Adding scent to fishing baits and lures is a good idea. Adding UV and color enhancers is also another option that can help put more fish in the boat especially when fishing in dingy water conditions.
The interesting thing about fishing is the outcome is never certain. Even when visiting the best fishing destinations, sometimes the catching is a little lacking. Certainly being “on fish” is the most important element in catching them, but often it’s the little things we do as anglers that turn an ordinary day on the water into an exceptional fishing experience.
Picking a lure that has just the right action, zeroing in on the most productive lure colors, targeting the right depths.... these are just a few of the variables associated with fishing that make a difference day in and day out as to how many fish are caught on any given adventure.
Another important variable associated with fishing that many anglers overlook can be summed up as “scent management”. Fisheries biologists have proven over and over again that fish have a highly developed sense of smell that helps them find and capture their preferred forages. Not only are fish attracted to certain desirable odors, they are also repelled by other “not so natural” odors on lures and baits.
The pursuit of scent management is the art of keeping lures free of unnatural odors that can spook fish, while at the same time adding enticing scents to lures designed to actually attract and stimulate fish into feeding.
CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS:
Our fishing lures and baits are routinely subjected to countless unnatural odors that can actually repel fish. Sunscreen, bug dope, gasoline, tobacco and about a thousand other every day products have strong odors that do anglers zero good when it comes to catching fish. Eliminating these and other unnatural odors from fishing lures and gear is the first step towards success.
A quick bath in a mild detergent like Lemon Scented Joy is a good start in removing foreign odors. After washing, rinse with clean water and set lures aside for a few minutes to dry before storing them in tackle boxes.
UNDERSTANDING SCENT PRODUCTS:
The industry is flush with scent products designed to attract fish. Some baits like soft plastics come impregnated with fish attracting scents and even flavor enhancers. Another option are after market scent products that are designed to be applied to various lures and even live baits. Most after market scent products are synthetic concoctions laced with known fish attracting substances like anise or garlic. It’s hard to tell if these products work because they actually attract fish or because they simply cover up or mask unnatural odors on lures!
The latest generation of fishing scents are made using actual forage species that game fish routinely feed on. The leader in this arena is a company called Pro-Cure that makes their scents, oils and sauces using real crayfish, shrimp, alewives, herring, smelt, emerald shiners, leeches, nightcrawlers and other common forage species. Pro-Cure is the only company who has figured out a way to stabilize these natural ingredients into a scent product that has a five year shelf life!!
Adding scent made from natural forage species to fishing lures makes sense at a number of levels. This allows anglers to use a scent that is a natural and common forage for the species of fish they are targeting. For example, smallmouth bass feed heavily on crayfish making this a logical choice for targeting these bottom dwellers.
Lures treated with natural scents are giving off a “scent stream” in the water that helps fish zero in on those lures. To achieve the maximum “scent stream” the fishing scent has to adhere to lures nicely.
Unfortunately, most after market fishing scents are water soluble and wash off almost as quickly as they can be applied. The Pro-Cure Super Gels are unique in that the gel base sticks to lures delivering a long lasting scent stream.
SCENT AND LIVE BAIT:
Most anglers believe if they are fishing with live bait it’s not necessary to add after market scent products. Actually, these scent products do a great job on both lures and live baits. When fishing with hard baits a gel type scent sticks to these lures and gives off a nice scent stream.
When using live baits like nightcrawlers, leeches, minnows or cutbait natural oils made from these forage species works the best. These oils can be simply spread on the bait or better yet they can be injected using a special needle (www.Pro-Cure.com) that attaches to the plastic scent bottle. Injecting baits with natural oils and other fishing scents creates a long lasting and attractive scent stream in the water.
WHEN TO REAPPLY:
Even the best fishing scents must be reapplied at some point. Water temperature dictates how long a fishing scent will last when applied to any given lure. On average scent products should be reapplied every 30 minutes or so.
SUMMING IT UP:
The first step in successfully attracting and catching fish using scent products is to make sure your lures are free of foreign odors. Once your baits are clean, it’s time to experiment with scent products to entice the maximum number of bites.
Gel type scents are the best bet for use with hard baits like spoons, plugs and spinners. Oils and other sauces are best when used in combination with live baits and also cutbait. Get in the habit of reapplying fishing scents about every 30 minutes for the best results. Using scent products never hurts and it often makes the decisive difference on those tough days when fish seem to have lock jaw.