By: Joey Usher
I’ve been getting flooded with questions recently on how to cure loose single eggs for Great Lakes trout and steelhead. These are eggs that we use in eggs sacks, exclusively, not those that we’re going to place on a hook. If I want to use an egg on the hook I’ll use jarred eggs.
Curing single eggs is an easy, quick process that produces great bait for salmon, steelhead and brown trout in all lake tributaries. And, it’s easier than you might think. This cure works for me on salmon, trout and steelhead eggs. It will work on any egg and doesn’t require a ton of time. The total process from getting the eggs from the fish to tying them in an egg sack is six hours.
Here’s how’s it’s done: The Single Egg Brine
Step 1: Start With Good Eggs
To have a good cured egg you have to have a good raw egg. You have to water harden them. To explain this further: this means when you milk the fish the eggs that come out are soft. If you throw those eggs in the cure they don’t always come out right. They’ll be soft, deflated or deformed, and don’t always take the cure.
This is why water hardening is important. To properly do this you are going to rinse your fresh eggs as soon as possible. Blood is the enemy. That ruins the eggs. You want to rinse the eggs thoroughly in spring or creek water (non chlorinated water) and make sure the blood is gone.
Step 2: The Water Soak
After rinsing place the eggs in a bucket or container (with trout eggs you only get a cup or two, but with salmon eggs you could fill a bucket) and cover the eggs with chilled spring water. Let the eggs soak for three hours. This will cause the eggs to harden and also make your eggs swell. After doing this you should have a round, firm, clear egg. This is prepping or maturing the membrane.
Step 3: Fire Brine ‘Em
Drain off the water (some of us use a strainer) before adding Fire Brine.
Now simply pour enough Fire Brine to cover the eggs. Make sure the eggs are in a container because the Fire Brine will cause them to swell, which is good.