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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys, new to curing eggs and have a couple of questions. hoping someione can help...

i recently moved here from the midwest, where folks seldom cure eggs, rather, they tie up little spawn sacs and freeze them. i got a few salmon skeins yesterday and figuring When in Rome (or in this case, the NorthWest)... i wanted to try curing them. after a night of drying, they're all gooey. i'm wondering if that's how they're suposed to be.

basically, i bought some pro-cure, read the directions and started by splitting the skiens and rubbing the pro-cure into them. i let the skeins dry overnight in the strainer, got up early this morning and had a look. well, at first, they looked good and handled well, but after starting to cut them into small chunks to bag for the freezer, i discovered the eggs were able to be popped easily and they were pretty gooey—not the rubbery sort of glob i had hoped for. is gooey how they're supposed to be or will they cast off when set into a bait loop?

if i did it wrong, is there any way to save the eggs? i'd hate to waste a bunch of skeins. i thought about putting more pro-cure on them, but feared it might burn or dry out the eggs too much...

hope someone can help, as i've never done this before and want to get it right. as a side note, man, this stuff turns everything pink...

thanks for any help you can lend.
 

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Scott did a series about curing eggs. Check out his link or search the archives.

Proper preparation before curing is important:

bleed your fish
clean out the blood veins in the skeins, use a spoon
drain the skeins before curing

good luck, have fun
 

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I'm in the middle of the curing process that Scott Amerman taught Jennie in one of the Ifish files. It's pretty simple and I plan to follow the process to the letter. I will need to dry the eggs more than usual due to using the steelhead cure and will need these for the winter steelie season. Pro-Cure in my experience, is not the greatest result if you follow their directions outright. I think the eggs are too hard. Modify it a bit and they turn out really well.
 

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Here is my recipe for what it is worth. First I lay the skeins in a flat bottomed dish eggs down and skin up. then I pour salt on the top and shove them in the fridge (the salt toughens the skin. in the morning I take them out and rinse the salt off in cold running tap water and lay them on paper towels to dry off. when they have dried for a while I cut them up to bait size pieces and coat them in borax. then put them in a plastic container with a lid and freeze them if they are not to be used right away. they will keep for a couple of seasons if you want.I used to get silver eggs in november for my winter steelheading.
 

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How to cure eggs like a pro, by Amerman

and then, do a search in the archives of ifish.

How?

Click on Search, and then, in the drop down menu, make sure you choose Ifish archives 2001, or 2002.

There's tons of information in there!

Jen
 

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Bacon to fry, go to the front page of ifish and look on the right side for a link to Scott Amerman's technique on how to cure eggs. I think most people use that style of curing. Sprinkle cure on the eggs and turn them a few times and let the eggs juice out and then reabsorb juice and you are set. Depending on what kind of egg fishing you will be doing. For slow water bobber you dont need to do anything. For fast water type egg drifting you should take the eggs out of the freezer before you are going to use them, cut them up to the size you want and leave them out or in the fridge on a plate with paper towels to dehydrate and firm up. :cheers:
 

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bacon_to_fry,
Here's my 2cents worth and I hope it helps you.
DON'T ADD ANY MORE PRO-CURE. I'm not sure there's anything wrong at all with the eggs as you describe them. If you want dryer, less goopy eggs let them air dry a little longer. Remember, goopier eggs will milk out faster than dryer eggs. This is good in putting out scent into the water and enticing fish to bite but if you are fishing fast, turbulent water goopy eggs are not the ticket. They will milk out too fast and won't last in the current and you will be constantly replacing them. If you are fishing normal flows to slow water they will work great since the goopy eggs will put out a lot of scent into the water, enticing more bites than harder eggs would, yet lasting a reasonable amount of time. My personal rule of thumb, and I'm sure other Ifishers will have their own preferences, is that I want my eggs to last about 6 casts. It doesn't hurt to have eggs with you that are dryed to different degrees. That way you can adjust your offering to the type of water that you feel will be most productive. It seems to me that you are trying to go by what the instructions say so I have to believe you have added the correct amount of cure to the eggs.
If you try to adjust your next batch by adding more than what the instructions call for, you could end up with rock hard eggs. At that point you might as well use a corkie.
 

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When I get mine "underdone" I cut them up to bait sizes, then put them into a plastic tub (with lid) and add 20 Mule Team Borax. Roll the closed tubs around a bit to separate the pieces and they will firm up a bit.

The tradeoff, of course, is that for every bit of firming up you will lose a corresponding amount of "milking out." In my experience that is no big problem for steelhead fishing, as steelhead are thought to be mainly sighting the bait. But it may reduce effectiveness for salmon fishing, who are thought to be following scent.
 

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I used the jar method on the pro-cure bottle for years and if you follow the dir. you will be happy with the way they come out.I vacum packed the eggs the trick there is to freeze them for awhile till hard then vacum pack them,be sure to poke a hole in the back when thawing them out or squised eggs.Amerman cure is a good cure for sure but pro-cure double red wizard is too.If you can find someone that really knows how to cure eggs in Borax and not ruin them that is the way to go for steelhead.Those boraxed eggs work but there is a definate way of doing it,I always managed to ruin them hence pro-cure.I've used the Amerman eggs and they work.I've got some eggs cured up in their cure for this winter also,I've also got eggs cured up with pro-cure for backup.If you go to Piscatorialpursuits.com and look for his tip section their is a good egg recipe in there.Here is a similar recipe that a friend and I did last year and the eggs turned out great in fact any eggs I get this year will be done this way with
a little scent added.(maries with UB added)
1 cup sugar
1 cup sea salt (or pickling)
1 cup of Borax
4 cups of cold water add a couple tbs of pro-cure bait COLORING,NOT THE CURE!!,I like the red,the more you add the redder the less pinker. !!
mix throughly
split skeins or leave whole,I perfer to cut into bait size chunks or larger you can trim them to the size you want later.
soak in cure for 1/2 hr less for steelhead eggs maybe 15 min.They'll look ugly
RINSE THOURGHLY !!
let set in a strainer in fridge overnight or on a rack in a cool place.
Freeze then vacum pack

If they don't turn out the way you like ajust the drying time but this cure does work,you can add scent to the brine also,I suggest Maries shrimp scent with UB added,or any scent you perfer.
Good luck.You should still check out the recipe on the other site,then immediatly come back here
this is a MUCH better site.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hey folks,

a million thanks for the help on those skeins. took a look at Amerman's stuff and will try it next time.

the skeins i did came out pretty good, a little goopy, but they stayed in the bait loop when i fished them yesterday, so i think i did well for the first time trying.

again, thanks for the help. it certainly boosted my confidence in the curing process...
 

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We have always just used Borax (laundry detergent) and cherry jello. We have found it to be much cheaper and works just as well as the other products on the market. Don't freeze, just refrigerate or store in a jar.

Good luck
 

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Finished up with the Amermans cure and didn't need to drain or dry them at all. I vac pac'd them in pint jars and they are gorgeous. Now if I can just get out and use em. :wink:
 

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Amermans cure worked pretty well for us this year. Try all different types. Its nice to have several types of eggs when one isn't working...


My fishing partner and I only have 17 quart jars in the freezer... :rolleyes: :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
dampainter,

as far as the 'did you get fish question", yes and no. i hooked two, but i'm learning to fish a center pin reel and it's pretty weird, so i eventually missed them. setting the hook without backlashing definitely involves a learning curve.

center pins are weird, but pretty effective. folks back in wisconsin, michigan and ontario wail on fish with them. after, of course, they learn how to use them...
 
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