Oregon Coast Fishing, Guides and Charters! Seaside, Astoria, Tillamook Bay, The Wilson, The Kilchis, The Trask, The Nestucca, The Nehalem, The Necanicum, Youngs Bay, The Columbia River and the Washington tributaries of the lower Columbia estuaries.


ifish logo

Scott Amerman

503-606-eggs (3447)

Amerman's Salmon Eggs
and Guide Service

How To Cure Eggs
Like The Pros!
With Scott Amerman
Written by Jennie Logsdon Martin
Photography by Pete Morris

Scott Amerman called me early one June morning. He remembered that I had trouble curing my eggs, and had asked for help.
"May I come over and show you?"
I learned more about curing eggs in 2 hours than I have in my entire life!
Follow along, as Scott goes through each step:

Begin with the finest Amerman Eggs. Scott came totally prepared, with everything you need to cure eggs.

Gather what you'll need ahead of time:

  • Amerman Salmon Eggs
  • Amerman Salmon egg cure
  • Parmesan or other type sprinkle container for ease of sprinkling the cure.
  • Tupperware containers, (Oyster containers work great, or any other tight lidded plastic container)
  • (and/or) Plastic bags
  • Sharp Scissors for cutting and butterflying
  • Twist ties
  • Disposable gloves to protect your hands from drying
  • Jars, or vacuum pack bags for storing the final product

These eggs are absolutely fresh and gorgeous!

The surest way of catching elusive salmon and steelhead is to make sure you have quality bait. The quality of Amerman's fresh and cured Salmon Eggs is unmatched.

Starting with a supreme product guarantees the best results.

Scott, holding a skein of fresh salmon eggs.
*Order your eggs ahead of time, and pick them up promptly to assure the best quality.
Get ready!
It's time to begin!
1. Cut open that bag!
I know you can't wait!


This is the neon rocket red.
If you are the type of person that prefers a more natural color, our neon natural orange color is for you. The neon orange will help bring out and highlight the eggs natural colors.

In this picture, we are curing many pounds of eggs, and intend to use the whole bag. If you do not intend to use the whole bag,
only clip one corner.

Begin by pouring the egg cure into an easy to sprinkle container. Old Parmesan cheese containers work well.

Note that egg cures draw moisture, and may condense if not handled properly. Please seal that bag back up for later use!
Keep the bag in a dry place. Store it in an airtight Tupperware container.

The legendary Amerman cure is known throughout the Northwest fishing community.

2. Cutting the skeins to your preference.

Scott prefers to butterfly and cut his own personal-use eggs into large chunks, 4 to 5 inches around.
Many people prefer to chunk their eggs into bait size pieces.
If you are chunking your eggs, make sure that you cut them into large enough sizes.
You cannot make pieces bigger, but you can always
cut them down to sizes small enough for summer steelies, etc.

Scott prefers to butterfly the skein. He cuts the entire skein down the middle without disrupting the fragile membrane on the outside.
With the skein laying flat against your hand, egg side up, work your scissors half way down the skein.

This is an example of a perfectly butterflied skein of salmon eggs!

Be very careful not to poke your scissors through the fragile membrane as shown in the picture below! The membrane is what keeps eggs held together, once cured.

Now, you can either cut the skein into bait sized chunks, or leave them in larger sized skein chunks, ready to cut to size, as you fish.
When the eggs are cut, we'll be ready for the cure.

OOPS! Be careful not to poke through the fragile membrane!

Scott Amerman, preparing the eggs for the cure.

When cutting eggs into bait size chunks, try cutting at the natural folds of the skein to maintain as much membrane as possible.
For bigger bait chunks this
can be done without butterflying first.

We are now ready
for the Amerman cure.


3. Laying your eggs to cure.
There are two methods that Scott recommends for curing your eggs.
The first method we will discuss is curing them in a Tupperware container, with the layering method.

Fill the bottom of a Tupperware or other container, that is fitted with a tight fitting lid,
with Amerman's Bait Cure. Just a light layer, so you can no longer see the bottom of the container.

Layer a flat layer of eggs, either bait sized chunks, or the larger skein sizes, on top of the cure that was sprinkled at the bottom of the tub.
Sprinkle an even layer on top of the layer you just added. Continue layering until you reach the top.
Once you are to the top, add a final layer of cure.
This is a good time to add any special additive scent to the already effective
Amerman egg cure.
5. Curing your eggs with the sprinkling method.
This is an effective way to learn exactly how much cure you should use.

With the sprinkling method, you simply butterfly your skeins out, cut them into the size pieces you wish to cure, (Either large bait size, or half skeins), and sprinkle the cure directly onto the egg, over the container of cut eggs.

Make sure you lift up on the back of the skein to reveal the natural folds. Open up the egg to allow the cure to absorb deep into the membrane.
The picture to the right reveals a perfect example of these natural folds.
When you have completed sprinkling the cure on, turn it upside down, and give it a shake. The excess cure will fall off, onto the eggs below, thus reducing waste. Make sure you sprinkle cure on BOTH sides of the egg. The skein side will not retain as much of the cure.

*Note the naturally occurring
folds in a skein of eggs.
Please try to cover all of the folds with cure.

The finished product of a cure sprinkled egg piece using this method.

When you are finished curing one piece of egg, lay it in the plastic bag that you have ready. Continue working with the bin of eggs, completely covering and shaking off the excess cure off the eggs,
until all eggs are coated and layered in bags.
Tie the top, and shake the eggs, to make sure all juices are combined.
You will see, as in the picture on the right, that the eggs will already be starting to juice out.


6. Shake the eggs!

No matter which method you use, bag or Tupperware, once the container is filled, shake the eggs vigorously to assure full coverage of eggs, and proper moisture absorption. Don't worry about being too gentle with these eggs.

7. The 48 hour wait and turn procedure.

Eggs, once thoroughly mixed, should be placed to juice out and reabsorb in an area
where the temperature stays between 60 and 80.
Scott suggests turning the eggs at least every 12 hours,
although he is known to walk by and turn them every 2 hours. Watch as they juice out at 24 hours, and then begin the reabsorption process, which is totally complete by 48 to 72 hours. (Total times may vary depending on temperature, temperature of eggs when cured, and air temperature.)
Scott noted that the amount of juice, when ready to dry, should be approximately equivalent to the amount of powder cure you used to cure the eggs.
If you see egg cure around the finished product that is not disolved, this means that you added too much cure.

8. Draining and custom drying your eggs.

The preferred texture and firmness of a finished product egg varies widely from fisherman to fisherman.
Some prefer them absolutely dry and mess proof.
Others, such as Scott, prefer a wet bait, especially for salmon.
If you like your eggs wet, you will not want to drain them at all.
If you do drain your eggs, retain all juices for later.
If you like your eggs dryer, drain them at 48 hours. If you prefer a really dry egg, (and be careful with this one) after draining, remove the lid off of the eggs, and place in the refrigerator until you get the desired consistency.
The dehumidifier in your refrigerator will draw the moisture from your eggs.
Extremely dry eggs are susceptible to freezer burn later. Be careful not to leave your eggs in the fridge too long unless you want egg "jerky".

Thanks to Scott, we can all have Amerman Eggs!

9. Packing your eggs for storage.

There are several ways to store your eggs. If you are going to be using them in the next couple weeks, simply refrigerate them, in a tightly sealed container.

For later use, you will want to store them in glass jars, tightly sealed plastic containers, or with the advanced method of vac packing or sealing your glass jars with the vac pac jar attachment, available with most vac packers.
Before Vac Packing your Amerman Salmon eggs, place the eggs flat in a vacuum pack bag. Leave it unsealed and freeze. Then, proceed to vac pack your eggs.

Here is where the juice you saved from step 6 comes in handy!
When freezing your eggs, pour the remaining juice you saved over the top of the frozen eggs before you freeze them for final storage.
Freeze the eggs!! You are set!


10. Let's go fishin, Scott!!

P.S. I just put mine in the freezer in open vac pac bags. They look SO gorgeous! I just want to go out and use them right now!!! I have poured off the juice so that when they freeze, I can divide that amongst the bags and vac pac them for this coming salmon season! Wallah!


All information and pictures on ifish.net are www.ifish.net