By: Kyle Deavers
Since Covid started I’ve noticed a lot more anglers fishing in the Great Lakes. Many of our bank spots are more crowded than they’ve ever been. We are seeing lots of new anglers fishing alongside us, and more out-of-staters than I’ve ever seen. Now that our salmon run has started this makes having good bait better than ever. There’s more competition than I’ve seen in my lifetime.
With that said, I use several different egg cures. If you’ve seen me with clients on the bank you’ll notice many different Ziplocs with skein in them. These are all different cures because what the salmon wants changes constantly. In my neck of the woods color makes a big difference. I bring different colors of cured eggs to each trip and let the salmon tell us what they want.
Even though most Great Lakes anglers believe natural and orange are the best colors for skein I’ve found red to be my top producer – at least so far this season. I’m looking for that Stop Sign color red – and so have the fish.
In this cure you’ll notice I’m mixing a lot of stuff. You can just cure your eggs with Fire Cure only and catch fish. However, through experimenting, I’ve found that adding other ingredients enhance the color, the smell and makes the egg milk longer and harder. It’s putting more fish in the net.
The Big Boy Red Cure
Step 1: Contents
Red Fire Dye
Red Fire Cure
Natural Fire Brine
Natural BorX O Fire
Step 2: The Pour
Pour all the above contents into a container. I’m curing a lot of skeins at once (at least eight loafs) so I’m going to pour a lot of the above in. However, if you are only doing two loafs you can use a quarter of what I’m using and get the same result. That will make all these items last longer.
I pour a bottle of Natural Fire Brine into the container. Then I add one-third of the bottle of Red Fire Cure (keep in mind, I’m curing eight loafs, which is why I’m using this much). Then I use one third of the bottle of Red Fire Dye and three teaspoons of Fire Power. Many local anglers still don’t know what Fire Power is. It’s pure krill and one of the most important scents you can use for salmon. As mentioned above if you are only curing two skeins use a quarter of what I used.
At this point I stir the above contents. Make sure they are mixed thoroughly. Then I add the skeins with the eggs faced down, although it really doesn’t matter which way to put them in as long as they are submerged. Once the eggs are in the cure I let them sit at room temperature for 10 hours. It’s important to keep them out of warm weather and hot sun or the eggs will spoil.
Step 3: Drain It
After an overnight soak I’ll take the skeins out and place them in a strainer for an hour. I’ve seen some anglers put them on newspaper as well. This helps get the excess juice off of it. I want my eggs drier for the final step. Some anglers might not understand this. Here’s what I know. The Fire Cure is best at making your eggs milk, which means creating that scent trail in the water, but it also makes them more wet and drippy than a borax based cured egg. Some anglers want this, and if you are one of them, then at this point your eggs are done.
I, however, prefer my eggs tacky, but I also want them to milk. If you don’t know what milking is look at the water when your skein hits it. That white cloud of scent is eggs milking. To make an egg that milks well and is tacky I use the above process and after the eggs dry in the strainer I’ll sprinkle Natural BorX O Fire on them and let them sit for another 10 hours. At the end of this you’ll have great eggs that fish well.
Editor’s Note: Kyle Deavers operates Big Boy Fishing. To follow his adventures or book a guided shore salmon trip please visit: https://www.facebook.com/Bigboyfishing/