Step into Duane’s Domain: Coon Shrimp for Summer Steel

By Duane Inglin | 06/23/2010
A key point to remember when you’re preparing baits for summer steelhead (or any fish, for that matter): You have to start with good bait to end up with good bait.

Be selective where you buy your shrimp. If you can’t find them, then I would suggest: Internet, Internet, Internet. Do your homework and you might be amazed what’s out there for your education. Networking on your fishing sites and boards is another useful tool.

Here’s a basic recipe that’s very easy to do and fishes very well:

Mastering the basics
You’ll want to do the following cure a couple weeks prior to fishing the shrimp. I like to keep the quart jars in the refrigerator on their sides and then rotate them en-over-end to mix up the contents a couple times a day for the first week or so. This helps to keep the contents blended and allows for the salts, sugars and cure to get into all the shrimp.

Standing the jars upright tends to compact everything to the bottom and it does not like to blend as easy when it compacts at the base of the jar.

NEVER SHAKE THE JARS aggressively to mix the contents: This will damage the shrimp and crush their heads. Shrimp that are cured yet won’t fish well due to damaged heads or breaks in their shells are worthless.

Imagination is your only limitation. Be creative, experiment and come up with a different color or scent then what is normally being fished. You might just find the one that everyone else wishes they had.

Set up your own Bait Lab, and get to work …

1 quart jar add the following ingredients:
1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup white sugar OR 1 Cup White Sugar if that’s all you have…
1 bottle Pautzke’s Red or Orange Nectar, depending on what color you’re after. (Rember you can mix any of the Pautzke Nectors to create different colors. The advantage of the Nectar is that it has the attractants and additives that salmon and steelhead like.)
1/2 cup non-iodized sea salt
1/4 cup rock salt
1/4 teaspoon of Pautzke’s Fire Power

1). You can add any additional scents and or attractants that you choose: anise oil, sand shrimp, crawdad, garlic, and or any sweet flavoring that you can think of.

2). Use it sparingly: usually no more then 5 to 10 drops of any oil or scent. Caution to be used and not over scent. Also don’t mix too many scents in one jar of shrimp. Usually a sand shrimp and anise or any doulble combo is fine.

3). Single attractents work very well but never three in one, that would be scent overload.

4). After everything is mixed in, just the way you want it, you should have enough room in the quart jar for about 60 to 70 coon shrimp.