How I use scents

From time to time I get questions about scent. Do I use it? If so, when and under what circumstances do I use it? And finally, what kind of scent product do I use? The answer to those questions is yes, I do use scent products. My choice is the coffee scent made by Strike King.

Before we get into the details of how I use scent I think we should talk a little about the scent that might get on our lures we don’t think enough about.

I don’t like scented soaps. At our house most of what we have is from Bed, Bath & Beyond. My wife’s a huge fan of their products. They work OK, but they’re scented. That’s fine if you’re going out to dinner but not so fine if you’re going fishing. For the same reason I don’t use aftershave before I fish, and I’m careful to keep deodorant and antiperspirant off my hands.

Whenever possible I wash my hands in unscented soap if I’m going fishing. I use the same stuff I wash my hunting clothes in before every trip. That might seem extreme to some of you, but I don’t see the point in taking any chances.  

I’m also cautious about what I allow to be around the deck of my boat when I’m fishing. I never apply aftershave before I fish, and I don’t ever use spray sunblock. I put the cream-type on my hands and then apply it to my body. After I apply it I wash my hands thoroughly.

Another thing is that I’m really careful with bug repellant. I think fish swim away from DEET as fast as they can. Being careful doesn’t mean I don’t use it, however. Ticks and mosquitoes carry serious diseases. Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you apply it. 

One funny thing, though, gas and oil doesn’t seem to bother them. I have no problem pumping gas just before I launch my boat, and I don’t worry about washing my hands afterwards. The only reason I can think of for that is that petroleum products and oils are natural substances. Maybe the fish know that.

OK, now let’s talk about how I use scent products on specific lures.

Obviously, all of my plastics are scented. I fish exclusively with Strike King lures so they’re all loaded with salt and they smell like coffee. (I’ve never eaten one so I can’t say they taste like coffee. If any of you have, post your opinion in the comments section. Ha!)

I do not apply scent to any plastic. If I’ve fished with one long enough that I feel it’s losing its scent, I put on a new bait. I realize that won’t work for most of you. It would be too expensive so I recommend reapplying scent every so often.

And it seems like I get more bites on jigs that are scented in cold and muddy water. That’s tough fishing. Anything you can do to help a bass find your bait and get interested in it is something that you should do. I do not scent my jigs in warm water. I don’t think it’s necessary.

Under the same line of thinking I never scent a moving bait. Bass are predators. They’re hitting them out of instinct. Scent isn’t going to make any difference.

For me, I sometimes use scent but not always. I’d have to say, though, if you’re in doubt go ahead and put some on your offering. It won’t hurt anything, and it just might help.