Get a big bowl and the three ingredients listed below. Each ingredient should be added to the large bowl and thoroughly combined. I would advise mixing in a well-ventilated environment if you’re using any colored produced borax (or open window).
Borax, 3 parts (either the standard Borax from the grocery store, e.g. 20 Mule Team Borax, or you can use colored Borax products, e.g. Pro-Cure Borax).
Process of Curing Eggs
A mixture of borax, salt, sugar, colour, and other preservatives make up salmon egg cure. Sal keeps everything fresh. The sugar gets harder. Borax dries out. the dye’s hues. After the skeins are treated, the cure will cause the eggs to release liquids. The eggs will shrink after a few hours, and a soupy colored fluid will fill the container. Preservatives, colour, and all, the liquid will be drawn back into the eggs after a few more hours. The eggs can then be specifically prepared for the intended fishing approach after the juicing and reabsorbing have taken place.
Pautzke products for expert egg curing
I often use three to four products from the Pautzke Bait Company when curing eggs for salmon and/or steelhead fishing because they will help me get the results I want in a high-quality cured egg skein. To create a foundation cured egg skein that will catch salmon or steelhead, I occasionally utilize just one of the Pautzke Bait Company ingredients I’ll list below. Especially when curing previously frozen eggs obtained from salmon or steelhead, the majority of my egg cure methods are brine-based. Although I also employ dry or powder mix cures, I want to concentrate on the method of wet brining the eggs in this article. Because they are so forgiving and practically never fail, brine cures are the simplest to master.
Pautzke Fire Brine is the first component I use for wet brine curing. I usually use two colors of the Fire Brine, which is available in a 1 quart bottle and comes in a variety of colors, for curing eggs. I use the clear brine most frequently for steelhead roe, whereas the red Fire Brine is what I use to cure salmon roe. The salt, sugar, and biting stimulants in the fire brine are sufficient to cure the eggs that will attract salmon, trout, and steelhead. Nevertheless, depending on the species you are fishing for, a number of items can be added to the Fire Brine to alter the cure’s results. I really believe, though, that a straightforward base cure is the way to go, and when the base cure is insufficient to generate the desired number of bites, adding ingredients before fishing those base cure eggs is how I make them fish better.
Think about using a few additional components when enhancing the Pautzke Fire brine with items. When fishing Northern California rivers, I always add Fire Power to my eggs. The major forage of salmon and steelhead is an excellent addition to any egg dish. Almost always, I also include red Pautzke Fire cure in my brine formulation. These ingredients combined with the brine provide the ideal basic cure egg for salmon fishing. Use the natural BorX O Fire cure rather than the Fire cure for curing eggs of natural colors for steelhead. It will also produce a superb egg for steelhead fishing in the brine.
How to Cure Salmon
- Sodium Sulfite, 1 cup (available from Pro Cure)
- Borax, 1 cup (Buy 20 Mule Team Borax – not Boraxo – in the laundry section of the supermarket)
- Uniodized salt, 1 cup
- White sugar, 1 cup
- Red bait dye, 1 teaspoon (Pro Cure and Pro Glow make it)
Mix all the components while using rubber gloves, and then pour the cure into a fresh shaker bottle (like parmesan cheese comes in). To ensure that the powder gets into all the folds and flaps of the eggs, lightly shake the cure onto the quartered skeins. Once all of your baits have been coated in cure, place them in gallon-sized Zip-Loc bags and gently roll the bags to coat the eggs in cure once again.
The eggs will start juicing in a few minutes; the procedure has already started! Turn the bags over every couple of hours while storing them overnight in a cooler or old refrigerator. Make sure to dump the fluid out as you proceed. You can choose to include a small hidden ingredient the following morning. Put the bags back in the fridge and the baits should draw the secret sauce in and, a day later, you’ll have huge, plump berries that are ready to fish. Sometimes, I’ll pour a tablespoon or two of tuna oil, anise, or sardine oil to give the bait a little extra “kick.”
If you want a slightly tougher bait for drift fishing, take the eggs and put them in a plastic strainer for many hours. If you want a more gooey egg, don’t drain off the juice as regularly. Just make sure the eggs are out of the sun and in a cool location.
Tips for Curing Salmon Eggs
Regardless of where your salmon fishing endeavors take you, we hope the following egg curing advice will be useful to you. It was developed over many years of trial and error.
Invest in at least three different egg treatments before going salmon fishing so you’ll have them on hand when you arrive back home from your fishing vacation. Anglers frequently fail to properly cure their eggs because they forget to have the necessary ingredients on hand, which is a typical error.
On the market, there are a lot of effective shake-and-bake remedies. The balance of sugars, salts, colors, sulfites, and other components has been rigorously studied and proved, making today’s remedies more exact than those from 20 years ago. When it comes to Alaska salmon fishing, TNT in the Radical Red and Kenai flavors is one of our favorite packaged cures. Along with outstanding smells and colours, Pro Cure produces several fantastic packaged remedies that we have used with excellent success. Sulfites, nitrites, anise oil, a variety of other oils, and even nitrile gloves, which are essential for preventing oil from your hands from getting into touch with the eggs, are among the harder-to-find ingredients that Pro Cure carries. Alaskan egg diseases can also be successfully treated with products from Pautzke, Nate’s Baits, and Smelly Jelly.
If you want to make your own egg cure, try this recipe. It contains 6–10 drops of pure anise oil along with 1 1/2 cups borax, 3/4 cup white sugar, and 1 tablespoon sodium bisulfite. This method of curing eggs takes a few days of attention, but the end product is the best all-around egg we’ve used while fishing in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest for several salmon species. It also works well for steelhead.
Why are there different egg therapies necessary? Salmon can be picky, so what works for them one day, or even one hour, might not work the next. If a salmon bite fails, it’s not usually because the fish swam away; more often, it’s because they became weary of constantly smelling and seeing the same cured eggs. The bite might resume if you place a different cured egg in the same location.
The eggs of cured salmon that are first fished without being frozen are the best. The salmon eggs that have been preserved, frozen, then thawed and used for fishing are the next-best ones. The third-best option would be salmon eggs that have been thawed, cured, and fished after being frozen before being cured. Salmon eggs that have been frozen, thawed, then cured, refrozen, and then thawed once more to be used for fishing come in last—a very distant last—in terms of egg curing quality.
Osmosis plays a role in the curing process since salmon eggs’ individual cells are mostly made of water. The water expands and compresses when the eggs freeze and thaw, breaking the cell wall. Poorly cured eggs milk out quickly, turn to white flesh extremely quickly, and don’t hang around for very long. A well-cured egg can continue to milk for up to 10 minutes or longer while maintaining its color and shape.
It’s never too early to begin making preparations for curing salmon eggs, especially if you’re going to Alaska. Invest in some treatments and healing components right away. All salmonids, including pink and chum salmon, produce excellent eggs for curing regardless of species. When you have the eggs in your possession and are prepared to cure them, you’ll be amazed at how fruitful a batch of recently cured salmon eggs can be.
Expert Anglers Disclose Simple But Effective Steelhead Cure
The magazine Salmon Trout Steelheader published this piece in its December 2009 issue.
It can be difficult to choose the ideal recipe for preserving salmon and steelhead roe when there are half a dozen commercial egg treatments on the shelves of tackle shops. They all make the claim to have the strongest or most powerful ingredients—secret substances that fish cannot withstand. And they all function effectively for the most part.
However, a lot of the credit for some of the top steelhead guides and anglers’ ability to regularly catch fish throughout the season goes to their tried-and-true “old school” borax remedies.
According to seasoned Washington tour guide Bill Swann, borax toughens eggs without the need of a chemical addition like sulfites. Use of borax will result in less juicy eggs. They will be firmer.a
Swanny and renowned salmon and steelhead angler Buzz Ramsey treat all of their salmon and steelhead eggs using a solution of borax, sugar, and salt. During steelhead season, Buzz and Swanny have incredible success, in part because they both adhere to the principle of starting with a tried-and-true foundation treatment before gradually adding fragrances and colors until they discover what the steelhead prefer.
Ramsey advises carrying at least a few different treatments with you. One batch may occasionally yield more than the others. I enjoy learning more about steelhead.
Swanny concurs. I always begin with four different tubs of bait, each with a distinct aroma, and then I wait for the fish to tell me what they want that day, the man claims. Your signature smell is sand shrimp. They take their time consuming them. You can’t go wrong choosing that.
Swanny and Buzz frequently catch the majority of their steelhead using their base cure, which is frequently enhanced with smells the day they fish.
How are salmon eggs handled at home?
I prefer to use 1 cup of Red Fire Cure, 1 cup of Pink Fire Cure, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup borax to make the salmon eggs very sweet. Instead of the deeper, darker crimson of normal Red Fire Cure, Pink/Red Fire Cure produces a stunning bright red bait. Butterflying the skeins from top to bottom will help cure the eggs.
How are salmon eggs made tougher?
Salmon roe that has been cured is very adaptable. It can be used in a variety of ways by anglers to catch steelhead and salmon. After the curing process is over, you must choose how to hang it. An fisherman who wants to catch Chinook salmon might prefer a very moist egg that leaks fluids into the water; he will forgo durability in exchange for a bait that leaves a significant scent trail. If a fisher wants to catch steelhead, he may determine that having a strong bait that can withstand 12 casts before breaking is more crucial.
Consider freezing the entire batch of Wet Cure Eggs after canning them by placing it in a glass quart Mason Jar. whole juice.
Strain salmon eggs in a colander before storing them for steelhead fishing. Then, to toughen them up, let them air dry on a rack. Roll the eggs in borax if you want eggs that are particularly durable.
What are salmon eggs treated with?
“Eggs won’t be as juicy if you use borax. They’ll be more solid.” Swanny and renowned salmon and steelhead angler Buzz Ramsey treat all of their salmon and steelhead eggs using a mixture of borax, sugar, and salt.