Very important tips to remember when curing salmon eggs
__Always bleed your fish right away by cutting all the gills in half on both sides. This will do 2 things for you. Your meat will have a much higher quality taste and the egg skeins will be far more attractive to salmon or steelhead. The scent of dead fish blood will ruin your catch rate in a hurry. So be sure to follow this step religiously.
_Do Not Rinse your egg skeins in water!
__Roll your egg skeins into a paper towel and place into zip lock bag on ice making sure to keep them out of direct sun exposure. Also place your fish in ice with plenty of salt and water to bring the temperature of the ice water down. This will also keep the fish meat good until you get home, but remember you must cook or vacuum pack and freeze your fish within a few days. The sooner the better! If you plan to cook with skin on , then rinse the salt off skin before cooking. The salt in the ice water will not effect the taste of your fish. Using a fish bag then place in ice is my preference. The salt in ice water works well for cooling beer down quickly as well!
_Cure your eggs within 24 hours after removing from fish. Now here is the nice thing about Hitman cure. If you absolutely cannot take the time to cut the skeins into bait size balls and cure the recommended way. Then you can dump a generous amount of Hitman into the zip lock bag with your skeins. Roll the skeins around in bag to ensure they are fully coated. Allow them to sit an hour , Turn over and sit another hour at room temperature. Remove skeins from bag and place onto paper towels for a few minutes. Dump any liquids from the zip lock bags. Place skeins back into bags 1 skein per zip lock bag. Leave at room temp 12 hours to finish curing turning every 3 hours. After this process store in freezer or fridge in protected container .
_Eggs from a female salmon approaching the fall spawning season generally fish better. The skeins ( membrane ) must still be intact of course to be cured successfully. As the female fall salmon gets closer to spawning, the oils from her fat deposit into the eggs. This is a natural scent that attract salmon when using cured roe for fishing.
When you are ready to cure with Mackey's Hitman Bait Cure
_Put latex gloves on to avoid coloring your hands. The die will turn anything pinkish red and will be difficult to remove. Also this will protect your eggs from absorbing human scents.
_Place a plastic covering on the surface you intend to use. This is also easy to wrap up and dispose of when finished. You may also use a bucket or other container that has plenty of room to lay your eggs out in. Reason is to ensure you coat all your baits in Hitman Bait Cure.
_Cut skeins into bait size balls or butterfly your skeins in half length wise. Use a very sharp knife or scissors for this process. Butterfly by cutting from the exposed eggs side. Not the skein membrane side.
_Sprinkle a generous amount of Hitman onto the eggs. Be sure to coat all of the skeins completely with Hitman cure. Make sure you coat well.
_Place eggs into zip locks . Be sure not to put to much into each bag.
_Allow them to sit 1 hour then turn over and sit 1 more hour. (Total of 2 hours )
_ Remove the eggs from zip locks and place them into a colander for 30 minutes allowing them to drain. Also drain any juice from the zip locks . Hint-This juice makes a killer scent and will stay good forever, Save in a little container to dip yarn or lures in.
_Place your skeins back into zip locks or containers again, be sure not to put to much in each as it will smash the eggs on bottom over time.
_Allow eggs to sit at room temperature for 12 hours turning every 3 hours to finish curing.
_ Store in freezer or fridge . Your eggs will not actually freeze after Hitman Cured however the freezer will keep them colder.
-Hitman Cure will also cure Coon Shrimp / prawns as well just the same! Leave a little juice in the process as these guys like to get really dry over time!
_ For fish with lock jaw try adding a little garlic scent into the curing process. During the final step when the eggs are finishing curing over the 12 hours. Add a little garlic scent on the eggs. You can also use a little tuna scent for springers. Make a few different bags for your next trip. Remember those scents are powerful so you only need a little bit if you choose to use any.
_As with any fishing , Get to know the area you are fishing and the best technics in that water. The better you know the area and where the fish like to hang out, the better your chances are of catching them. If you are in slower, deeper soupy water than use a float with eggs. If you are in faster shallower water , back bounce the eggs or free drift. If its a large pool like the Barrier Dam on the Cowlitz River, we free drift big clusters of eggs with high success rates.