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To cure or not to cure

Discussion in 'Steelhead Talk' started by archman, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. I'm going to start using my own eggs this year. I caught some nice steelhead yesterday using these brown trout eggs some guy gave me. I've heard a lot about curring vs. non-curring, but don't really know what works best. What do you guys think, if you have tried both? Also, what is the easiest way to cure them. Thanks.

  2. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    Uncured eggs rot fast and don't freeze well. Actually, they freeze just fine, but they don't thaw nicely. The egg walls break and you get a mess. I think fresh uncured eggs work best, but only for a day or two out of the fish. I cure mine with a handful of Borax in 1/2 gallon of cold water for maybe 30 minutes or more, depending on how loose the skein is. Loose eggs make better contact with the solution and need less time. After curing, I spread the skeins out on newspaper or paper towels to dry up a bit before freezing or making baits.
  3. Dingo


    I haven't cured eggs since the late 1980s. I was told about how to handle them fresh by an 'expert' back then, and have been using them fresh since then, if I use them at all. Use eggs from the fall fish, which are still in the skein. Rinse the skiens with fresh water, then cut them into 'day use' packs. These are typically enough to use in a day, about the size of a couple of quarters or so. Pat the chunks dry and wrap them in plastic wrap, then place all in a freezer bag, or two, with the air sucked out. Throw these in the freezer.

    The day of or before a trip, pull a chunk out and thaw it. At this time, they can be sacked or used whole, an egg or two (with some membrane/skein material) at a time (my preference, especially in clear water without a lot of chubs around). I normally don't sack the eggs unless other fish are tearing up the loose eggs.

    Back when I did cure the eggs (mostly salmon), I used a borax-based recipe.
  4. Dingo, you don't recommend sacking them before freezing? I just picture pulling them from the freezer, and having a big glob.

    ALso, if you are using fresh eggs, and you don't use all of them that trip, can you re-freeze them?
  5. Dingo


    They actually thaw into a pretty nice, tight ball. I cut the pieces off from there, based on how large of a chunk that I'm fishing. When fishing loose eggs, I never use more than three or four on the hook, with a little of the membrane/skien along with it. I've caught them on the membrane itself -- looks like a sucker spawn fly. The clearer the water, the smaller the presentation. I always sack them right before use when sacking. Never larger than the size of a dime. Makes for a tighter bag and gives me the ability to vary the sack color often.

    I don't have much luck freezing them more than once. Leftovers are kept cold in an ice chest, when necessary.
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