What's That Smell? Posted by Cody Brown on Feb 13th 2017
Here.....fishy, fishy.....it's a saying that most people have heard, but if you are like myself and many other anglers you have found yourself saying it on more than one occasion. While anyone can tell you that there are many things that go into catching a fish, there is one particular factor that has been catching the attention of not only anglers but the fish as well in recent years. From color to action, to length and width there are numerous options from past and present that an angler can choose from when visiting his favorite tackle store at the start of a new season. However, scent products in recent seasons have taken the tackle world by storm. From sprays, to dough's, to everything in between you can now go to any tackle store and any of these are now readily available for an angler to take with them on their next trip to the lake. But this recent craze has anglers asking many different questions....do they work? Who makes the best one? When do I use them? These are the questions that we will explore and seek to answer for you.
To answer the first question........Yes. They do work. Why? The anatomy of a fish.
Whether you are fishing for bluegill, bass, walleye or anything for that matter the sense
of smell for fish is a determining factor in whether a fish ultimately chooses to feed or
not. When fish decide to feed it is because of one of two reasons…..reaction or
hunger, kind of like us. Often times we decide to eat because we are hungry but other
times we eat because we had a bad day or because of some other event. Fish are the
same. In the use of scents, we are focusing primarily on the latter of these
two….hunger or the need to feed. When a fish decides to feed because it needs to, it
relies primarily on two factors. The first, is its lateral line, which detects vibrations and
allows fish to detect things around it. The second, is its sense of smell, this allows fish
to detect what it is they are sensing from its lateral line to see if it is something worth
pursuing or not. While fish do rely on their sight as well, many fish aren’t actually able
to see that well and it is this sense of smell that allows fish to realize if they are
detecting something they recognize or something foreign and new. When we use
products that give a scent we are triggering this sense of familiarity within fish, so that
fish sense something they recognize and desire to eat such as crawfish or shad.
So who makes the best one?? While it would be easy to give an opinionated answer
here, I would like to bring up a few different offerings that are popular amongst anglers
to give a more honest approach.
The first is a product called Fizards. This product is a dough like bait that anglers can
add to anything to beef up their offering. This bait consists of a scent, that to fish
smells like shad, one of the most abundant offerings for fish across all bodies of water.
This product has been tested and proven to work in many open water applications as
well as hard-water applications. While still a fairly new product, Fizards can be
purchased online at fizards.com and some retailers.
The second product is called JJ’s Magic. This product is a dye solution that kind of
kills 2 birds with 1 stone. This dye solution, most known for its garlic scent also alters
the colors of baits such as soft plastics adding additional appeal than just scent. This
product is available in a handful of different colors to assure anglers are always covered. JJ’s Magic can be found
just about anywhere fishing tackle and supplies are sold.
The third product is Berkley’s Gulp! Alive! Assortment of sprays. These are very
popular sprays that offer a wide assortment of scents for all your fishing needs. This
means that whatever the primary forage is on the body of water you are fishing you can
bet Berkley has you covered with one of these great sprays. Just like JJ’s these sprays
are available just about anywhere fishing tackle and supplies are sold.
The fourth product is a newcomer from soft plastics manufacturer Tightlines UV. Fish
Bomb the new attractant spray from Tightlines UV is considered a baitfish oil with a
mixture of scents proven to get fish to bite. This spray can be added to just about any
lure or bait to give it that extra kick needed to trigger fish. You can purchase the Fish
Bomb scent through the Tightlines UV website at uv-tackle.com and through select
With an array of options for anglers to use, the question now becomes when? When
should I be using these sprays, dough's and dyes to beef up my offering? While you
can honestly use any of these offerings in any situation, there are specific scenarios
where these products tend to shine.
The first scenario is in dingy or stained water conditions. In these conditions fish are
rarely able to see what they are pursuing, so a fish’s sense of smell and vibration(lateral
line) become even more important for fish to be able to detect pray. In using these
scents in this scenario, we are making it easier for fish to find a bait that in most cases
they would otherwise not be able to see or detect.
The second scenario is when lakes are highly pressured. When fish have seen
everything come there way it takes a little more to get them to bite. With the addition
of scent to a lure or bait we are offering more to grab the attention of fish than just the
action of the lure or bait itself. Often times, this not only gets fish to hone in on our bait
but when they decide to strike the added smell in many studies has proven to make
fish actually keep the bait in their mouth longer allowing a higher hookup ratio.
While there are many scenarios where these products can increase your catch rate it
would take forever to go through all of them in detail. However, one should no longer
look past these products when visiting their local tackle shop or sporting goods store.
These products are popular because they work and in many cases very well. I hope
this article helps fellow anglers decide on whether or not to include these products in
their arsenal but if there is anything else you would like to know or something you think
I missed please feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com!!