When I saw the Atlas-Mike’s ad headline: “Unscrew The Cap. Pour It On (Trust Me It Gets Much Easier From Here),” I have to admit it made me smile.
For some, brining bait involves multiple steps and strict adherence to very specific criteria like non-iodized sea salt, distilled water, proper proportions of each and a dash of this-and-that as a bite enhancer. For others, the brine may start with a few inches of warm water in a 6-pack cooler, some heaping handfuls of noniodized salt and a drop or two of anise. The brine is left to sit for 8 hours so everything dissolves properly as the chlorine dissipates, then distilled water is added, herring and ice.
Brining herring is an imperfect science but several companies are working to take the guesswork out with results that are nothing short of stunning.
Mike’s Brite-N-Tight is one of those products. And, as the ad says, it’s easy. I cut at least 1,000 herring a season and have experimented with brine solutions for 30 years. Brite-N-Tight does everything I need it to do. Before I go to sleep, I take my 6-pack cooler, put an ice pack in the bottom of it, a 1-gallon Ziploc in the cooler and on top of the ice pack, pour the Brite-N-Tight in, put my frozen herring in the solution, seal it and go to bed. When I wake up my bait’s perfect and ready-to-fish! It takes a couple minutes – maybe.
And as the name implies, Brite-N-Tight brightens the bait so it has maximum flash, the scales stay put which further enhances the flash, and the baits “tighten” up so they fish more effectively and don’t tear on the hook.
Over the past couple years of fishing Bright-N-Tight I’ve experimented with adding scents, just a little, to my brine and tried different colors – there are four to choose from, blue, red, green and chartreuse, as well as a “natural.”
King salmon are scent sensitive so not only masking human odors but adding some attraction is a plus and an often overlooked detail. Garlic has become a favorite scent for me, but friends of mine use herring, anise or sardine – all with excellent results.
And if you wrap your plugs, these brines work wonders. Just put your fillets in the brine at the beginning of the day and go from there.
Bottom line, the days of briny guesswork and multiple steps are over. Success is as easy as opening a bottle and pouring it into a Ziploc.