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When fishing with bait specificaly for Chinook Salmon - bait (Anchovy & Herring) preparation is of the upmost importance in terms of consistency in presentation, presentation adjustment as conditions change and longevity of the bait - that is, how long it can fish at optimal performance before deterioration from approach to acheiving these much needed bait attributes is "Salt Curing" or "Dry Brine"......

Bait Curing Method and Formula

  • when curing bait, it is important to thaw the herring or anchovy thoroughly - when salt is added to frozen product it imposes a quick temperature drop and slows the thaw process which can lead to an uneven cure and even damage to the bait itself

  • once your bait is thawed - evenly coat the bait with coarse pickling salt (i prefer pickling salt - as it provides the best curing action at an even rate) till completely covered in the bait tray or brine bucket - it is helpful to have the bait tray perferrated to allow any excess water to drain off to ensure a fully penetrating salt cure

  • for anchovy a full cure is approximately 8 hour

  • for large herring a full cure should take approximately 12 hours

  • once your bait has reached full cure - store the bait in a premade brine solution

  • your brine ratio should be 1:3 that is - 1 part salt to 3 parts non-chlorinated water


  • when the cured bait is stored in the brine it helps to keep its scale shine, prevents salt burn and ensures the bait stays ridged and prepared for use

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