By: Kyle Deavers
Great Lakes salmon anglers who don’t believe color matters when curing eggs are wrong. Color does matter. Early in the year more natural colors are effective. However, as the season progresses getting a salmon’s attention are critical to seeing your bobber go down. This is when having better colored skein comes in to play. Personally, I always bring three different colors of skein fishing: natural, pink and orange. Having multiple colors is important. Every day the bite changes and salmon may want a different color.
On bright and sunny days a natural egg is most effective, whereas on cloudy days pink and orange eggs are best. Nevertheless, some days when salmon are in a biting mood color doesn’t necessarily matter. This is why I prefer to bring many different colors of skein. There’s been days this season where more than 50 anglers are floating skein in the harbor and only a few are getting bit. This is because a certain color of cure is enticing the salmon. Having an array of colored skein keeps you successful when the bite changes.
In this blog I’m going to focus on how to achieve the perfect light orange egg. I choose to use this cure when salmon are finicky. To do this I’m mixing two cures and you’ll understand why shortly.
The Perfect Shade of Orange Cure
Contents: Ziploc, Skein, Fire Power, Orange Fire Cure, Natural BorX O Fire, Atlas Mike’s Bait Brightener
Step 1: Add Bait Brightener
This season I tried something new and added Atlas Mike’s Bait Brightener to my cure. I read on the bottle that it’s supposed to make your eggs UV and make them shine instantly. On the bottle it didn’t say it worked on eggs, but I quickly learned it does. It gave my eggs a lighter gloss color. I found that it paves the way to get an offset orange color, which is what I want. When they are wet they look great in the water. The bait brightener does this.
I’m still experimenting with it, but I used 25 percent of the bottle for one skein, 50 percent if I’m curing two skeins, etc. I’ll let the eggs soak in the brightener for three hours. After three hours I drain the excess bait brightener out of the bag.
Step 2: Fire Cure
It’s time to add your cure now. When adding Orange Fire Cure I’ll sprinkle enough cure on to where you can’t see the top of the eggs anymore. Don’t over do it. Fire Cure is a powerful cure and you don’t need much of it. Consider sprinkling it on the eggs rather dumping it. This will also give you multiple uses out of the bottle. I’ll shake the bag until the cure is worked in the eggs and then let it sit for an hour. If there’s a lot of excess juice in the bag I’ll drain some of the juice out and re-shake the bag. Then let it sit for three more hours.
Step 3: Dry Time
When step two is complete take the skeins out and lay them on cardboard or paper towers to let the excess juice drain. Usually this takes 45 minutes to an hour.
Step 4: BorX O Time
Once dried out put eggs back in the bag and sprinkle on Natural BorX O Fire. I use two cures because BorX O Fire dries out the eggs after the Fire Cure adds sulfites to them which salmon love. The Natural BorX O Fire offsets the Orange Fire Cure so it isn’t as bright. You can use more BorX O Fire than Fire Cure, but don’t go crazy.
Step 5: Power It Up
This season many Great Lakes anglers, and I, have discovered Fire Power and it’s making a big difference. For those of you who have never used it, Fire Power is krill powder, which is a bite stimulant. It enhances the smell of the skein. I add Fire Power right after the BorX O Fire because the eggs reabsorb the cure and will suck in the Fire Power at the same time. After sprinkling the Fire Power on (you can use a lot, it doesn’t hurt your eggs) you want to massage the eggs again to ensure the cure and krill powder absorb into the skein. Now let the eggs sit overnight. They’ll reabsorb the cure and the bag will be tight (that’s how you know it worked properly).
They are now ready to fish.
*Pautzke products are available in many retailers that carry salmon/steelhead products. However, if you can’t find them locally they are available online and from www.pautzke.com.
Editor’s Note: Kyle Deavers operates Big Boy Fishing. To learn more about him please visit https://www.facebook.com/Bigboyfishing.