. Here are some tips for storing cured salmon roe:
1. Use airtight containers: After curing your salmon roe, transfer it to airtight containers such as Ziploc bags or Mason jars. This will prevent air from getting in and causing the roe to spoil.
2. Label the containers: Make sure to label the containers with the date of curing and any other important information such as the type of cure used. This will help you keep track of how long the roe has been stored and when it’s time to use it.
3. Store in the fridge or freezer: Cured salmon roe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month or in the freezer for up to a year. If you plan on using the roe within a month, store it in the fridge. If you won’t be using it for longer than that, store it in the freezer.
4. Avoid freezer burn: To prevent freezer burn, make sure to remove as much air as possible from the container before storing in the freezer. You can use a vacuum sealer or press out as much air as possible before sealing the container.
5. Don’t mix different cures: If you have cured salmon roe using different cures, make sure to store them separately. Mixing different cures can affect the flavor and texture of the roe.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your cured salmon roe stays fresh and usable for your sturgeon fishing trips.
Techniques For Using Salmon Roe To Attract Sturgeon
Now that you’ve successfully cured your salmon roe, it’s time to use it to attract sturgeon. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that sturgeon have extremely poor vision, so it’s not necessary to dye your roe. Here are some techniques for using salmon roe to attract sturgeon:
1. Rigging: When rigging up, pin the bait on the hook and then wrap it to the shank with Miracle Thread. Some folks make big spawn sacks out of netting, but baits fish better without them. Hook size depends on local regulations and the size of the fish.
2. Bait Size: Capt. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sportfishing in San Francisco Bay suggests using anything from a golf ball-sized cluster of eggs to a glob the size of a fist, depending on the day.
3. Water Temperature: As mentioned earlier, sturgeon tend to go for roe when the water is a little warmer. Pay attention to water temperature and adjust your bait accordingly.
4. Freshness: Always use fresh, non-cured roe for the best results. If you’re using cured roe, make sure it’s been stored properly in the fridge or freezer.
5. Location: Sturgeon tend to congregate in areas with strong currents and deep holes. Look for these areas when deciding where to fish.
6. Patience: Sturgeon fishing can be slow at times, so it’s important to be patient and persistent. Don’t be afraid to move around and try different locations until you find a spot where the fish are biting.
By following these techniques and using your cured salmon roe as bait, you’ll increase your chances of attracting and catching sturgeon. Remember to handle the roe with care and pay attention to details like water temperature and bait size for the best results.