The roe cure thread

S

SNDSLGR

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I have never got into curing eggs myself but last year I really seen a difference and am now a believer. I know this is one of thse things that everyone has an opinion on and nobody wants to share their secret but your secret is not what I am after.

Could someone break down how to handle eggs, from removing them form the fish to curing them. I am interested in curing within a few days as well as freezing them for use months later. Also, what are a couple good cures to use, homade or store bought. Lastly, are certain eggs better for specific fish or are they universal. (ie steel, chinook, coho)


Thanks.
 
M

metalmania

I'm by far a pro with eggs and cures, but here's how I prepare the eggs. First off immediately after landing the hen bonk it and bleed it out. You wan't as much blood out of the fish as possiable. Next slit the belly and carefully remove the skeins. It's critically important to keep all water off of the eggs as it starts the curing process. Next I carefully remove the blood vessels surrounding the eggs. I usually cut the vessels then push as much blood out as possiable and cut away any of the smaller vessels. Next I butterfly the eggs open with a knife and lay them out on a patternless papertowl. It's best to cure them as soon as you possiably can. I also like to wear nitrile gloves while handling the eggs to keep my scent off. Next comes the cure. I've always used the original pro-cure but I hear very good things about pro-cure wizard cure. Just follow the directions on the bottle and you should be fine. There's also lots of other additives and dyes you can use but i'll let somebody more expirienced cover that. Hope this helps:D.
 
S

SNDSLGR

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Great thanks. If you are not going to be using the eggs right away should you cure them THEN freeze or freeze them right out of the fish THEN thaw and cure?
 
F

FishSchooler

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Freezing uncured eggs will ruin the eggs (or so I heard/learned from Osmosis ;))
 
F

fish_4_all

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Best eggs IMO: Steelhead, Chum, Coho, sockeye and then Chinook in that order.

Okay, here is my curing process and I KNOW there will be those that think I am nuts but I have kept eggs cured this way in an air tight jar for 2-3 years without freezing.

Ingredients:
1 cup canning salt, not table or iodized salt
1 cup powdered Borax, the finer the better
1 cup sugar
1 quart water, yes water, I use tap water sometimes but purified water works better especially on looser eggs.
1/4 cup of whatever cure you want to use, I have used 7 different brands with the same results.
Cut your eggs into bait size pieces, I do not butterfly them, if the skein is too big I will cut them in "rounds leaving the skein in tact and then cut them smaller after I am done curing them.
Leave them in the cure for a good 24 hours. This part is a learning curve as sometimes the eggs need longer and sometimes less time in the brine. Fresher eggs and smaller skeins need longer, larger and looser skeins shorter times.
Once the eggs are cured and looking right, I drain them in a strainer and then put them out on a clean cotton towel that was washed without fabric softener or other junk. Single layer not touching as much as possible. Cover with a second towel and let them air dry long enough that they start to get tacky and don't feel wet anymore. I then place them in jars and use a vacuum sealer to draw out the air and place them in the fridge.

Mix it all together then add your cut eggs.

Definitely bleed any hen immediately, it makes a huge difference in the final product. I bonk them quickly to be humane but not to kill, I want the blood to pump out as much as possible. When removing the eggs, I try to keep as much blood off as possible and never cut the gut sack.

For spawn sacks I do the same thing with single eggs except I boil the singles and really loose skeins to separate the eggs and make them hard and then cure them the same way. Make sure to boil them long enough to make them hard!!!! Under boiling them leaves them mushy and useless.
 
K

Kodiak

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When you are first "collecting" your eggs...bleed your hen right away...I prop mine upside down and head down hill to get out as much blood as possible. If you have azip lock bag with you after about 15 mins, slice the belly open, be carefull not to cut the inestines...stomache acids from the intestines can and will get on the eggs. ONLY DO THIS IF YOU HAVE GLOVES AND A BAG!!!!..if not wait until you get home. Slide the eggs out onto something clean and let your eggs "breathe" for about 10 mins before you bag them...seems silly but it makes a difference. Cure them as quickly as you can when you get home. Do them the following way and you can cure them while your fishing if you can find a clean place to work. I butterfly my eggs open (still wearing gloves), place them in a zip lock, sprinkle my cure on and work the cure in to every nook and cranny. Every 15 mins for the first two hours I turn the bag over, keeping the eggs flat as possible. This ensures every part of the eggs get cured while they "juice". after about 2 hrs they will begin the Uptake phase. Place the bag berry side down in a cooler or fridge, if it is cool enough in a bench in the garage. They will be fishing in about 24 hrs. If I'm going to freeze them I do it before the uptake process is complete. Get some slam 'ola from procure and sprinkle liberaly on the skiens when you pull them out of the frezer. It will cause the eggs to finish the uptake process as they thaw overnight..IN YOUR SINK..(you soo don't want the trouble that comes with the cat playing with them all over the kitchen counter...the welts have almost gone away..as soon as my wife ungrounds me I can go play with the other kids again) giving you nice firm "fresh looking" berries as you head out the door to go slay. I prefer to use Cure all, T-n-T, and Last supper (upriver formula). Don't be afraid to paly with different things with your cures, make them hotter, not as hot, amino acids, no aminos, modify the colors...do something that makes them different...have fun.
 
K

koboabe

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what about just straight borax?
I got some Coho eggs from Extreme baits, but they were messy and fell OFF in about 3 casts.
didn't get a single bite while using them
most of the eggs are loose in the container with a bunch of cure.

my buddy had some nook and steel eggs he left in borax, these not only held to the skien better, but stayed on for at least 10 drifts and got me into a steelhead after about 7 months of being skunked a few times a week...

he just cuts them in to chunks, tosses them in a ziplock baggy with enough borax to fully coat the eggs.
he swears by them and doesn't have to worry about dye or loose eggs getting all over the place.
 
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fish_4_all

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I have tried straight borax before and had some success with it but I never got a first or second cast bite. Might have just been the eggs I had but it took a few casts to wash all the borax off before I would get a bite.
 
H

halibuthitman

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I only use chum eggs, and air dry my eggs overnite, I also cut them into usable pieces bfore the borax proccess, and for coloring I am a raspberry jello fan.... does anyone know why almost ALL storebought eggs make a point that they do not use the boraax???? why? I can't imagine not using it.
you can also strip the skiens and blanch the eggs to make small jars of killer single eggs for the kids... I like chinook eggs best for this.
 
M

Mike123

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I know a guy on OFF who just takes the eggs lets them air dry a bit, then rolls them in borax. He catches quite a few springers down at Waterloo falls. ;)
For steelhead and coho I'd just use borax or a light sulfite cure then roll in borax. For tidewater chinook use a sulfite cure and leave the eggs a little bit wetter than usual so they milk out nice.

And Kodiak said exactly what I was going to say about getting your eggs out of the fish and handling them! :cool:
 
J

JSpencer

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What about adding scents and whatnot during the curing process? A buddy of mine at work mentioned it, but wont tell me the scent he uses or at what stage he puts the scent into the cure. He claims its an old family secret on the scent and timing.

Another buddy of mine at work claims adding small amounts of yarn in with the cure and eggs helps it stay together in the water better. Anybody have any experience/knowledge about that?

Sorry if it sounds like im gullible or something but where i grew up there were no salmon to fish and no eggs to cure so this is all new to me.
 
kirkster

kirkster

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I have no idea. And it's gettin dark fast.
adding scents

adding scents

What about adding scents and whatnot during the curing process? A buddy of mine at work mentioned it, but wont tell me the scent he uses or at what stage he puts the scent into the cure. He claims its an old family secret on the scent and timing.

Another buddy of mine at work claims adding small amounts of yarn in with the cure and eggs helps it stay together in the water better. Anybody have any experience/knowledge about that?

Sorry if it sounds like im gullible or something but where i grew up there were no salmon to fish and no eggs to cure so this is all new to me.

After you have cured your eggs and there in a plastic bag its usualy about two to three hours they have released all there juice now is the time to add your color,oils and scents because now the eggs will start to reabsorb the liquid and it will pull what ever you add deep into the eggs making your scent last longer.
 
Raincatcher

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Where oh where??

Where oh where??

Where do most of you buy your curing ingredients? Here in Dallas we have very limited choices. Wally world is smaller than Rite Aid. I asked my neighbor,who owns a nice boat and says he's been fishing for decades and nearly choked when he said to get my borax at Safeway...please tell me you don't use sink cleaner to cure eggs!!!:shock: :rolleyes::rolleyes:
 
J

JeannaJigs

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Where do most of you buy your curing ingredients? Here in Dallas we have very limited choices. Wally world is smaller than Rite Aid. I asked my neighbor,who owns a nice boat and says he's been fishing for decades and nearly choked when he said to get my borax at Safeway...please tell me you don't use sink cleaner to cure eggs!!!:shock: :rolleyes::rolleyes:
I get my borax from safeway, lol, that's how i've been doing mine since day one, my dad did it that way, so that's the only way i know. Tried pro-cure once, but didn't like it.
 
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fishin_fool

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20 mule team does a great cure but can dry the eggs out...

Mike
 
W

willierower

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I never do freeze my eggs. I keep my cured eggs in glass canning jars in my bait frig. With most cures now days you do not get mold if you turn the jars a couple of times a month. This fall Chinook season I found a jar of cured eggs from 03 and caught fish with them. Pro Cure has a great video on curing bait. I use a borax and pro cure color mix on my Steelhead eggs. I like a more dry egg for sidedrifting with my yarn balls. For Salmon I like a more juicy cure that has a lot of red in it like Wizard double red hot or pro glo cure.
Pete
 
F

FishSchooler

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When I get my very first retainable fish w/ eggs... how do you butterfly skeins?
 
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willierower

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I lay the thick part of the skien in my hand and with my filet knife I cut right down the center of the eggs very carefully and open them up. I would suggest you use the Berkley filet gloves. I do and love them.
 
F

fish_4_all

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Update on curing method

Update on curing method

I have now changed things out a little for curing.

Same basic idea:
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup non-iodized salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/16 cup whatever cure you like (optional)

Mix all of it in a quart of non-chlorinated water, stir well.
Add cut baits to mixture for 1-1.5 hours, no longer, don't let them get too hard. Some of them will start to feel a little hard and start to wrinkle, they are done then, don't let them wrinkle too much. My hard ones plumped right back up and all of them turned out perfect.
Strain eggs for about 30 minutes
Place out on paper towels for 6-8 hours or until as dry as you like them. I like mine dry to the point my fingers don't get wet and gummy when I touch them. Turn them over after 4 hours if needed.

These eggs look simply awesome even without using any cure. See for yourself. This method is simply the best way I have ever cured eggs.

They last 3-5 casts without a hooks set, sometimes with one. They catch fish and there is no mess while fishing except for the broken eggs when you put them on your hook. I can't say they out fished my 2 day cure but they were just as good.

Curedeggs1.jpg
 

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