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Oregon Native

The power of scent

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This pertains to the article on scent and so wanted to share an experience I had many years ago while on the state team for Oregon.  We traveled to a lake in Arizona named Lake Pleasant and it was a pretty thing with cactus and sage brush along the banks along with wild burro's he hawing once in awhile....was cool.  Anyway...I got onto a top water bite on this lake throwing a zara spook in okie shad color and it was awesome....but ....with the water so clear and fishing way out off points the fish were "very" spooky and shy.  So on the last day of practice I thought I'm going to put some Smelly Jelly on my spook.  Well, I started making long casts which left my reel almost empty and would work the spook back and you would see sometimes three or four very good size largemouth follow your bait.  A slight pause and they would come up and suck it in.  It was very interesting as when I didn't use the jelly they would follow it almost back to the boat and then sink out of sight.  It was crazy....you could sometimes see the fish doing the same sway as the spook while working it in.

The last day of the tourney I remember telling my non boater....ooops....forgot to put on the Jelly and then when I did we started getting them again....him too.  Made a believe out of that young man.  The ol smelly jelly helped me make it too the Wrangler Nationals that year.

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Interesting.  About a year ago, I was trolling one side of a small canal, and another boat was trolling the opposite side.  We were pretty much inline with each so we started talking.  He was throwing a weedless plastic swim bait and he had a hit.  I heard him say "oh he short struck it, watch this".  He took out some garlic scent and sprayed it on his swim bait.  Cast back to the same spot, as he reeled the bait over the same spot the fish had hit on the previous cast, it hit it again.  This time though, it was a solid bite and the fish was hooked deep in the mouth.

 

He claimed it was the garlic scent, I've had fish miss first time, then hookup on a recast.  So I guess I'll never know for sure.  I do carry scent in my boat now though.

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The less developed gland bass have is the ability to detect odors. This doesn't mean they are unable to detect minute percentages of odors in the water, they can and do, it's just not a primary prey detection sense. Cat fish with their highly developed sense of order detection with barbels for example rely primarily on their sense of smell.

I used 100% pure anise oil mixed with fresh garlic as a scent for bass fishing for decades, long before commercial fishing scents were availble and it works. I have caught several big blue and channel catfish fishing for bass using scented jig trailers that I wouldn't have not using scent. 

Why use a scent when bass fishing? I don't believe bass are attracted by the scent we use, they definately can be repealed by offensive odors. My theory is why not use a scent that doesn't alarm the bass and may cover orders that can. If a bass strikes my lures and holds it in their mouth a second longer, that gives me an advantage.

Tom

 

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In my totally unscientific opinion, I have seen the difference mainly in crappie fishing.  I use Smelly Jelly on my crappie jigs and my catch rate goes way up compared to not using it.  I have also tipped my little jigs with Berkley Crappie Nibbles and also noticed an increase in strikes over just a plain jig.   :huh:  As for Smelly Jelly on a topwater....you got me there.  Possibly the oil sheen left by smelly jelly looks like an injured baitfish?  

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Bass have a keen sense of smell. Like 200 ppm. Maybe better.

 

i was constantly using the baitmate orginal bass scent at my favorite usual spot. It’s been a hot scent to use all the time. This one day I caught nothing. I know the fish are there in the shade plus there’s cover too. I switched from the orginal baitmate bass scent to the baitmate garlic and the bite was on again.

 

dont be afraid to pull out all stops, break the norm, change lure size and color, change scent flavors. The fish will let you know when it’s what they want. I find the game can change at anytime so be flexible with it to stay in the game.

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We've covered it before, but if you think it helps you or makes a difference in your fishing, then definitely use it, by all means. As for me and "the power of scent" - meh! 

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I use Fish Sticks crawdad scent on all my soft plastics, even those with built-in scent.  While I can't prove it increases the number of bites or catches, I do know for a fact that it repels my wife...

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Interesting on the topwater bite. I have tries scents in the past, and haven't noticed much of a difference.  

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The secret is to make an ordinary odorless/tasteless piece of plastic/metal or wooden object/bait-- taste and smell real to the fish. Its not rocket science- The science is to use the right chemicals to do it.  Trick the fish into believing whatever it is eating is real food. If it looks like a bait fish -swims like a bait fish -tastes like a bait fish -HEY IT MUST BE A BAIT FISH--  They are not intelligent creatures -They are creatures of habit and conditioning. PERIOD THE END 

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I had never used any before A friend gave me some garlic-scented spray last year. I used it a few times and didnt see that it helped any. In fact , I had a couple fish pick up the bait and before I could set the hook, spit it out. That rarely ever happens to me except during bedding season, which had already occured before this. I realize this isnt a test I would draw a definite conclusion from.

So the juries still out for me.

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On 3/24/2018 at 3:47 AM, N Florida Mike said:

...A friend gave me some garlic-scented spray last year. I used it...

...I had a couple fish pick up the bait and before I could set the hook, spit it out...

Could be those bass either didn't like Italian food or were Vampires. :D

 

I never had confidence in Garlic or Coffee scents, even if they do disguise human scents.  I prefer those that smell like fish or other creatures that the bass typically feed on.

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1 hour ago, OCdockskipper said:

Could be those bass either didn't like Italian food or were Vampires. :D

 

I never had confidence in Garlic or Coffee scents, even if they do disguise human scents.  I prefer those that smell like fish or other creatures that the bass typically feed on.

 

I don't know why coffee but garlic has been used in fish study. Scientists in the mid 80s noted how fish responded to wounded prey and it was discovered that they reacted similarly to garlic and salt albeit to a lesser degree. It is thought that garlic triggers the same chemoreceptors as blood does meaning the fish mistake the taste of garlic as blood. How true that is I'm not really sure but a fisheries biologist from my state told me that a long time ago.

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An old crappie fisherman once told me the best scent for a crappie jig was to rub it on the side of a crappie.  I assume some of the slime coat gets on it.  We joke about it........but we still do it.  :lol:

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3 hours ago, Comfortably Numb said:

I dont believe in it but as Tom said, it cant hurt.

I find that statement incredibly naive, though very commonly held...

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5 minutes ago, Team9nine said:

I find that statement incredibly naive, though very commonly held...

 

I know that there is no convincing you, but I have witnessed it multiple times making a difference, not just with me, but others a well, someone going an hour without a hit and with the same bait get hit 3 casts after adding scent.

 

This is one of those topics that people tend to draw a line in the sand. Would like to know though if those that don't use add on scent buy scented or scent free plastics? I know your answer since you use Zman a lot.

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14 minutes ago, cgolf said:

 

I have witnessed it multiple times making a difference, not just with me, but others a well, someone going an hour without a hit and with the same bait get hit 3 casts after adding scent.

 

It's happened to me.

 

I made a believer out of my Father-in law as well. Fishing Zoom Salty Tubes the bite that was hot became non-existent after a while. I put a dab of Megastrike on the tube and immediately caught 2 fish. After the second fish my Father in-law asked for some Megastrike and he caught one as well.

 

I always try and buy baits with some kind of salt or scent added.

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Many...many years ago I heard that the most attractive scent to catfish was human saliva!!!  Anyway...just thought of that and wonder how true it is.  Have heard too a lot of people spit on there baits down south.

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I hunt and use scent in the same sense I use odor elemenating products. To help mask myself. Though they are not fool proof and catch all they may help to provide an opportunity had I not used them. They do not replace the need to have accurate cast, using the method that aligns with the fish activity or stealth.

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1 hour ago, cgolf said:

 

I know that there is no convincing you, but I have witnessed it multiple times making a difference, not just with me, but others a well, someone going an hour without a hit and with the same bait get hit 3 casts after adding scent.

 

This is one of those topics that people tend to draw a line in the sand. Would like to know though if those that don't use add on scent buy scented or scent free plastics? I know your answer since you use Zman a lot.

Lol, I'm not saying they don't work at all. I'm simply stating that the few instances in which people cite where they supposedly have made a difference are not enough for me to justify their use and purchase. To me, the evidence doesn't outweigh the costs and inconveniences - and I'm perfectly happy with my catch rates.

 

As for purchasing and using plastics with or without scent, I could really care less whether a company did or didn't add anything to their baits. I'm not a huge plastics user, but the ones I do have are a mix. I can say I never purchase any though just because they have a scent addition.

 

And just as I'd never say they absolutely don't work, I likewise find it intriguing to hear people state the opposite absolute, that having them in a bait can't hurt.

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And just as an FYI....Senko's have no scent and we know how tough it is to catch a fish on those.  ;):lol:  Dip em, Dunk em, inject em or slather them, if it gives you more confidence....go for it.  :P

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46 minutes ago, Team9nine said:

Lol, I'm not saying they don't work at all. I'm simply stating that the few instances in which people cite where they supposedly have made a difference are not enough for me to justify their use and purchase. To me, the evidence doesn't outweigh the costs and inconveniences - and I'm perfectly happy with my catch rates.

 

As for purchasing and using plastics with or without scent, I could really care less whether a company did or didn't add anything to their baits. I'm not a huge plastics user, but the ones I do have are a mix. I can say I never purchase any though just because they have a scent addition.

 

And just as I'd never say they absolutely don't work, I likewise find it intriguing to hear people state the opposite absolute, that having them in a bait can't hurt.

 

I base mine on experiences now with it turning a bite around, and didn't fully buy in until gel scents like atlas mikes and now liquid mayhem. The spray on stuff for me was to much of a pain, messy, and constantly needed to be reapplied. The gel scents last a long time between applications saving me fishing time, and they are less messy in the boat. Not sure why I tried it in the first place, many years ago, but glad I did. I think the first scent product I tried was berkley crappie nibbles.

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2 hours ago, Team9nine said:

I find that statement incredibly naive, though very commonly held...

That's OK. I dont believe color makes a difference either :o

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Its been the topic of debate for years -the worst thing we can do as humans and fishermen is close our minds-

All I know is there are many anglers both professional and weekend warriors  that use them - as for me - I dont leave the house without it

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I was convinced at a show where some huckster :) working a tank (and the crowd) was getting so-so interest from the tank fish --- but then he put Megastrike on a baits and even without hook points, he couldn't keep the bass off

 

So, I'm of the mind that while it may not induce more bites, I do feel that some (most?) fish will hang on longer.   In fact, while not specifically bass, I find that if my Rage Tail jig trailer or Rage Craw has Megastrike, one claw will be lost to the gills FAR more often -- they will not let go if they get a grip

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