Skip to main content

Care Tips for Preserving, Rigging Spawn Bags

Few steelhead guides hit the ice without spawn; fish eggs from a steelhead, brown trout or salmon.

Care Tips for Preserving, Rigging Spawn Bags

Slip spawn bags onto a 1/64- to 1/32-ounce steelhead jig to keep them down in stronger current. (Photo by Matt Straw)

Few steelhead guides hit the ice without spawn, which is fish eggs from a steelhead, brown trout or salmon.

Sometimes it can be purchased, but the commercial product can be treated with who knows what. The best method is to take spawn from a harvested female in waters where natural reproduction does not occur.

The best way to present spawn is to tie it up in nylon netting from Atlas, Lee's or Redwing Tackle.

A number of quality methods exist for preserving spawn. Some anglers use sugar, salt or a combination of the two. Others use commercial products like Pautzke Fire Cure or borax.


After treating, spawn is tied in bags and frozen. I tie raw spawn into bags, place them in jars, cover with mineral oil and freeze. Mineral oil is inert and has no scent, but it takes on scent that is slowly released in the water to create a trail. It doesn't freeze hard like water, but gels.


Spawn bags preserved this way last for years. Sometimes steelhead prefer salmon spawn, and sometimes they prefer steelhead or brown trout eggs over all others. It’s best to have at least two versions along whenever possible.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Changing to the Chassis

Changing to the Chassis

Instead of being bedded in a one-piece stock, the Lupo's barreled action is secured to an aluminum chassis. It's one of the Lupo's most obvious departures from conventional deer rifle design. Why did Benelli choose a chassis? Learn about the benefits in episode five of Beyond the Rifle.

Get on Board: Species for Beginner Anglers

Get on Board: Species for Beginner Anglers

With so many people turning to fishing as a way to escape the stress and challenges that have arisen in recent months, we've teamed up with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and the National Marine Manufacturers Association to explore some of the freshwater fish species you can target if you're just getting on board with fishing. #TheWaterIsOpen #GetOnBoard

Where to Find Catchable Fish

Where to Find Catchable Fish

Here are some suggestions of general fishing locations to look for in your area if you're heading out on an adventure with your family soon.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now