Fine Tune Your Eggs – Sacramento River Style

By Scott Feist | 09/14/2012

Editor’s Note: Eggs can be cured a myriad of different ways. This blog focuses on California’s Sacramento River and what eggs are conducive to the clarity, flows, volume and water temperature there. Feel free to try this cure courtesy of Pautzke pro Scott Feist of Feisty Fish Guide Service.

Over the past year I’ve read a lot about how each Pautzke pro cures their eggs slightly different. All these methods work, but my job is to put eggs on my client’s hook that work for the Sacramento River, rather than some place in New York, Idaho or Washington. Regardless of where you are fishing there’s a perfect egg fine-tuned for your local fishery.

I do more work than most to ensure that egg is tuned for Northern California’s big water and deep Sacramento River holes. By combining Pautzke’s Fire Power (pure krill power), FireCure and BorX O Fire we use an egg that has brought limits almost every day this season.

The eggs I cure aren’t a secret recipe. It’s just what I use and catch fish with daily.
These eggs hold up for the fishery we have. They are the right color and have the exact firmness necessary for the Sac.

Having good eggs make or break your day. I drift around people all day and they wonder why we are getting bit and they aren’t. The key is to have different bait than the next guy. Here salmon are so keyed into the krill scent that I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to use a lot of it.

Here’s how I cure eggs:

Curing King Eggs: The Sacramento River Special

Step 1:

Butterfly eggs open & Fire Power

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When I butterfly my eggs, let’s say it’s a 12-inch skein; I’ll cut the skein in half. From there, before I put the Fire Power on. I like to shake Fire Power on it to let the krill get in on the initial soak in. I know FireCure has krill in it, but our fishery is krill driven. I like to use more.

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Step 2:

Sprinkle FireCure on skeins

To me, it’s important to get the red FireCure between each flap of the egg (I use red, but pink is also popular here). If you just shake cure on top of the skein sometimes you won’t cure them all the way through. It’s important to lift those flaps and make sure the cure gets in-between them.

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Step 3:

Place FireCured eggs into jars

This varies from quart-to-pints depending on how many eggs you are curing. I’ll let them sit for an hour in room temperature, rolling them around a few times prior to refrigerating.

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Step 4:

Refrigerate & Let Cure Work

Refrigerate for three days; flipping once in the morning and once in the evening. Don’t let them just sit. It’s important to roll them once or twice a day.

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Step 5:

Remove From Jars

After the three-day FireCure process I remove the eggs from the jars and place them on paper towels to dry them out. Depending on how hot it is let them rest on the towels for 30 minutes to an hour. I also put a paper towel on top of the eggs to pull out additional moisture that didn’t reabsorb during the three-day process.

Nevertheless, in some fisheries wet eggs work. In that case this would be the final step, but I like to take it to the next level by firming them up a little bit to make them golden. However, for some these eggs are perfect and ready to fish.

Step 6:

Reapply Fire Power

Remove top paper towel so eggs are exposed. I generously re-shake the Fire Power on the egg to turbo charge them.

Step 7:

Firm Egg, Add BorX O Fire

In order to dry the eggs out and toughen them, I’ll shake natural BorX O Fire on both sides of the skein. These eggs will now be covered in white and brown, from the Fire Power and BorX O Fire. That’s good.

When learning this process be conservative with the BorX O Fire until you know how it works. Keep in mind, I use natural, but if you want to get a deeper red, feel free to use red BorX O fire.

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Step 8:

Burrito Roll

Roll out a few sheets of paper towels and place two skeins on them. Then, I’ll roll them into a burrito. From here, place them into a gallon Ziploc bag, roll it up to push the air out and date the bag.

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Step 9:

Diaper Change

In 24 hours you’ll notice the paper towels are soaked. Do a diaper change. Re-roll them with new paper towels and refrigerate.

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Step 10:

Let Cures Do Their Thing

From here I like to let the eggs sit in the fridge for 3-5 days. Letting them sit allows the krill to set in and absorb more thoroughly, which pays dividends while you’re back bouncing or drifting roe.

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Scott Feist operates Feisty Fish Guide Service. To learn more about him please visit