The Ultimate Guide to Curing Steelhead Eggs for Fishing Success

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Steelhead fishing is a popular pastime for anglers across the world. The thrill of the catch and the beauty of the surroundings make it an exciting activity to pursue. But catching steelhead isn’t always easy, and it takes a lot of skill and preparation. One of the most important aspects of steelhead fishing is using the right bait, and there’s nothing better than using cured steelhead eggs to catch these elusive fish.

If you’re new to steelhead fishing or just looking to improve your technique, this guide is for you. In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to know about curing steelhead eggs, from the benefits to the different methods, to pro tips for curing at home. We’ll also cover how to store your cured eggs and the best baits and lures to use when fishing with them.

With this ultimate guide, you’ll be able to take your steelhead fishing to the next level and increase your chances of success. So, let’s dive in and learn everything you need to know about curing steelhead eggs.

Ready to catch more steelhead than ever before? Keep reading to discover the ultimate guide to curing steelhead eggs for fishing success!

Discover the Benefits of Curing Steelhead Eggs

Curing steelhead eggs is a popular technique among anglers who want to increase their chances of success on the water. There are many benefits to curing steelhead eggs, including:

Longer Lasting Bait

By curing steelhead eggs, you can extend the life of your bait, making it more effective for a longer period of time. The curing process helps to preserve the eggs, preventing them from spoiling quickly and keeping them on the hook where they belong. This means you can spend less time changing out bait and more time catching fish.

Increased Attraction

Cured steelhead eggs also tend to be more attractive to fish than fresh or frozen eggs. The curing process can enhance the scent and flavor of the eggs, making them more enticing to nearby fish. This can be especially helpful when fishing in areas with low visibility, where the scent of the bait can be the difference between a catch and a miss.


One of the great things about curing steelhead eggs is that it opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to bait presentation. Cured eggs can be used in a variety of ways, including as bait on a hook, on a jig, or even as an additive to other baits. This versatility can make it easier to target specific species of fish or to adapt to changing fishing conditions.

Ready to give it a try? Keep reading to learn more about the different methods of curing steelhead eggs and find the technique that works best for you.

The Different Methods of Curing Steelhead Eggs

When it comes to curing steelhead eggs, there are a variety of methods to choose from. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks, and some are better suited for certain situations than others. Here are two of the most common methods:

Method 1: Borax Cure

The borax cure is a simple and effective way to preserve steelhead eggs. It involves mixing borax and sugar in a 2:1 ratio, coating the eggs in the mixture, and then refrigerating them for several hours. This method is popular because it is easy to do at home and produces eggs that are tough enough to withstand the rigors of fishing. The downside is that the eggs can sometimes be too tough, which can make them less attractive to fish.

Method 2: Pautzke Fire Cure

The Pautzke Fire Cure is a more complex method that involves using a variety of ingredients to create a custom cure. The ingredients can include borax, sugar, sodium nitrite, and other additives. This method produces eggs that are softer and more pliable than the borax cure, making them more attractive to fish. However, it can be more difficult to get the mixture just right, and it requires more time and effort than the borax cure.

Other Methods of Curing Steelhead Eggs

  • Method 3: Salt Brine Cure: This method involves soaking the eggs in a mixture of salt and water, which draws out the excess moisture and helps to preserve the eggs. The downside is that the eggs can sometimes become too salty and less attractive to fish.
  • Method 4: Pro-Cure Egg Cure: This is a commercial cure that is easy to use and produces consistent results. It involves mixing the cure with water, soaking the eggs in the mixture, and then refrigerating them for several hours. The downside is that it can be expensive compared to other methods.

Choosing the Right Method for Your Needs

Choosing the right method for curing steelhead eggs depends on a variety of factors, including your personal preferences, the type of fishing you plan to do, and the conditions you will be fishing in. Take the time to experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for you. By doing so, you can increase your chances of success on the water and enjoy a more satisfying fishing experience.

Pro Tips for Curing Steelhead Eggs at Home

Curing your own steelhead eggs at home can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be a little intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Follow these pro tips to ensure that your next batch of cured steelhead eggs is a success!

First, be sure to use only the freshest eggs. This will help ensure that your eggs cure properly and taste great. Second, choose your cure wisely. There are many different types of cures available, so it’s important to choose one that matches your personal taste preferences. Finally, take your time and follow the instructions carefully. Curing steelhead eggs is a delicate process, and rushing through it can result in less-than-ideal results.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Cure

  • When choosing a cure, consider the type of fish you’re using. Some cures work better for certain types of fish than others.
  • Experiment with different cures to find one that matches your personal taste preferences.
  • Consider making your own custom cure by combining different spices and seasonings.

Tip #2: Use the Right Equipment

  • Use a non-reactive container, such as glass or plastic, to avoid any unwanted flavors being imparted into your eggs.
  • Invest in a quality thermometer to ensure that your cure is at the right temperature.
  • Use a fine mesh strainer to remove any excess cure from your eggs.

Tip #3: Be Patient

  • Let your eggs cure for the recommended amount of time. Rushing the process can result in less-than-ideal results.
  • Be sure to check on your eggs regularly during the curing process to ensure that they’re curing properly.
  • Once your eggs are cured, be patient and let them air-dry for a few hours before packaging or using.

By following these pro tips, you’ll be well on your way to curing delicious steelhead eggs right in your own kitchen. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start curing!

How to Store Your Cured Steelhead Eggs

After successfully curing your steelhead eggs, it’s important to store them properly to maintain their quality and freshness. Here are some tips to help you store your cured steelhead eggs:

Keep them in an airtight container: An airtight container, such as a mason jar or vacuum-sealed bag, will prevent moisture and air from getting in, which can cause spoilage.

Refrigerate or freeze: Depending on how soon you plan to use your eggs, you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer. If you plan to use them within a week or two, refrigeration is fine. If you want to store them for longer, freezing is the best option.


  • Make sure your eggs are completely dry before storing them.
  • Place the eggs in the airtight container and store in the refrigerator at 34-38°F (1-3°C).
  • Do not stack the containers on top of each other as this may cause the eggs to break.
  • Consume within two weeks for optimal freshness.


  • After the curing process, let the eggs dry and then place them in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and store it in the freezer at 0°F (-18°C) or lower.
  • When you’re ready to use the eggs, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Once thawed, use the eggs within a week for optimal freshness.

Avoid excessive handling: Cured steelhead eggs are delicate and can easily break, so it’s best to handle them as little as possible to avoid damage. Also, avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or heat, which can cause spoilage.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your cured steelhead eggs stay fresh and delicious for as long as possible.

The Best Baits and Lures for Steelhead Fishing with Cured Eggs

If you’re planning to go steelhead fishing with your freshly cured eggs, choosing the right bait or lure can make all the difference in your success. Here are some of the best options to consider:

Egg Clusters: Egg clusters mimic the look and scent of natural steelhead eggs and can be fished on a variety of rigs. They are a popular choice for drift fishing and float fishing in rivers and streams.

Plastic Worms and Grubs

  • Worms: Worms in natural colors like brown and red can be a great option for steelhead fishing, especially in clear water conditions. They can be fished on a jig head or Carolina rig.
  • Grubs: Grubs in bright colors like pink and chartreuse can be effective for steelhead fishing in murkier water conditions. They can be fished on a jig head or drop shot rig.

Spinners and Spoons

  • Spinners: Spinners in silver or gold with a single hook can be a great option for steelhead fishing in faster-moving water. They can be fished by casting and retrieving or drifting.
  • Spoons: Spoons in bright colors like orange and red can be effective for steelhead fishing in darker water conditions. They can be fished by casting and retrieving or jigging.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing with egg patterns can be a highly effective technique for steelhead fishing. Popular patterns include Glo-Bugs, Estaz Eggs, and Blood Dots. These can be fished with a floating or sinking line and retrieved slowly or drifted.

When choosing your bait or lure, consider the water conditions, the behavior of the fish, and your own personal fishing style. Experiment with different options until you find the one that works best for you. Good luck out there!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to cure steelhead eggs for fishing?

The best way to cure steelhead eggs for fishing is to first clean and remove the membrane from the eggs. Then, mix your desired cure with the eggs and let them sit in the fridge for 24-48 hours. Finally, rinse the eggs with cold water and let them dry. The most effective cures for steelhead eggs are borax-based or sugar-salt cures, as they preserve the eggs and add attractive scents to attract fish.

Can I cure steelhead eggs with natural ingredients?

Yes, you can cure steelhead eggs with natural ingredients such as brown sugar, salt, and herbs. Natural cures can be just as effective as commercial cures, but it is important to note that they may not last as long and may require more careful storage to prevent spoilage. Additionally, natural cures may not provide as much variety in terms of scents and colors as commercial cures.

How long can cured steelhead eggs be stored?

Cured steelhead eggs can be stored in the fridge for up to several weeks or even months, depending on the type of cure used and how well they are stored. To ensure the longest shelf life, store the eggs in an airtight container and keep them in the coldest part of the fridge. It is also important to check the eggs regularly for any signs of spoilage or mold.

Can I use cured steelhead eggs for other types of fish?

Yes, cured steelhead eggs can be used for other types of fish such as salmon and trout. The scents and colors of the cured eggs can be attractive to many types of fish, making them a versatile bait option. However, it is important to note that different fish may prefer different scents and colors, so it may be necessary to experiment with different cures to find the best fit for the type of fish you are targeting.

Can I freeze cured steelhead eggs?

Yes, you can freeze cured steelhead eggs for long-term storage. It is recommended to vacuum seal the eggs before freezing to prevent freezer burn and to label the container with the date and type of cure used. When thawing the eggs, be sure to do so slowly in the fridge to prevent any damage to the eggs. Frozen cured eggs can last up to six months in the freezer.

Can I reuse a cure for steelhead eggs?

No, it is not recommended to reuse a cure for steelhead eggs. Once the eggs have been cured, the cure will have absorbed moisture and bacteria from the eggs, making it less effective for future use. Additionally, reusing a cure can increase the risk of spoilage and contamination. It is best to mix a fresh batch of cure for each use.

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