Skein

Skein2

Fresh salmon and trout eggs tied into sacs or bags are great steelhead bait. A single egg fished on a small hook is great bait too. If you plan to keep the eggs or tied sacs for an extended period of time, they must undergo a curing process. Some anglers believe that you can freeze the eggs without any necessary cure. I do not.

Keep in mind that many angers successfully fish with skein eggs.  You get these early season eggs from steelhead or salmon that you catch, or you can get them by asking other anglers who do not use skein or stop at the bait shop fish cleaning station.  The PA bait shops require a cash donation for a small bag of skein.

Skein1The skein will be in two egg clusters located inside the fish adjacent to the stomach. You can cut the cluster into small pieces and fish with them.  The downside is they are messy and do not stay on the hook after a few casts.  A better way is to tie the skein into egg sacs.

Remove the skeins, lay them on a towel/flat surface and use a spoon to scrape the eggs free of the membrane that forms the skein. For trout eggs, try to scrape a "sac sized" clump of eggs each time you "spoon" the skein. 

Skein3

For salmon, scrape 3 to 5 eggs free each time.  I like to tie the fresh eggs into sacs and fish them immediately.  Leftover egg sacs from a fishing trip or eggs tied for use later must undergo the curing process before freezing.The egg sac cure is easy.

You can drift skein sacs under a float or bottom fish with or without styrofoam floaters in the sacs.