Please welcome Willem Bome to AAA….

Posted: February 1, 2012 by Hellcat in Fish Reports, Gear Fishing, Tips & Advice, Tutorials
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Since the mid 1970’s Willem Bome has been pursuing many species of fish through out the Pacific Northwest. Willem was born and raised in Portland Oregon. A couple of Jr High school teachers took him on his first salmon and steelhead trips on the Oregon coast and after that his passion for catching fish drove it to an obsession. Having worked in the fishing industry for the last 10 years and appearing on Anglers West Willem has enjoyed speaking at several local fishing clubs like Southwest Washington Anglers, Northwest Steelheaders and has hosted several seminars at the old Sportsmans Warehouse. Willem enjoys sharing with others what he has learned in over 30 years of fishing experences. Willem recently named the new line of fishing rods for Feather Styx Rods coming out this spring called CHROME. He lives in Washougal, Washington with his wife Christine. They Can be found fishing through out the Pacific Northwest several days a week.


“I LOVE MY BERRIES” by Willem Bome

The best egg cures in the world start off with the best eggs. I always tell people who ask me about egg cures if you had a Oscar that was made from chicken shit it is still a chicken shit Oscar it’s not a piece of gold. That is to say if you start your curing process with less than a quality egg how can you expect for that cure to perform well out on the river. Or better yet fishing with other people around how do you expect to catch fish while others are using a better quality eggs. A Salmon sense of smell is incredible they can smell in parts per billion. They smell the different minerals in the water, that’s how they are able to find their way back to the rivers that they were hatched from. As a salmon enters the fresh water it goes through an acclimation process and cant digest the food they have been feeding on their whole lives. They are also going through a changing process that includes reproductive organs and a change to their body’s to defend their spawning grounds. So the farther it gets from the ocean the more its body breaks down the nutrients to its flesh, changing its flesh color from bright orange to a pail white. I like to think of it this way, I smoke cigarettes and after a day I want one but after a couple days I am going crazy and after a week well you get the idea. Salmon and steelhead also have these cravings and when fish first enter our rivers close to the ocean they crave sweet stuff and the farther away from the ocean they crave salt. So depending upon where we are going to use our eggs to fish will determine what we want to put into our eggs. The Steps below will help you to start off with a quality egg before you start the curing process. The first step is one of the most important ones. Ware a pair of gloves, the oil’s in our hands can be transferred to your eggs when you first touch them. And only god knows what they have touched before we touch those eggs. To insure a quality egg is to bleed our fish as soon as we land the fish. By sticking your knife into the mouth of the fish and cutting across the top of its gills next to the roof of the mouth. The blood will quickly pump out of the fish. I then hang the fish upside down until most of the blood has dripped out. After a short period of time I open up the fish and remove the eggs without letting them touch any water, place the eggs in a gallon plastic zip lock bag and place them into a cooler as soon as possible. Remember that eggs double in bacteria every 24 hours so this is something that needs to be dealt with as soon as you can. I know how it is after a day on the river, you’re tired and as soon as you get home you take care of your fish and now you would like to sit down. So you through your eggs into the fridge and they sit there for a couple of days. Meanwhile the quality of your eggs goes down by the hour. By curing your eggs right away you have stopped the bacteria from developing. If eggs are allowed to touch the water they begin to change very quickly. At first they will have a translucent quality but as the day drags on they will become cloudy. By flipping your eggs to the skin side up you can massage the eggs with a soup spoon to the edge of the blood line as you do this the blood line will become full. The next step will be to take a pair of scissors and cut the excess skein from the eggs. Take a paper towel and blot dry any remaining blood. So after the blood has been removed we are now ready to butterfly the skeins. To do this take the scissors, start on the one end insert the scissors into the skein and cut towards the top, but without cutting all the way through the skeins. I like to think about it like you would if you were to butterfly a steak. Then place the skein on a paper towel skin side down and allow for the excess fluids to drain off for 15 minutes or so. At this point and time you need to, make a choice do you want the eggs cut in pieces or the skein left whole. I like to work with whole skeins, depending on what species of salmon we are fishing for I like to use different size bait’s so I cut them up when I am getting ready to go fishing. I have had amazing success using Pro-cure products, they have a great selection of cures and additives for the curing process. Whether or not you are fishing at the coast or inland they have the base’s covered. You will want to find a place like the garage that you can do your curing process; one of the keys is that the garage is a cool place and we want to keep the eggs cool, or the basement would work. Because egg cures have dye’s in them and you don’t want to have a pink counter top or worse yet a very upset wife. I went to my local store and bought a small 4ft table plastic table with folding legs so I would have a nice work station that I can put up after I am done. You will need some paper towels that are unscented and a couple of jars to put the finished product in. I also bought some white tags so I can identify which cure is in which jar. For argument sake let’s start with a bottle of double hot red stuff by pro- cure, i start by picking up one skein with the skin side touching my hand and allow the skein to open up. Take your cure and sprinkle it into the folds of the skein, making sure that as you sprinkle your cure you cover ever part of the eggs. I add cure to my eggs like I would if I was seasoning a dry rub on a steak. Place the eggs into a gallon zip lock bag and allow the eggs to juice, after an hour turn the bag over and allow the juice to run back through the eggs. I repeat this process every hour until I go to bed, and continue this process several times the next day. The bag should be full of juice if you have added the right amount of cure. The eggs will start to reabsorb the juice so at this time I will set the eggs up for the species that I am fishing for. An example would be for salmon at the coast I will add some sugar and pheromones. This process of osmosis will be a key into catching fish as the eggs start to bleed out into the water, releasing the additives we have added. It will take several days for the eggs to reabsorb the juice, I then take the eggs out of the bags and place them on some mesh to allow them to air dry for about an hour or until tacky. Depending upon what type of fishing you are going to do will determine how you will want to complete this process. If you’re going to back bounce your eggs I will cover them in borax, but if you’re going to fish them under a bobber I like them wet. I look at it this way if you had a dirt clod and dropped it into the water it would go to the bottom and very slowly dissolve, but if you had a glass of mud and poured it into the water it would spread out and turn the water muddy. We want our eggs to bleed out into the water and spread the scent of our eggs. I then take the eggs and place them into a jar and cover them with some mule train borax, the borax will help lock out the air and keep the top of your eggs from getting freezer burnt. I like the quart size jars and I usually fish a couple jars when I go, but I don’t refreeze them again. I will keep them in the fridge until used. Curing eggs is like anything if you want it done right you need to put some love into it, and I love my eggs. I hope this will help you to catch more fish your next time. Until then Bobber Down!

  1. Fantastic tutorial Willem. Thanks so much for taking the time to share that quality, detailed information with us.

  2. daheller says:

    Great lesson on egg curing. Impressive the amount of time that you put into your eggs, you are an artist. Sal

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