Taste Test

Do scents and additives offer a real advantage?

FSF Staff March 4, 2013

I’ve been fishing for nearly my entire life and have had great success with traditional baits and lures. Recently I’ve noticed an increase in aftermarket gels, juices, oils and pastes that can be applied to any bait or lure. Do these products really work or is this some sort of gimmick? – Phil Dawson

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Photo: doughertyphotos.com

While there has been extensive research in hopes of determining the natural and chemical stimulants that tempt fish to feed, it’s clear that many inshore game fish feed primarily by smell—especially when prowling stained waters with poor visibility. Although the role of olfactory varies greatly from species to species, most game fish have highly developed chemosensory systems. Basically, the nose always knows. Furthermore, it has been determined that as certain game fish age their olfactory organs continue to grow and can actually double in size over the fish’s lifetime.

Studies have shown that captive game fish respond to stimulants introduced to their habitat, and while there’s no telling exactly what fish think, aftermarket attractants do offer an advantage. Seeing measurable results, many captains plying shallows statewide believe in these products and the difference they make.

With that being said, proper presentation and fishing likely areas are still critical factors in your overall success. Added scents won’t lure in fish from miles away, so you still need to target key points that are likely holding forage and the game fish that you seek. Attractants don’t work the same way as chum.

From soft plastic shrimp, crab, paddletails and jerkbaits, manufacturers like Berkley GULP!, TriggerX, Saltwater Assassin, YUM and more produce soft plastic baits impregnated with attractants in an effort to entice reluctant fish to strike. While these offerings are no doubt effective, flavored soft plastics don’t get the job done under every scenario. When you want to fish hard baits like plugs, gold spoons or bucktail jigs you can add natural attractants by way of scented pastes, sprays, oils and gels.

Pro-Cure is a leader in the aftermarket scent game and produces scents from 100% natural ingredients. From squid, bunker, anchovy, bloody tuna oil, ladyfish, blue crab and more, their scents are designed to mimic nearly every species of natural forage. No matter what scent you choose it’s important to fish with a slow presentation.

As fish olfactory research continues to advance, the development of new scents and ingredients can only benefit willing anglers. The more senses you can appeal to the greater probability you have of fooling finicky fish. Don’t take our word for it…test the products for yourself and watch your catch ratio soar!

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