Most Pacific Northwest river fishermen find quality cured salmon roe to be one of the most valuable yet most limited commodities needed to catch Salmon and Steelhead.
Throughout much of the year, a few fresh skeins of salmon eggs are a true prize.
If you are fortunate enough to catch a female salmon and need to cure the roe for fishing this egg cure recipe is inexpensive, its ingredients are easy to find, and it produces a phenomenal product!
For our full article on the process… check out…HOW TO CURE SALMON EGGS
Simple Egg Cure Recipe Ingredients
- 1 Cup Borax
- 1 Cup White Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Table Salt
- 3 Tablespoons Beau Mac Pro-Glo Bait Coloring Powder
Step 1: Mix Egg Cure
Mix all the ingredients together in a 1 gallon Zip-lock bag. Make sure that the entire process is done in an area there stained countertops will not be an issue. I highly recommend keeping this process out of the kitchen; a garage workbench or shed is a great place to complete this messy task.
Step 2: Prepare Egg Skeins
Remove as much blood from the salmon egg skeins. I wrap my skeins in paper towels and roll them to remove any excess moisture and blood. Take a sharp fillet knife and lightly butterfly open the skeins so that cure will absorb into every crevasse. Place prepped salmon egg skeins in a large Zip-lock bag.
Step 3: Apply Cure to Salmon Eggs
Apply cure to salmon egg skeins. Gently sprinkle cure evenly over the skeins. I like to shake the bag up, sprinkle a little more, shake & sprinkle. I like to see a healthy bright red coloring on the eggs and a complete coating of egg cure over the entire skein. Many store-bought cures contain Sodium Bisulfate, which can Burn the eggs if over cured. The nice feature about this homemade cure is that without the Sodium Bisulfate, if you add a little too much to the mix there isn’t any burning that occurs.
Step 4: Wait…Roll…Wait…Roll…
Allow the mix to turn the egg cure into a liquid, about 30 minutes. I typically roll the egg mix in the sealed bag a few times… about every hour or so. This process ensures that the cure works its way through the skein and cures every single egg.
Step 5: Allow Salmon Eggs Time to Cure
The egg mix needs time to cure, let sit for at least a day in cool weather. I prefer 2 to 3 days in cool weather or in a refrigerator. You will notice a lot of egg juice accumulates in the mix. The eggs need time to leak out this juice, then it will be reabsorbed into the eggs. Once this process occurs, your batch of eggs is almost done!
Step 6: Strain Salmon Eggs
Remove mix from bag and strain any excess juices. If you are looking to fish for Chinook and want extremely wet eggs, you can skip this step but it will result in less durable eggs that are difficult to cast.
Step 7: Air Dry Salmon Eggs
Place cured salmon eggs on a screen to air dry. This toughens the roe and makes it easier to cast. The longer it dries, the tougher it gets. Make a decision on how you plan on using these eggs and dry accordingly.
Step 8: Package Cured Salmon Eggs
Package cured salmon eggs for storage. Eggs can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks if you plan on fishing them soon. I typically take my eggs and freeze them in glass quart jars or sturdy Zip-lock bags.
Curing your own salmon roe allows you to produce the exact quality of bait you enjoy fishing. Additives such as tuna oil, krill powder, extra sugar, jello are among the many ingredients that Northwest river fishermen use to spice up their baits. I hope you found this article informative and enjoyable… Good luck out there!