Scent & Soft Plastics (Soft Baits) Part 1
By: Phil Foo
Have you been into a crowded elevator and suddenly your nose picks up something weird? Perhaps an invisible gas that is naked to the human eye that was released into the atmosphere by some unscrupulous person who had eaten too much cabbage for lunch. The odour may not be pleasant as odours usually are not, but it caught your attention. You may perhaps try to look at the faces of the people in the elevator with you, investigating who the culprit of such a distasteful but natural act be.
[ I am not sure if fishes actually fart but they certainly do get attracted to certain things… ]
Its similar in the world of fishes. I am not sure if fishes actually fart but they certainly do get attracted to certain things. One of these things is scent. They do have noses and some fishes have barbels (catfish for example). While the nose of humans (and most mammals) are for breathing and smelling, the noses of fishes are for smelling. Fishes breathe through their gills and smell through their noses. Fishes can certainly pickup scent in the water.
Scent sprayed on soft plastic baits. Fishes like them.
Using scent in fishing is nothing new. Anglers have been using them for decades. When I was little I used to attach a Seven Seas fish oil capsule to the hook with the intention of attracting fishes to the baits that I used. These days we have scent made especially for angling and they can be purchase at fishing tackle shops.
Here I would like to share some tips on using scent with your softbaits. Not all softbaits are scented. Some are, such as those by Berkley. Most are not. Adding scent will certainly help especially for those without. Before we go further, do note that scent is used for a number of reasons and the main two are to attract fish and to hide the scent of human of which scares the crap out of some fishes.
Fish oil capsules; the scent of yesteryears.
Attracting Fish With Scent
I am absolutely sure that fishes can smell scent. The last time I had a conversation with a fish that question was confirmed. On a serious note, this has been proven over and over again at Berkley’s test lab in America. Live fishes are used to test scent there hence the effectiveness of their soft baits. Fishes can pick up scent and follow a scent trail. Catfish are the best at picking up scent thanks to their barbels (“whiskers” or feelers).
Notice the barbels or whiskers (if you prefer to call them that) near the mouth of this catfish.
Softbaits such as Berkley Gulp! and Berkley Powerbait have scent built into them. Prick a few holes with something sharp lets the scent out leaving a scent trail to tickle the noses and barbels of fishes. For softbaits that are not scented, scent can be added to them. Scent comes in mainly two forms. They are liquid form and paste form with paste hanging on longer.
We will go further into scent in the coming issue of The Angler. In the next part (Part 2) we will look at applying scent and how to use them. Stay tuned for the up and coming issue of The Angler.