I got a bunch of sand shrimp this last summer and decided to try and cure them. Not knowing what would work, I tried a couple different things. Just cure, my mixture of salt/sugar/borax and cure and just the salt/sugar/borax mix with little success. I then tried boiling them and then curing them and it turned out that the salt/sugar/borax/cure mixture on the boiled sand shrimp actualy worked well. The shrimp were a little brittle compared to fresh ones but stayed on well and caught fish almost as well as fresh sand shrimp did.
I boiled them a long time which likely hurt their durability. I hope to get a large number of them soon to try and do different things to get them to turn out a little tougher. Maybe a series of different boil times, 15, 30, 60 seconds, 2 and 5 minutes to see if it makes much difference. Also gonna try an instant fresh out of the hole brine in heavy salt water then boil and cure.
Anyone have any other ideas to try that might keep them firmer? Boiling them and curing them they have lasted for well over 6 months even after thawing and refreezing a dozen times. I even kept some in the fridge for 2 months before they started to turn on me.
One work of advice if you do try this, get the hardest shelled ones you can. The large males with the hardest shells worked the best by far as far as durability. And boil them alive because all the dead ones, even if they looked fresh, were mushy even after being boiled and cured and didn't stay on a hook very well. The females with the brightest eggs seemed to be on the soft side while the ones with the grayish colored eggs were firmer after boiling and curing. And make sure you choose a color of cure you like, the sand shrimp take on color really well once boiled. Mine were a nice pinkish red color which is not what I wanted but the fish didn't seem to mind.