Curing Bait

By Randy Beck

Ultimate SportfishingThere are just about as many ways for curing bait as there is bait to cure. I myself am a firm believer in the KISS method (keep it simple stupid). Curing good quality roe begins with the careful handling and preparation of the roe right from the beginning. If I decide to retain a fish, I will beach it and remove the gills and hold the fish head down and until the blood stops running out (I know this sounds cruel) then I quickly dispatch the fish. I do this to remove any blood from the egg skeins. I then remove the egg skeins from the fish and further clean them in the river water and place in a clean Ziplock bag that I always carry in my vest. As soon as I arrive home I place the skeins on newspaper and pat dry with a paper towel. I usually like to dye most of my salmon roe and find a product called PRO-CURE to be the best.

Now comes the part my wife loves the best, cutting the skeins into quarter sized pieces and placing them into one of her Tupperware bowls, then I sprinkle Pro-Cure onto the eggs and seal the bowl and turn gently for a couple of minutes and place bowl in the fridge for about an hour. After an hour I remove from the fridge and place the egg clusters on an old window screen over the sink and let drain for roughly 2-3 hours. At this point the egg clusters are ready to be packed in Borax. I like to pack my egg clusters in small plastic containers, (much like a chip dip container) they seem to be easy to use that way and  hold enough roe for a day on the river. I personally don’t like to use those plastic belt loop bait boxes, they seem too bulkey and the lids always seem to break off.

I use this method for curing cocktail shrimp as well, common colors that I like to use are dark red, flame orange, natural and steelie pink, sometimes I’ll mix orange and natural  to make a peach color, (Capilano cohos love peach shrimp)

So guys, if you really want to strenghten your relationship with your loved ones try leaving some roe laying around the kitchen some time.