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Thread: Some sand shrimp curing success

  1. #1
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    Idea Some sand shrimp curing success

    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.
    Take me fishing and I won't complain, I won't mope, I will even do some chores around the house. Don't take me and you will wish I was fishing!

  2. #2
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    Please keep us posted on the progress.If this works out it will sure make keeping these babies as bait much simpler.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Top Author RunWithSasquatch's Avatar
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    .... how does boiled sandshrimp smell?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunWithSasquatch View Post
    .... how does boiled sandshrimp smell?
    Like boiling shrimp or crab. Makes the same mess if you aren't careful too. Once it cools it smells like sand shrimp or prawns. Has a much stronger smell than before it was boiled.

    I know they work, 14 Chinooko and 2 steelhead hooked on them this year.
    Take me fishing and I won't complain, I won't mope, I will even do some chores around the house. Don't take me and you will wish I was fishing!

  5. #5
    Moderator Top Author JeannaJigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunWithSasquatch View Post
    .... how does boiled sandshrimp smell?
    Like sandshrimp death.
    -Jeanna-
    (Gee-Nuh)
    (Not Jenna)

    Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love, it will not lead you astray. ~Rumi

  6. #6
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    It does have a more beachy sandy smell than prawns but why wouldn't it.

    Does anyone have any suggestion as far as the chemicals used on curing roe that might help to make the shell firmer and not so brittle?
    Take me fishing and I won't complain, I won't mope, I will even do some chores around the house. Don't take me and you will wish I was fishing!

  7. #7
    Moderator Top Author JeannaJigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fish_4_all View Post
    It does have a more beachy sandy smell than prawns but why wouldn't it.

    Does anyone have any suggestion as far as the chemicals used on curing roe that might help to make the shell firmer and not so brittle?
    I have no idea, I roll with naked, raw, preferably living shrimpies. Probably use the same kinda cure they use for prawns i imagine?
    -Jeanna-
    (Gee-Nuh)
    (Not Jenna)

    Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love, it will not lead you astray. ~Rumi

  8. #8
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    Okay, have done up some more and they are getting better every batch. This time I Am only boiling the sand shrimp for 1.5-3 minutes, just enough to make the goo in their tails hard and then curing them. Same curing process, salt, sugar, borax and some cure for color and leave in for 48 hours or so.

    This second batch is a lot more pliable and doesn't break up when trying to put it on the hook. It also held the scent better.

    I has not been as easy to get them to take a good coloration back but I haven't been trying very hard. Will be experimenting with food coloring and other dyes to get a good coloring but I think they look okay so far.

    This is last years first try. They still work but are faily brittle and don't stay on well


    This is the second batch, much better color and hold on really well even after 4-5 drifts and little fish picking at them.


    This is my latest batch untested but have good texture and feel better than the any I have done yet.


    I guess the coloring isn't too bad looking at them now in the pictures. Trout love them and a buddy has gotten 3 steelhead hook ups and 1 landed with them.

    Now I just need to figure out how to keep the ice crystals off them. Thought about vacuum packing but may just bag the containers. Any thoughts?
    Take me fishing and I won't complain, I won't mope, I will even do some chores around the house. Don't take me and you will wish I was fishing!

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Top Author RunWithSasquatch's Avatar
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    Neat baits. I think you'll have a hard time with the ice. May need to pack them in borax. If there very soft, a seal-a-meal might squeeze the dog monkey out of them.

  10. #10
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    Glass jar's, vaccum seal them or light a match. It will burn out all the air, which is needed to make frost or ice.
    ~SantiamDrifter~

  11. #11
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    That should work, hopefully they don't explode, the shrimp, not the jars. The second and third batch don't really freeze solid which is nice compared to my first batch. Will have to dig out my jars to vaccuum pack them so the shells don't start to fall apart from the ice crystals.
    Take me fishing and I won't complain, I won't mope, I will even do some chores around the house. Don't take me and you will wish I was fishing!



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