Making The Perfect Bait For Buoy 10

By Bill Swann | 08/05/2013

The Buoy 10 fishery is dominated by anglers trolling herring and other meat baits. I’d say at least 90 percent fish bait. While anglers employ an assortment of colored herring, I’m a firm believer than kings are attracted to the color purple. To fuel success I mix red Fire Brine and blue Nectar to achieve a specific shade of purple that I’ve found works best over the years.

Of course there is purple Fire Brine and Purple Nectar available, and they work. Nonetheless, I like mixing the red and blue to achieve the purple tone I believe works best.

On the Columbia everyone is going to have chartreuse and blue brined baits, but not everyone has purple. By putting something down in the water that’s a softer color it seems to induce more bites.

However, I like to give the fish a chance to prove me wrong and always bring aboard blue and natural Fire Brined herring. Sometimes the fish want those colors and it’s always best to be prepared for changing conditions. For example, on cloudy days I’ll use brighter colors, whereas on sunny days I’ll use darker colors.

The Swanny Buoy 10 Brine

When brining baits it’s important to keep it simple and to the point. People are often shocked it’s this easy. It is.

Step 1: Purchase Herring

Obtain quality herring. I prefer Point Defiance herring. They take care of their herring and it doesn’t turn to mush, like some brands do.

Step 2: Gather Contents For Brine

Red Fire Brine

Blue Pautzke Nectar


Mrs Stewart’s Liquid Bluing

Sea Salt

Brown Sugar


Step 3: Mix

Using a 2 ½ quart sealed container pour 1 cup of sea salt, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 bottle of red Fire Brine, 1 bottle of blue Pautzke Nectar and 4 squirts of Mrs Stewarts Bluing. You don’t want the container to be more than three quarters full.


Step 4:

Put the lid on, shake and allow contents to dissolve prior to adding herring.

Step 5:

After all the contents are mixed up it’s time to add your herring. The above recipe is enough to cure 2-3 dozen herring. It also works on anchovy and sardines. In fact, this method is effective on any type of baits.


Step 6:

Put the lid on. Place on ice or in the cooler. It will be ready to fish in 12 hours.


Special Notes:

Please keep in mind Fire Brine does a great job at brining the baits, but doesn’t offer bite stimulants. Fortunately, Pautzke Nectar does. Nectar packs some of the strongest bite stimulants available, which is why I include it in my brine. Remember, Pautzke Nectar is a natural scent. No chemicals are added.