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Curing Roe for cluster eggs

Here is the my simplest way to cure eggs using borax. Borax eggs work for both salmon and steelhead fishing.

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Pictures of egg curing borax process


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Here is my simplest method for curing eggs using a sulphite cure.

Pictures of egg curing using a custom blended Sodium Sulphite cure



Method #1 borax


When removing roe from a fish keep away from water. A quick rinse is ok to remove blood but will require a drying process to remove the extra moisture.  Never freeze eggs in water for later use. Always cure roe as soon as possible. Roe will keep in a refrigerator sealed in Ziploc bag for up to a week before curing, but I recommend curing as soon as possible for better quality.

  1. Place roe  in paper towels over night to drain
  2. Unwrap and place on news paper in skeins
  3. Cover with borax (get into seams of skeins) 
  4. To have colored eggs mix in  a small package of sugar free Jell-O (Optional step) or buy Procure instead of borax.  Dry food coloring can be added to the dry powder to get desired shades.
  5. Cut Into bait size pieces
  6. Cover in borax 
  7. Spread out individual baits on newspaper
  8. Let air dry until crust has appeared on one side
  9. Flip over baits until the form crust on top side again
  10. Place in container and cover with fresh borax
  11. Freeze or place in refrigerator up to two months 

To  thaw roe place in microwave for one minute (No longer or you will cook your eggs)

Your ready to fish

Method #2 sodium sulfite

This method doesn't require drying. Produces red colored eggs.

  1. cut bait into fishing size clusters
  2. place in bag with sodium sulfite (purchase a any photo shop)
  3. shake until all clusters are covered
  4. place a layer of sodium sulfite on bottom of container
  5. alternate layers between clusters and sodium sulfite until container is full.
  6. refrigerate until ready to use

Method #3 sugar, salt, borax

This mixture also doesn't require drying. Mix equal parts salt, sugar, and borax to create mixture. Eggs will not reabsorb juice with this method so don't let them over cure in refrigerator. The salt is what toughens the eggs.  If you want to tougher clusters leave in refrigerator overnight. Then roll in a dry borax (for easier handling) and place in freezer.

  1. cut bait into fishing size clusters
  2. place in bag with mixture
  3. shake until all clusters are covered
  4. If you choose to not coat before placing in container... alternate layers between clusters and salt, sugar, borax mixture until container is full.
  5. Place in refrigerator place a layer of the mixture on bottom of container  over night or until cured to firmness desired
  6. After the eggs are of desired firmness .....Roll (shake in bag) in a straight borax before freezing. This will help reduce the stickiness from the sugar in the cure and mess on the river/lake.
  7. Freeze until ready to use


Brine for firming eggs 

Mix a brine that consist of one part sugar to 4 parts salt (cup) in a gallon of water. Stir brine until all dissolves. The eggs when cured will be firm not shriveled or rubbery. You can then go to one of the other methods to finish the clusters to your liking. 

Dried eggs

Place eggs on wax paper one layer deep and allow to air dry until rock hard or dried up. Store in air tight container until ready to prepare for trip. Tie the eggs up into roe bags and rinse thoroughly in water the day before you plan to fish. Place in refrigerator over night. Eggs will be reconstituted the next day and ready for use.

Petes cure

I just finished making about a dozen spawn bags.  I cured some steelhead spawn last spring for the first time.  I got the recipe off one of the fishing pages.  It works great.  I just kept them in a seal jar in the meat tray of the frig. 

  1. dissolve in a cup of water.  put the eggs in and let it stand for about 1 - 1/2 hours.  drain and store.  I mixed the stuff in a zip loc bag.  I also

  2. used warm water to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Thanks Pete for sending  your recipe

Letty and Rich Potters Egg Cure

Dissolve 1 cup borax, 1 cup salt, 1 cup sugar in a quart of water. May require heating to  fully dissolve solids. Then when mixture is luke warm, place eggs in solution and allow to brine for 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs. Remove eggs and allow to air dry until tacky. For colored eggs add a food coloring or cake dye to the mix.  This makes for some tough eggs and colored egg snot when the eggs wash away.