Using scents when fishing is just not new. In truth, scents are a significant a part of the trade. When individuals ask me if I take advantage of them, nonetheless, there’s all the time a little bit of a pause. I do use them, however not on a regular basis and in each state of affairs.

It’s difficult

My introduction to utilizing scent occurred many years in the past. The product was referred to as “Dr. Juice,” which exploded onto the scene within the late Seventies. The product was developed by Dr. Gregory Bambenek, a psychiatrist from Minnesota. On the time, my predominant ardour was chasing steelhead and the first presentation was drifting yarn or minimize sponge within the present.

It grew to become common to douse all the things in Dr. Juice. The odor was undeniably fishy, like a cross between fish eggs and cod liver oil. It additionally appeared to work, particularly in colder water. It didn’t, nonetheless, out-fish spawn baggage — rainbow trout eggs wrapped in mesh. But, for these of us who didn’t like tying spawn baggage, the addition of “the juice” was a pleasant choice. The one draw back of utilizing Dr. Juice was the inevitable leakage that occurred. In these days, each steelhead angler wore a Columbia vest, and the bottles would leak into the pockets, which then received very funky.

Extra sport changers

One other sport changer arrived within the Nineteen Eighties courtesy of Charlie White. He grew to become well-known for an underwater movie referred to as the “Salmon Spectacular” filmed in coastal British Columbia. Utilizing waterproof cameras hooked up to downriggers, he filmed the response of salmon to a wide range of shows, lures, and baits.

The experiments I discovered most fascinating concerned using scent. White had side-by-side underwater footage of two similar lures. One was scent free, whereas the opposite had numerous issues added, together with human scent, cigar smoke, and was famously dipped into the boat’s bilge water. White named the lures in that ultimate experiment “Mr. Clear” and “Bilgewater.” The salmon confirmed a particular choice for the bilge-water-tainted spoon. Even when the lures and fishing areas modified, the oily, smelly spoon caught probably the most salmon. My eyes weren’t the one ones opened by how salmon reacted to the oily lure. The “Salmon Spectacular” was groundbreaking and started the craze of spraying WD40 onto salmon lures, a tradi- tion that continues to today.

It was the arrival of scent-impregnated plastic lures, nonetheless, that basically kicked the door open. Up till that time, including scent to a lure required making use of it to the skin of a presentation. In time, that scent would dilute and wash off. But, when Berkley Powerbait appeared in the mid-Nineteen Eighties, it featured scent constructed proper into the plastic. This allowed fish-attracting smells to be launched over an extended time period.

The early scent impregnated lures ran the gamut, from cherry flavoured to issues that verged on “hockey bag.” I recall within the early Nineteen Nineties, leaving an envelope stuffed with scented “Energy Slugs” for the fish-crazy editor of the native newspaper. The editor was on trip and, by some means, the envelope was misplaced and left near a radiator. Reporters within the newsroom started noticing an odour from a sure space and tracked it all the way down to the envelope. From what I perceive the envelope was trashed and the editor by no means received my reward.

Immediately’s choices

In 2023, there’s a large array of scented plastics. Common bass lures are salt infused, whereas others are water soluble and biodegradable. Such baits have confirmed to be common with anglers and catch fish. The add-on scent market additionally continues to thrive. Some scents come as a paste, however most are in liquid or gel kind. Some are fishy smelling, whereas just a few others may very well be simply mistaken for a meals additive.

I not too long ago guided somebody who had a garlic fish scent that was each pungent and lengthy lasting. A pair errant drops made it into the carpet of my boat and lived there for a while. It’s price stating that he did catch some fish with it on his spoon, so maybe it was well worth the odor.

Scents can work in lots of fishing conditions. However my feeling is including synthetic scent to reside bait works towards the pure aroma of the minnow, worm, or leech getting used. It’s like placing ketchup on a t-bone steak. You might be wrecking the pure goodness of the merchandise. I additionally don’t use scents when fly fishing. Which will have extra to do with my very own values round fly fishing, however I simply can’t see oozing scent onto a streamer or nymph. It would work, however I gained’t ever know. To every their very own.

Making use of scents to lures can enhance your probability of catching fish. For those who haven’t tried them, give it a go this season.

Initially revealed in Ontario OUT of DOORS’ 2023 Fishing Annual 

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