By: John Albrich
One of the most common questions steelhead anglers have is what is the best way to store cured eggs for a long period of time. And, there isn’t one answer. There’s lots of different ways to store eggs. Which you choose depends on how long you want to keep them. Many guys will wrap them in paper towels, place them in a Ziploc and put them in the freezer. This is an ok way to store them as long as you’re going to fish them within a month. If you don’t they’ll develop freezer burn.
I prefer to vacuum seal my eggs in quart or pint size jars depending on how much bait I plan on using. Vacuum sealing eggs prevents freezer burn because you suck the air out. Air is what causes freezer burn. In the old days anglers would light a match, put it in the jar and seal it quick to remove the air. However, these days vacuum sealing is easy and affordable. Below is how I store my steelhead eggs.
The Super Easy Seal – To Block Freezer Burn
Step 1: Got Eggs?
Fill a quart or pint jar full of eggs. You can place full skein in the jar or even cut them to size before sealing. I leave a quarter-inch from the top to allow the vacuum seal thoroughly. At this point it’s important to take a wet rag and clean the rim of the jar to make sure the vacuum will seal properly.
Step 2: The Seal
Place the lid on the jar, but don’t push down on it. Put the vacuum attachment over the jar and lid. Run device until it seals. The lid will pop when sealed.
*Special Note: Prior to sealing is a good time to add any extra scents to the eggs. The sealing will help the scent penetrate the eggs.
Step 3: Label
Screw lid on top of the jar. At this point I’ll write the date and type of cure used so I know when I’m ready to thaw and fish them. I cure eggs with Fire Cure, BorX O Fire and Fire Brine. It’s important to know which eggs are which.
Step 4: Freezer-Store
At this point they are ready for storage. I’ll place them in the freezer until I’m ready to take them out to fish. I’ve fished eggs that have been in my freezer for four to five years and they’ve still caught fish. I don’t prefer to keep eggs that long, but they will still work if sealed with this method and I try to never waste eggs.
*Special Note: Once I pull out whatever jar I’m going to use for fishing I’ll unscrew the lid and let them thaw out at room temperature. Usually if you take the jar out at night they are ready to fish the next morning.
Editor’s Note: Veteran steelhead angler and guide John Albrich resides in Idaho. He has targeted steelhead in all western states that have populations.