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The salmon fishing industry in the northwestern US and western Canada has long been using Mrs. Stewart's® Bluing a part of a herring bait brining technique. Their claim is that the bluing makes the scales of the herring "shine brighter" and attracts the salmon with greater intensity.
We did our own little test and discovered in the atmosphere of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes that, indeed, treating bait with this technique did increase the amount of strikes at the end of our poles.
And, we know MSB is safe for our waters and fish.
For instructions with pictures included, visit Salmon University's web page — "How to Brine Herring".
Facts about MSB:
MSB is basically a blue iron powder suspended in water. Even in it's concentrated from, MSB is gentle and environmentally friendly. MSB is manufactured under non-sterile conditions and is therefore, not generally recommended for ingestion by human or animal.
How to Brine Bait herring (or any bait fish) with MSB
Here are the instructions found on Salmon University's website (see pictures on the website).
This recipe will made 4-6 dozen bait herring overnight. Once the herring have firmed up, plug cut them. This solution will keep the herring firm for weeks if refrigerated.
MSB is manufactured and tested as a laundry whitener only. All other uses are "at your own risk". While we advertise MSB for some other uses, we try to remain clear that these other uses come to us from loyal customers and we pass the information on as a public service.
Learn about many more uses for Mrs. Stewart's® Bluing on our Many Uses page.