By: Duane Inglin
We get a lot of questions about curing eggs. Meanwhile, it doesn’t stop there. Anglers also want to know how to store and freeze eggs. Recently, many anglers have asked me to prep eggs for fishing, something I’m going to cover today.
When salmon fishing you generally want a wet egg that holds a lot of juice and milks out a scent trail. Oftentimes, anglers confuse wet/juicy eggs with eggs that are dripping wet and fall apart easily. That is not the type of egg I am referring to. One problem anglers encounter is trying to create a wet/juicy egg that stays on the hook and withstands 5-10 casts.
Lets work on ensuring well cured eggs translate into productive eggs. At the end of the curing process you placed the eggs in the refrigerator for a couple days or the freezer for a few weeks. Either way, if you follow these steps your eggs will fish well, be durable, stay on the hook and put out a great amount of scent.
The most important step is draining excess juice. Fishing your eggs right out of the bag that you cured them in will work. However, they can be extremely wet and a little soft. They will fish for a few cast and milk out well. On the other hand, you will burn through a ton of eggs if you don’t drain excess juice.
To effectively drain, remove eggs from the refrigerator and dump them a colander/strainer. I make sure I arrange the skeins so that the egg side is down with the skin side up. This allows the excess juice to drain out. A couple of hours is enough to get the excess off.
When taking eggs out of the freezer carefully tear the bag from the eggs and place the frozen brick of egg into the strainer. This allows the eggs to thaw (at room temperature) and lets the excess juice drip away from the eggs. Once thawed completely place the eggs with the skin up and eggs down.
Next, I simply package them to hit the river. Personally, I don’t let the eggs sit out for a couple days on paper towels or screens because I don’t want them tacky-dry like steelhead eggs. I want them slightly wet and full of juice. Instead, place the skeins into plastic containers stacked on paper towels. I find that the paper towels dry the eggs to the perfect texture while leaving plenty of moisture in the eggs so they milk out a great amount of scent.
To fish the eggs cuts bait to the size you need, dependent upon if you are fishing for Chinook (larger pieces) or coho (smaller pieces). Then place it in your bait loop and start casting. After draining your eggs I think you’ll be impressed with how well your eggs will fish.
Editor’s Note: Duane Inglin is the host of Seattle’s Northwest Wild Country radio. He fishes daily in the fall.