How to Cure Salmon Roe for Bait

by Jaimie Zinski

Salmon roe is made from cured eggs of the female salmon. The female salmon is harvested right before spawning, as this is the time when its egg sac is filled with large, unfertilized eggs. The eggs are cut from the sac, and the remainder of the female fish is processed. You can create salmon roe for fish bait at home by either purchasing the entire female salmon and removing the egg sac or by purchasing the egg sac alone.

Items you will need

  • Salmon skein
  • Distilled water
  • Colander
  • Large plastic buckets
  • 1 cup salt
  • Cheesecloth
  • Paper towel
  • Zippered plastic bags
Step 1

Rinse the sac, or skein, with distilled water to remove any blood or other matter.

Step 2

Cut a small slit into the clear membrane surrounding the sac. Remove the membrane with your fingers and throw it away. You will uncover several membranes that contain clusters of the salmon eggs.

Step 3

Place the salmon eggs, and their membranous coverings, into a colander. Rinse the eggs with distilled water and manually remove the membranes. Continue to rinse the eggs until they are completely loose and free of any membrane.

Step 4

Allow the remaining liquid to drain from the eggs, and pour them into a large plastic bucket.

Step 5

Pour 1 gallon warm water and 1 cup salt into the bowl. Stir until the salt is well incorporated in the water.

Step 6

Allow the salmon eggs to cure in the salty water for 30 minutes, then pour them into a single layer onto a piece of cheesecloth.

Step 7

Wrap the salmon eggs in the cheesecloth. Gently squeeze the cloth to remove any remaining liquid from the eggs, paying attention not to damage the eggs. Hold the cheesecloth over a separate bucket to collect the draining water.

Step 8

Pour the drained eggs onto a piece of paper towel. Spread the eggs into a single layer and allow them to dry for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 9

Examine the eggs. If they are still slightly moist, allow them to dry longer. Otherwise, pour the firm eggs into a zippered plastic bag. The salmon roe is now acceptable bait.