Cure’s Guide for Perfect Bait
What you will need:
Remove the eggs from the fish immediately and put them in a bag on ice. When eggs sit inside of a dead fish, the blood coagulates in the skein and it is very hard to remove. If you are in a situation where you can’t remove the eggs, then you should bleed the fish so that the blood does not settle in the eggs.
Your eggs should never be rinsed with water. Water will weaken the scent and the milking ability, and you will end up with wet bait. The skeins should be wiped clean with a paper towel, and they should be at room temperature when you start. If you have a closed skein of eggs, then cut one side of the skein open (lengthwise) so that it opens up like a butterfly when it spreads it’s wings. If you have an open skein of eggs, you can skip this step. Once the skeins are butterflied, you should cut them into bait sized pieces. Remember that it is easy to make big bait smaller, but it is impossible to make small bait bigger.
The pieces should be laid on paper towels. When they are all cut up, you should lay some paper towels on top of them and dab away any excess moisture.
Pick up one bait in one hand, place it in the bowl, and using your other hand, “flour” it like you would if you were flouring chicken. Make sure that you get Quick Cure in all the little crevices. The bait should be coated with the cure. Use the hand you used to flour the bait to pick up the bait and place it in your juicing container. By using different hands (one hand only touches uncured eggs, the other only touches eggs with cure on them), you will keep your Quick Cure in the bowl drier, and you will be able to cure more baits with less cure.
When the container is full, attach the lid with NO holes, turn the container upside down, and set it aside. Be sure to remember what time you were finished. Let the container sit for 45 minutes to one hour, then pick up the container, turn it right side up, rotate it around several times, and set it down right side up. Then, let it sit for another 45 minutes to one hour.
When the eggs are done juicing, remove the lid with no holes, and replace it with the lid with holes drilled in it. Turn the container upside down and let the juice drain out of it. If you are doing a large amount of eggs, you may want to use a large pan with a screen that is elevated so the juice can drain off of the eggs. If you are doing a small amount of eggs, you can drain them directly into an empty sink or use a 9 x 13 baking pan with a small cooling rack (the same kind you would use to cool cookies when they come out of the oven). If you drain them directly into the sink, make sure that no water is allowed to touch the container or eggs. Let the eggs drain for at least 12 hours. The longer they drain, the drier your bait. If you want really dry bait, you can rotate the eggs while they are draining. This will add air in between the baits and will make a drier finished product. Once they are the consistency that you prefer, then you are finished.
You should not refrigerate your eggs for at least 48 hours. If you are not going to fish with your eggs in the near future, then you can store them in a vacuum-sealed glass jar. You should not use plastic to store them in because the chemicals in Quick Cure will absorb the plastic smell. The sealed jars can then be stored in a cool dark place. They do not need to be refrigerated or frozen once they are sealed.