By: Kyle Deavers
Our river salmon season in Wisconsin has started earlier than we are used to this year. We already have salmon in harbors and rivers from Kenosha to Northern Wisconsin. These salmon have taken to the skein bite for the past few weeks and this pattern will continue through early October.
This egg cure is more detailed than the one I’ve used previous years. However, the eggs are coming out better and catching even more fish. I’m mixing Fire Cure and BorX O Fire because I like the scent and sulfites the Fire Cure offers and use the borax because it firms up my eggs and helps them stay on the hook longer. Mixing them might be more work, but it creates a much better overall eggs. This cure will work on any river or in any harbor in Wisconsin or anywhere in the Great Lakes. I use it daily.
Make sure no blood is on your skein loafs. Blood can spoil the eggs. I let my skein air dry for about an about before curing. This removes all excess juice from the fish and puts your eggs in the best position for the cure to work well.
Cut the skein in pieces to the size you would use on your hook. This is easier for the eggs to cure faster and to get all skein involved with the cure.
Put half a loaf of skein in the bag.
Sprinkle the top of the skein with Fire Cure. I use Natural, Pink and Red. Natural works best early in the season. As the fish sit more in the harbor and the river the pink and the red will work better. After applying the cure shake the bag for five minutes. I will then add the other loaf of skein and repeat the same amount of cure to the new added loaf.
Less is more when it comes to curing, especially with the Fire Cure. Fire Cure is a strong cure. You don’t need a lot. Keep in mind, when you first use the Fire Cure the eggs are going to juice out. This is what is supposed to happen and normal. As the process continues the eggs will reabsorb the juice.
At this point let the eggs rest in the bag for six to 12 hours. Then remove eggs from the bag and let sit on a piece of cardboard for 45 minutes. This gets all the remaining juice off the eggs.
I will re-bag the eggs and lightly coat the eggs with Natural BorX O Fire. Then shake the bag and let it sit for six to 12 more hours. At this point they are ready to fished.
Bonus Tip: I use a piece of skein slightly larger than a 50-cent piece. Salmon are not afraid to eat large bait and in our off-color water a large profile is important.
Editor’s Note: Kyle Deavers operates Big Boy Fishing. For more information on his guided Wisconsin salmon trips please visit https://www.facebook.com/Bigboyfishing.