By: Homer Brown
While many use eggs and plugs for springers I use shrimp partially because it’s different bait that most other anglers aren’t using. When everyone is throwing eggs, sardines or herring and then you throw a shrimp you’ll end up pounding them on shrimp because it’s something they aren’t seeing as often.
On the other hand, having quality shrimp is vital. I create that by adding color and scent. That fires them up even more. Many people believing brining and coloring is a long process. However, I use a method that you can literally be fishing shrimp in 30 minutes. Sure, it works better if you let them sit overnight, but if you are in a bind and need new bait right away this method will work.
I’m using striped shrimp, or coon shrimp, as many call them. And, this process couldn’t be easier. There are many recipes out there that work well, but they take too long for my liking. There are two key components to my shrimp: krill and dye. The krill (Fire Power) is a scent all salmon key in on and the dye makes them more than visible.
I did most of my shrimp in Fire Brine last season, but this year I’m leaning more towards Fire Dye. The cool thing about the Fire Dye is it works right away. The longer the shrimp sit in the dye the more color they get, but within five minutes they’ll take enough color to get you fishing. And, those shrimp aren’t losing color when they hit the water. With the Fire Dye even after five minutes the color stays on the shrimp. For salmon, Pink, Chartreuse and Purple Fire Dye are my favorites.
The Homer Shrimp
Get shrimp. I like to thaw them out first, rather than use frozen bait. And, I don’t like them wet, so I’ll let them dry out first before I dye them.
Place shrimp in a container or jar and add Fire Power (krill powder). I usually cure a gallon at a time and use about three tablespoons of Fire Power.
Add a quarter-cup of salt. Salt toughens the shrimp up more and if you aren’t using Fire Brine (which has salt in it) you’ll need the salt.
Add half a bottle of Fire Dye (per one gallon of shrimp). All colors work, but I’ve been using pink, purple and chartreuse most. In my experience chartreuse is always a go-to for salmon. However, when it gets clear I’ll migrate to the purple and pink.
Let sit for 45 minutes before you fish them. The longer they sit the more dye they’ll absorb, but they’ll work after a 30-minute soak. If you can soak them overnight it’s more effective, but for those who don’t have the time you can fish them right away.
Editor’s Note: Homer Brown is an Idaho based fishing guide. He focuses on the Snake and Salmon Rivers.