Skein and Egg Cures

Regardless of what curing process you decide to use one of the most essential steps for quality roe is to bleed the fish without delay after catching it. Nothing will spoil eggs more than blood and the bacteria it creates. Wear rubber gloves when handling the roe during the curing process to keep as much human scent away as possible and to protect you hands form the ingredients used to process the eggs.

Wash every particle of blood off the eggs you can using lake or spring water. Tap water should not be used unless there is no other alternative.

To begin the curing process, pat the eggs dry with a pure white paper towel and section them. Don't use towels with printed designs or colored writing.

Sprinkle the eggs lightly with Pro Cure and rub the cure in with your fingers. Use Rubber gloves --the stuff will stain permanently.

Put the eggs in plastic bags or jars and put them in the refrigerator. Turn them every 1 to 2 hours to allow the cure to spread evenly.

Drain and let dry, and then wrap the eggs in paper towels and put them in the freezer.

Once they've frozen, vacuum-pack them and store them in the freezer. They'll last in the freezer upwards of a year.

Egg Cure ingredients

Mix 1 cup each of sugar, borax, and salt into 1 quart of water.
Cut eggs into bait size. Place in solution for 1 hour.
Let air dry overnight on paper towels.
Place in baggies and freeze until ready to use.
Optional: Red food coloring

Split your egg skeins lengthwise and quarter them. It's easiest to cut down the portion of the skein without the membrane and lay the sac open.

Next, with THE EXCEPTION of the eggs, bring all of the ingredients to a boil in a large pan. Make sure to stir frequently.

After the mixture has been boiled and all contents are dissolved, cool the mixture to a luke-warm temperature and then place your eggs in the brine. Allow the eggs to soak for about twenty minutes, stirring about every 7 or 8 minutes.

Then, remove the eggs from the mixture and drain in a strainer for several hours. Following this step, you will want to lay the strained eggs out in a cool place on a plastic screen or thin piece of wood for approximately 12-24 hours to dry depending on your personal preference of hardness.

Once the eggs are done to your liking, roll them in plain borax and store in a plastic container. NOTE: for loose eggs, let dry for just a few hours ... or else they will turn out like a dried pea!

You can keep them in the refrigerator for a month or so, if you plan on keeping them any longer than that, freeze in an air-tight container!

These eggs seem to milk much longer and are more rubbery, than some of the commercial cures providing you with better bait durability.

Experiment with adding shrimp oil, anise, garlic powder or other scents to the brine mixture.

Egg Cure ingredients

1 quart water
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of NON-iodized salt
1 cup of borax (20 Mule Team type, not commercial quality)

Clean off the eggs real good with water.
Let them sit out for like 45 minutes.
Take red jello and sprinkle it on top of the eggs Take a container and put a cup of borax in it, cut a chuck of the skein and shake it around in the borax.
Then freeze.
Repeat with the rest of the spawn.

The jello stains the spawn bright red or orange, the borax keeps the spawn from turning brown and getting spoiled.

Plain Borax Cure (an heirloom recipe that keeps catching steelhead)
Equipment Needed:
20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster- 1-2 boxes
Shallow cardboard corrugated box (the type under soda cases) that fits in the refrig
Sharp scissors
Paper towels
Plastic containers to freeze and store roe or canning jars and lids to use with vacuum sealer

Place whole skeins on several layers of paper towels in the card board box. Place in the refrig for 24 hours to dry.
Cut up pieces into usable bait-sized chunks.
Put down fresh paper towels inside cardboard box. Sprinkle a layer of Borax to cover the paper towels and spread the bait pieces out on the towels. Sprinkle with another layer of Borax.
Place the box of bait in the refrig for 12-24 hours until "done"-(achieved the desired dryness).
Layer pieces between fresh Borax into a plastic container or a canning jar and use a vacuum attachment to seal the jars.
Freeze them.
*Judging "done" is difficult. Too long will make the eggs overly dry and they wonít milk well.
** If you donít put the eggs in the refrig to dry they can sometimes turn out dark.

Natural Colored Gooey Roe Cure
Equipment Needed
Skeins of roe
1 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
4 cups of Borax
3-10 drops of shrimp oil
Ziplock bag or glass dish to store roe in refrig overnight

Mix the above ingredients
Cut the skeins open in half lengthwise
Place skeins into the dry mixture and store in refrig for 24 hours.
Shake off the dry mixture and rinse the skeins gently with water to remove any powder stuck onto the skein.
5. Dry on paper towels for 12 hours in the refrig.
6. Vacuum bag or vacuum jar the skeins.
** This recipe makes a nice gooey roe that stays on the hook well and milks well even after freezing.

Strawberry Jello and Borax Cure

Cut the skein into small pieces, about the size of a silver dollar and lay out on to dry out a little.

Pour strawberry jello on the top of the chunks. Make sure you coat well. Let the jello liquefy and then turn the eggs over and coat again. When you get some good juice, mix the eggs together and let sit in a pile.

After about an hour or two separate the hunks again and let dry a while.

Once they are tacky then transfer to a clean surface. Cover with Mule Team Borax and let sit.

Turn and cover again with borax.

Let sit out another several hours or overnight and then put in Ziploc bags. Cover hunks with borax and then you can freeze. The borax will keep from getting freezer burn.

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