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Matt
If you're reading this, welcome to my WALakes blog. Follow my antics and fishing escapades and feel free to ask any questions you may have either here, or VIA Private message.
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The weekend in review. Skykomish chromage.
Well, we finally found ourselves in "the right place at the right time" as seems to be the case with the finicky Snohomish system fish. After many hours getting skunked, and many days searching for fish, we finally dialed things in this weekend and found some CHROME. In total we caught 6 large fish, a mix of springers, dollies, and steel. All dollies were released unharmed.

Joe was the all-star on Saturday, landing both of these beautiful fish.

Springer!



I also purchased a brand new Gibbs knotless net at Harbor Marine on Friday afternoon. We got a chance to break it in, as you can see from the pics!









Sunday we hit the water late expecting a mid morning bite. We couldn't have been more right. First drift through the slot and we picked up a nice dolly (no pix). It was in the EXACT same spot as the day before, and we think it may have actually been the same fish!

I almost bonked it and threw it in the box just on principle, what a stupid (or hungry) fish!

The very next pass yeilded a nice C&R'ed cutthroat, and then the following pass FISH ON!!



It was a hot fish and gave us a full areal display with 5 or 6 somersaulting jumps. Nice springer!





BOnK!





A few passes later, I hooked up with this downriver buck and put the C&R net to good use! Kept him in the water and got him back safe and sound.



And a few more passes earned us another for the box:









We really worked for these fish, and had many skunked days from the opener until now. We just happened to be in the exact right place at the exact right time. All fish on Sunday were caught within an hour, and after that short bite, we didn't get another hit all day.

It just goes to show when you work for it, you earn days like this.
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Posted by: Matt
Posted: 06-26-2011, 08:12 PM
Categories: General
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The last egg cure you will ever use!
This is copied from a post I made previously in the forum.  I recently tried a new egg brine this year for steelhead, and after using them for a season let me tell you, THIS IS THE CURE.  This cure has put over 20 steelies in the box for my friends and I this season! We continue to fish with full confidence while drifting roe for steel!! Don't believe me?  Try it!!

From the forum:

Just put up a huge batch of eggs today, 18 skeins.  I like to brine my eggs in a liquid brine, although I have done them in just dry borax before as well.  Generally, I like to brine them fresh within 48 hours of coming out of the fish, but this batch was a bunch of coho and chum eggs I have been saving up for steelhead and they were all previously frozen.  I have found that freezing eggs prior to curing is OK, but there are a few rules to follow.  First, make sure they are really dry before you freeze them, and wrap the clean/dry skeins in paper towels before sticking them in the freezer.  The MOST IMPORTANT part about using frozen eggs is to thaw them SLOWLY.  The refrigerator is best, and it should take about 2 days for them to become completely thawed.  If you thaw them on the counter or at room temp they instantly go to mush and you ruin your bait.  The brine recipe that I use is simple, and very effective.  

WEAR LATEX OR NYLON GLOVES WHEN HANDLING YOUR BAIT!

1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Non-Iodized Salt
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
4 Cups of Water (I use distilled, but tap water is fine)
And optionally you can use bait dye, Kool-Aid, or Food coloring to add color.  I generally go with Bright Red or Fluorescent Pink, but green can be killer sometimes.  For this batch I used a pro-cure product called "Bad Azz Bait Dye"  it is a product enhanced with UV and I am excited to try it out, I used about 2 good squirts of the liquid and it dyed the eggs nicely.

Start by butterflying your eggs down the middle, but don't cut through the membrane on the other side.  I cut the skeins into a few pieces, and wait to cut them into bait sized chunks after they are dried. Mix all of those ingredients in a pot, and bring them to a boil stirring frequently to dissolve the granulated ingredients, I use a whisk and stir almost continuously until it boils.  Remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool to room temp.  Add your eggs and soak for 15-30 minutes, I generally do about 25 minutes and stir the batch about every 5 minutes.  Strain them out, and place on newspaper to dry.  Drying time varies to your liking and is between 8 to 24 hours.  After drying roll them in dry borax for ease of handling.  The loose eggs left over are great for spawn sacs and the loose eggs will REALLY take the color from the dye I have found.  


Before Cure:


After Cure and 6 hours of drying:



The proof is in the puddin!



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Posted by: Matt
Posted: 03-06-2011, 09:31 PM
Categories: Techniques