How to make your own homemade Salmon and Trout Egg Cures.
Salmon or Trout eggs are one of the most effective baits for enticing Salmon, Steelhead and Trout to bite. There are almost as many home brew recipes for curing eggs and skein as there are fishermen. There are also many commercial produced cures that include hormones and enzymes not generally available to the average fisherman.
There are two different forms of Salmon and Trout Eggs which are generally cured or preserved.
Loose Salmon Eggs
Why Cure Salmon and Trout Eggs?Salmon and Trout eggs are like any type of fresh eggs. Freezing the salmon or trout eggs causes ice particles to form inside the egg. These ice particles puncture the thin membrane of the egg resulting in loss of fluids. The result is an unusable slimmy mess. What is required for proper long term storage is a method to remove some of the fluid from the inside of the egg without puncturing the thin membrane that protects the egg and toughten the membrane that surrounds the egg.
Air Dry Cure: The Air Dry Cure is one of the oldest of all cures. Take an old cookie sheet and cover with about 20 pages of newspaper or two sheets of corrugated cardboard. On top of the newspaper or cardboard place several layers (4-6) of plain paper towels (white). The salmon and trout eggs or skeins are placed on top of the paper towels. The cookie sheet is then placed in a refrigerator and left to dry out overnight. Then place the eggs or skein in plastic bags and freeze.
Borax Cure for Skeins: The Borax Cure produces skein eggs that can be stored for long periods of time when frozen. Cut the salmon or trout skein into bait sized pieces (quarter to 50 cent size). In a large plastic bowl mix equal parts of Canning or Kosher Salt, Borax, and Sugar. For the sugar some angler use Brown sugar instead of the commercial white sugar for added scent. Roll the pieces of skein in the cure mixture to coat the entire piece of skein. Then place the pieces in plastic bags. The cured skein will last in the refrigerator for a month or can be frozen for a year or more.
Single Egg Cure: The Single Egg Cure produces single eggs that are firm enough to place on a hook. Boil water with 3 tablespoons of canning salt. Dip salmon or trout eggs into the boiling water for 5-15 seconds using a strainer. The object is to get a rubbery texture in the egg. It take some pratice so do not do your entire batch at once. Air dry the eggs on paper towels. Then freeze in plastic bags.