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How do you prepare spawn/skein?


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I'm looking for all your secret recipes/guides on how to properly prepare spawn/skein. I purchased a good amount of store bought last year without much luck. I'd like not do that this year. I'd like to prepare a decent amount of individual eggs for whitefish off the piers & of course some skein too for some winter steelhead action. So, if you guys could newb this down for me that would be great. Do I want king eggs? Steelhead eggs? Both? What recipes for preparing it are best?

Thanks in advance!

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Id collect as many diff species eggs as you can as they all have their day. You can use store bought cures or make your own. I use store bought cures and they work just fine. Just follow directions on package.

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If you ask 5 guys what their egg cures are, you'll get 5 different answers.

The first thing with is eggs, are their quality. Full skein and loose eggs that are fully devolped, are the best. Eggs must be blood free for a porper cure to work. Bleed the fish out as soon as possible, when the fish dies the acids inside the fish's body tend to start the break-down process. Also, careful handling of eggs is a must also. If you leave the eggs in the fish, don't "slam" the fish around, that will break eggs and you don't want to have the "egg goo" all over the other good eggs. Do NOT rinse with tap water, as the water can contain floride, small traces of bleech, and other chemicals that can break eggs down really fast. Always rinse off with lake or river water, or water that has been RO treated with no chemicals. Some guys like to river cure their loose eggs for 15 minutes or so, it gets the blood, slime and sand off and harderns the outside of the egg.

As far as the store bought cures go, any name brand works. I like Pro Cure myself, and use the Wizard line for the majority of my cures. I've found that steelhead like a "sweeter" type cure, and Kings on certain days. I use thirds of Wizard, white sugar and borax, 20 mule team brand. Again, you have to experiment what works best for you. And, too much cure and turn fish off as well. Their are wet and dry cures for eggs as well as brines. Some guys like mineral oil and anise scent with their eggs, it's almost endless what one can do with eggs. Pro cure now has a UV cure that I've heard works really well. I've yet to try it. You want a high quality egg that stays on the hook, milks out properly, and that catches fish.

I should say that some days fish just plain prefer uncured eggs rather than treated. Always have both on hand. You have have the skein in bigger pieces and cut them to what the fish prefer size peices when you get on the water, some days they like bigger pieces and some days smaller.

That's all I can think of for now, I might add some later..

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I don't buy egg cure anymore. With king eggs, if they are in the skein I strip them out of the skein and dry them off and the put in a ziploc and cover with 20 mule team borax and that's it. They will keep in the fridge for about a year. With steelhead spawn I never cure them. I just freeze them I small batches just enough for a couple days of fishing. For eggs for whitefish I cure the same way and just boil them until they will stay on the hook.

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I don't buy egg cure anymore. With king eggs, if they are in the skein I strip them out of the skein and dry them off and the put in a ziploc and cover with 20 mule team borax and that's it. They will keep in the fridge for about a year. With steelhead spawn I never cure them. I just freeze them I small batches just enough for a couple days of fishing. For eggs for whitefish I cure the same way and just boil them until they will stay on the hook.

What kind of eggs do you use for whitefish? I bought eggs last year for whitefish and to be honest, I got no clue what spices they came from. It was the only luck with purchased eggs that I had.

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I don't think it matters what species the eggs come from. But if you think about when you are fish whitefish in the fall the whitefish are keyed in on salmon eggs. I don't use steelhead eggs for whites because I don't get very many in the spring to use them for whites. But I use to get eggs from a guy up in the U.P. Of Michigan that had a special recipe for eggs for whites but he died and the recipe is gone forever. He used steelhead eggs.

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Best for whitefish is loose king spawn and then boil them. It makes them hard and you can hook them. We catch some white fish with steelie spawn from Jan to March but boiled king eggs do better then and in the fall.

For steelies, I like king spawn in the fall and steelie spawn in winter and spring. I never use cure, I always use my spawn fresh or fresh frozen if I want to store it. It milks out and is goey but works great.

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bring a pot of water to a boil add salt till the water wont absorb any more. Add half that amount of sugar let it cool add jello for color. drop in loose eggs or chunks of skein till it floats. I am going to try fire brine this year as it has been getting rave reviews.

If it is from a steelhead in the river and it is loose eggs that are dropping. I fill a ziplock with the eggs (right then and there dont wait) and add river water till they bounce and not splat or stick when you try to bounce them. takes a few minutes. They hold up very well in a sack and milk well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I like to cure mine in a variety of colors and mixtures. We fish for trout thru the ice a lot and I like to have different colors down to see which they want more. Pautzke fire brine and borax o fire cures work awesome. I will add more sugar to a couple of bags to help sweeten the eggs up a bit or even add garlic to some as well.

I bleed the salmon if I plan on using the eggs, that helps to rid of any blood left in the skein. If I forget to bleed them, then I scrape the eggs out of the skein and use those eggs to tie in sacs.

Good luck

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ditto on what diztortion said..sometimes i dry them, sometimes i don't. Most of the time I leave them out a few hours on paper toweling to firm up a bit.

Building C's: When were the eggs "WET". When they first get cured in borax o fire, the bag gets real juicy, and after a day curing, the eggs absorb the liquid and get nice and plump.

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