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Flaptail 09-11-2008 10:31 AM

Making sense of scents
As in most saltwater fishing, a lot of techniques and innovations seem to migrate from our brethren in sweet water to salt. Innovations such as the plastic baits like Sluggos, rattles in plugs, plugs in general for that matter etc. In the last 20 odd years the largemouth bass crowd have gone to the use of spray on scents and oils. I think one of the first I remember was called " Dr. Juice" and had a picture of a guy in a bush hat that looked like a scholarly adventurer/explorer type and fom there it just blossomed into an integral part of the serious tourney fishermans tackle.

About 5 years ago, after giving it some serious thought, I purchased my first can of a spray on scent called Bang in Menhaden. It was an aerosol spray and was very very slippery if mistakenly sprayed on ones boat deck and tended to wash off the bait quickly. It showed some promise in making a good wooden bait even better.

I must say, before we go any further with this, that I did have some pangs of anxiety before taking this step as I thought to myself is this an ethically correct move for someone who promotes the use of lures as opposed to natural baits like pogie chunks and eels for instance? Is this not a type of "bait" or does this not turn your lure into something other? Then I thought to myself,"well, rarely if ever will a fish hit a non moving or weighted sunken plug as they will a chunk sitting on the bottom or an eel rolling half dead in the surf. A plug has to be manipulated in order to gain the response hoped for, that being a strike by a fish. Is a scent any different than glitter applied to the sides of a plug or flashabou or crystal flash in the dressing of a tail hook or fly? It's an attractent just as they are. Another piece of a puzzle to get a fish to take notice and commit itself to attack that lure. At least that is how I justify thier use.

Several years ago now I started using a product called "Smelly Jelly" in Sand eel and Menhaden scents. It's a petroleum jelly based product that with a smidge on your finger and then smeared onto the belly of your plug in a thin layer can be the difference between success and failure some nights, especially those slow nights when you just know bass are there or your needle is getting bumped but not taken that it makes a world of difference. Let's face it, plugs will always be secondary fish takers to live or fresh dead natural baits.

When the bass are on eels or live pogies or herring a wooden plug goes unoticed for the most part but add a dab of scent and you can oft times have your cake and eat it too. A big wooden danny cast to the edge of a school of pogies being blasted by bass that are selectively feeding on the pogies and ignoring your wooden tempter can be convinced otherwise with a touch of esscence.

Some folks call it cheating and not truly 100% plug fishing. But the object is to catch fish and if your a hardcore plugcaster you know the frustration that can be had when standing in the surf with foam washing around your knees and the three guys to your left and the two to your right are bailing them hard on eels and your needlefish hasn't had a tap, thats the time to even the playing field with a touch of scent. Afterall, you just drove 200 miles to get there at near 4 bucks a gallon, your tired and frustrated, the fish are there, that's evident by the hoots and hoolers of the eel slingers and the light of thier l.e.d. flashlights glowing on those big white bellys is enough to make you scream, scent can correct that imbalance.

I use it, I wouldn't leave home without it and I believe it can make a difference in your plug fishing scores and is ethically legal on the fish front.

Try it and see for yourself.

ProfessorM 09-11-2008 11:15 AM

I use the smelly jelly in Bunker on bunker spoons. A little messy but I feel it could help.

reelecstasy 09-11-2008 11:16 AM

I use the small Skinz bag for misc rubbah on my belt. I open it up and smear Jelly all over everthing :hihi: Just ask Basic PP

EarnedStripes44 09-11-2008 02:54 PM

will give it a try this weekend. I've always heard mix opinions on it. No other way than to try for self.

Raven 09-11-2008 03:07 PM

i use it always...

and have had great success....

one of my favorites is the crawdad oil...

when i'm banging largemouths...
throwing plastic crawdads....

the one bad thing is that it eroded some plugs
finish...or melted some plastic baits...

and gets on everything like slime does.

fish can smell better usually than they can see
and 1 drop of scent travels real fast in water :fishin:

GattaFish 09-12-2008 09:00 AM

Whats the difference of putting a little of goo on your plugs or soaking them in bunker oil during the winter,,, isn't that what some of the old timers did,,, or even having scent screens in them too,,,

jimmy z 09-12-2008 09:58 PM

I have had the same thoughts, about the attraction of plugs as opposed to bait. I do believe that the scent makes a difference, when the bumps are few and far between. But when the bass are blitzing, well, that is what it is.
I have a jar of SJ, in my bag at all times. :kewl:

bassfranky 03-04-2011 09:18 PM

I heard a lot about those scent bags but never tried them but now i'm definitely gonna do so the next time i'm out fishing, thanks for the info Flaptail.

thortum 06-13-2011 02:01 PM

I've used them but can't say one way or the other if it helps. I do know that it makes everything it get on very slippery. I'm using the greasy tube stuff now.

tysdad115 06-13-2011 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by bassfranky (Post 841914)
I heard a lot about those scent bags but never tried them but now i'm definitely gonna do so the next time i'm out fishing, thanks for the info Flaptail.

Do yourself a favor and search for posts from Flaptail. Check out his info he offered up here, stuff most of us would never know in a lifetime of fishing. I never knew him, but he sure is still teaching...

Raven 06-14-2011 06:19 AM

re: crawdad oil
crawdad oil used to be sold right along side
other fish attractants (scents) but not any more.

I did find it at otter creek and bought a quart
because it works.

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