By: Scott Feist
As everybody knows I’ve been a true Pautzke fan for many years, even before I was on the pro staff. Fire Cure has never let me down. In hard times it always catches fish. When curing eggs I always use Fire Cure as my base, but I do multiple things to enhance the cure. To me, a good egg has great scent and bright colors that last and do not wash out. In this blog I’m going to show you exactly how to achieve that every time you cure eggs.
As repetitive as it sounds you always want to start with good eggs. Good eggs meaning you are curing them ideally the day you caught them, or the day after if you must. Most important, it’s imperative that you remove the blood and the slime off the eggs. To end up with a good end you have to start with a good egg.
I start with butterflying my eggs open. This isn’t’ rocket science. I use a knife or a pair of scissors and split the eggs open so the cure can penetrate better. Once I have my eggs butterflied the first step of my curing process is to apply Red Fire Cure to the eggs. I get asked often how much cure to use. There really isn’t a correct answer. I like to coat the eggs thoroughly, especially in between each flap of the skein.
I apply Fire Cure on both sides of the skein. After I have my eggs covered in Fire Cure I use a liberal amount of Fire Power (krill powder for those who haven’t used it) on top of the cure itself. I shake it all over the eggs.
My next step is to add Red Fire Dye. What I do is I grab the bottle of dye and squirt a line down each skein of eggs. You can’t use too much of this dye. As a matter of fact I’ll squirt some in the jar I’m going to put the eggs in as well.
What I’ve found through years playing with different formulas of Pautzke product is the most important thing to have eggs that fish consistently is having eggs that hold a bright color. Fire Cure by itself will hold a nice red egg color, but for more longevity adding the Red Fire Dye only enhances the roe, therefore paving the way for more opportunity to catch fish.
This is where the fun part has been in the last year. Pautzke’s new partnership with Atlas Mike’s has enabled me to play with the best scents in the world. As we all know salmon are a finicky fish at certain times. Having different scents helps me daily catching salmon for my clients. I use an array of the Atlas Mike’s Glo Oils on my eggs, but my number one is the Krill Glo Oil. I know I’m putting Fire Power (which is krill powder) on top, but the Krill Glo Oil also penetrates into the eggs as they are curing. It’s kind of a double whammy – and it works every day so I keep doing it.
Krill seems to be my favorite, but I do use other Atlas Mike’s scents including Crawfish, Sand Shrimp, Sardine and others from the Glo Oil series. You can experiment with this on your own.
From here I put my eggs into jars. I prefer the jar over Ziplocs. Once I set my eggs in the jar I like to let them sit out of the fridge for a half hour (or 45 minutes) to let the liquid blend. During this time I’ll tumble the jar to make sure the ingredients work their way into the skein before I leave them in fridge for multiple days.
From there I prefer to leave my eggs in cure for three days, rolling them around at least once a day in the fridge. At this point you have beautiful eggs that are bright red and scented perfectly. These eggs are ready to fish, but they are wetter than I prefer. What I do to pull some of the moisture out of the eggs is take them out of the jar and sprinkle on a layer of Natural BorX O Fire. This step sucks up some of the moisture and firms the egg up. I prefer to coat both sides of the skein with the BorX O Fire.
As repetitive as this sounds I do sprinkle another layer of Fire Power on the eggs. If you can’t tell salmon like krill.
The last step is to lay the individual skeins on top of a paper towel and roll it into a burrito. From there I put the burrito into a gallon Ziploc (two to three skeins at a time) and then place them back in the fridge for 24 hours. In 24 hours you’ll notice the paper towel absorbs the extra moisture. I’ll replace the paper towel. It’s what I call a diaper change.
At that point I date the bag with the Sharpie. I prefer to let these eggs sit in the fridge for five to seven days, with 10 being optimal.
I understand this is an extensive cure and maybe more complicating than some, but this is how I cure my eggs and make a living catching salmon doing it. A few notes that I‘ve learned through the years:
*Scent is important. Don’t overlook it.
*The egg must retain a bright color and for a long time
*To get strong scent and vibrant color, age it properly.
Like a fine wine, eggs that start to break down tend to fish better than eggs that haven’t. That being said I understand people don’t always have 10 to 12 days to wait to fish eggs. These eggs are ready to fish before that. However, the longer you can wait the better the final cure egg in my option.
*Pautzke products mentioned in this blog are available at Northern California Sportsman’s Warehouse, Fisherman’s Warehouse, Bass Pro, Walmart and most sporting goods stores.
Editor’s Note: Scott Feist operates Feisty Fishing Guide Service. For more info on his guided Northern California salmon trips please visit: https://www.facebook.com/FeistyFishGuideService