By: Kyle Buschelman

Buoy 10 is in full swing and the kings are here. We are catching fish daily. On the other hand, consistently producing limits once or two a day (for a guide) everyday can be tough. One sure way to increase your odds is to have good bait. I’ve compiled a few tips to help you manage your herring and anchovies and make sure you are getting the most of them each time you troll.

Tip 1: Use & Brine Anchovies + Herring

I use herring and anchovies to mix up the presentation. Both are effective. I place frozen herring in Natural, Blue or Chartreuse Fire Brine to have a few options in the event natural isn’t working. In August Blue Fire Brine herring accounted for two 30-pound kings. When I fish four-to-six rods it’s nice to have a different option in water (meaning more than only natural). It can save days when catching is tough.


Tip 2: Use Multiple Colors & Scents

In my bait cooler I have three-to-four containers with different versions of Fire Brine. One container is always Natural Fire Brine. Another has Natural Fire Brine with anise and the other the color of the day, which could be blue or chartreuse depending on water conditions.


Tip 3: Have a Bait Dye System on Hand

Every successful angler has Natural Fire Brine baits in their boat. Meanwhile, sometimes other colors get hot and if I only have a few baits in those colors we could miss out on the bite if we run out. This is why I keep several bottles of different colors of Fire Dye on the boat. With the Fire Dye I simply put a few natural baits in a Ziploc, squirt a bit of dye and five minutes later I have UV dyed baits that produce. It’s a great way to see if a color is on and not commit a ton of bait.


Tip 4: Get More Out of Your Bait

Every guide has confidence in something. Mine is having shiny baits and being able to use those baits for a couple days if I don’t use all of them each day. I think having brine that preserves baits and keeps them for more then one day is huge. Don’t get me wrong I use fresh herring and anchovies but at the end of the day I toss the remaining baits into the brine and they fish great the next day, too.

At the end of the day I have confidence in my bait and you should, too. Using Fire Brine saves time and money, is easy and adding the dye and scent makes me more flexible and often gives me a color/scent combination that the fish haven’t seen.


Tip 5: Bait Brining Additions

*Thaw baits a bit so they can absorb brine and colors.

*Have salt available to add if necessary. This is important and helps tighten bait up in event you find yourself rushed getting baits in brine. I generally add one handful of salt to ensure my baits tighten up more and maintain their scales. I do this either before bed or morning of.

*At Buoy 10 be versatile with baits. If the color/scent is not working adjust and find a solution to overcome it. Have options. My bait cooler is diverse and allows me to focus on what works everyday. And, what works changes by the minute sometimes.


Tip 6: Keep The Brine Simple

*One bottle of Fire Brine brines two trays. Oftentimes, I use just the bottle and catch fish.

*Sometimes I add scent, which is mostly anise.

*Don’t be afraid to add salt. A small handful will tighten the bait and make it last even longer.

*Fire Dye makes you more flexible and works instantly. A big squeeze of Fire Dye makes baits deep in color. However, a mere three or four drops will bring a fainter color, which is the ticket sometimes. Experiment, be flexible and the bites will come. (Below shows three drops of Blue Fire Dye.)


These tips on managing your bait save time and money and will produce quality baits that catch fish.

Editor’s Note: Kyle Buschelman operates Willamette Valley Outfitters. For more info on his guide Buoy 10 trips please visit or