The Curse Of The Unlucky Tackle Part 4 – Scent

Knowledge Wise

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Welcome to part 4 of this ghastly series; Unlucky Tackle. You must by now realize that ghastliness, feng sui, curses, and superstitious have little to do with why you do not catch fish but your friends and fellow anglers sitting right beside you pull up one after another. Yes, maybe it is just your luck. But then again it could still be other things. Another one of these reasons is this “key” called scent.

Let us just put things in perspective before we go on further. Let’s just say that you are trying to attract someone of the opposite sex. You put on your best suit, get a Hollywood makeup artist to help you look like a million dollars, put on your fancy shoes, ensure that all your pearly whites are sparkling, and you’ve trained yourself to speak in the sexiest accent known to mankind; the British accent.

You then walk stylishly into a room filled the hottest women (or men if you are a lady) but you smell like a maggot filled dustbin where flies die instantly just by taking in the scent. Guess what happens next… You’d probably be spending the night talking to your hand.

So what kind of scent are so off putting that even fishes take a whiff of and decide to swim away? Below are a few.

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Cigarettes smoking could be a reason why some trips fishes give your baits a miss.

Cigarette Scent

Smokers take note. Sometimes when you are not catching fish it could be the scent of cigarette smoke or burnt tar or nicotine, or the many other toxins that health ministries around the world says are found in a stick of cigarette. Cigarette smells can be transferred to your baits when you are handling them. They can also be transferred over to your fishing lines, terminal tackle, etc.

Cigarette scent is certainly difficult to wash off too. I am sure all smokers will agree that is easier to give a monkey bath than to wash away the scent of cigarette between your cigarette holding fingers; even with soap. At best the cigarette scent is reduced or a little masked.

This scent stays on your baits for a long time too and can be a contributing factor to why you are not catching fish. Of course smokers still catch lots of fish but sometimes when the fishes are more sensitive (perhaps in high pressured waters), they shy away. This is when you catch no fish while people around you do.   

Suntan Lotion

I personally have experienced this a few times. There are times when I was not getting any fish while my friends did. Then on one trip a friend asked if I had put on sun block (suntan lotion) and I did. He then told me that sun block (suntan lotion) can push fish away from the bait. I changed my bait ensuring that my “sun-blocked” fingers did not touch it and changed my fishing luck.

I have seen this happen to a few other anglers as well. I always ask them if they applied suntan lotion and if they did, I recommend them to change baits. Most of the time this changes their luck and they start catching fish.

Yes, one may argue that “I have put on sun block (suntan lotion) and still catch fish.” Yes, of course. Sometimes or perhaps at some places, or maybe some seasons, who the heck knows… fishes don’t mind eating something unnatural. Maybe that is why some of them eat plastic. Also, some suntan lotions are water based and they wash off easier than the oil based ones.

But, if you have applied suntan lotion and fish are not taking your bait while your friends are having fun landing fish after fish; don’t be a stubborn “block head.” Reel up your bait and get one of your friends to replace the bait for you. Then drop it back to the bottom of the sea, pond, or lake. Get the fellow with the most catches to help you change baits. If you believe in luck, his luck may rub off on your bait and help you break the curse; and you will finally catch fish.

A Scent Of Danger

Unnatural scents perhaps from things like grease, paint, turpentine, etc. can be off putting to fishes and deter them from taking your bait. These scent can also mask the natural scent of your bait and thus fishes just give your bait a miss. One other scent that could be off putting is the scent of a predator. This certainly presses the danger button on a fish and they go into “caution mode.”


Sometimes when you are not catching anything while your friends do, pay attention to some of the things that you have touched before touching your bait. Scent can very well scare fish away or mask the scent of your bait. While it is certainly not all the time that scent pushes fish away from your baits, do note that they most certainly do too. So, scent may be one of the keys that will unlock the curse.




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