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Do Fish Attractants work?

If you have spent much time in a tackle shop you likely have come across fish attractants. You may even have a buddy who makes their own homemade scents and swears by them. So do they actually work, are they worth buying and applying to your lures?

Biologist believe that fish sense of smell is 1,000 time better than humans. The most commonly known example of this is sharks can detect blood from miles away. It’s well established that fish can smell but do fishing attractants that we see in tackle shops work as they claim?

Scents can both attract and repel fish. Natural scents that trigger a feeding response will attract fish. While unnatural scents like sunscreen or gasoline will repel fish.

Most Effective Scents For Attracting Fish

The most effective scents found in fish attractants are garlic, natural fish oil, fish pheromones, anise oil, and amino acids. All of these scents make baits smell and taste like prey that fish would eat in nature.

Smells That Repel Fish – Scents to Avoid

Certain scents like gas, oil, sunscreen, and nicotine will repel fish. These are smells that tell fish that humans are near by and causes them to be much more cautious. This raised caution can range from them not feeding, hiding more in cover, or leaving the area entirely.

Benefits of Bait Scents

Fishing scents provide two key benefits. They help draw in fish from further distances, which widens your effective fishing area. They also make your bait taste more natural so fish won’t spit your bait out as quick. This gives you more time to detect the bite and set the hook.

What Species do Fish Attractants Work on?

  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Panfish

What oils attract fish?

  • Olive oil on it’s own isnt great for attracting fish but it’s a great base for adding scents. Olive oil infused with garlic is a popular combintation in home made attractants.
  • Cod liver oil is an excelent attractant to add to lures. Cod liver oil smells just like a dying fish which draws in predetor fish like bass and catfish.
  • Tuna oil is great natural scent for attracting fish. The natural smell and taste tricks fish into thinking lures are real longer which gives you more chance to detect the bite.

Recommended Fish Attractants

Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different attractants and some are clear winners and others are clear losers. For specific recoomendations check out our fish attractant buyers guide.