Fooling fish with scent

by Justin Hoffman | March 30, 2020
man sprays fish with scent

Tackle store shelves are saturated with fish scents promising to fool our finned friends through smell and taste. Science says they work, and I’m a firm believer in adding an attractant to the bait I’m tossing to lure fish in, make them bite, and have them hold on.

Here are four brands that deserve a place in your tackle box, each different in their application and use.

Berkley Gulp! Alive!

Angler spraying Gulp! Alive! on a bait
Berkley is renowned for its innovative use of scents, both in impregnated plastic baits and spray attractants. Gulp!Alive! is a liquid formula that is sprayed directly onto your lure and is available in 10 popular prey scents and flavours.

Realistic in smell and fairly pungent, Gulp!Alive! offers good adhesion and coverage for plastics and hard baits. A simple twist of the nozzle offers the choice of a spray or stream. An 8fl. oz. bottle retails for $10.99.

Liquid Mayhem

Angler holding tube bottle of Liquid Mayhem
Manufactured in Ontario, LiquidMayhem is a gel attractant pack-aged in an easy-to-use squeeze tube. Made with real fish bait in a concentrated formula, this is a powerful scent.

Super sticky in consistency, Liquid Mayhem claims that it adheres to your bait like glue, allowing more casts between applications, and my many on-the-water trials support this statement. Potent in smell and infused with powerful bite stimulants, each 2oz. tube packs a punch. Available in nine scents with a retail price of $10.99


Baitcloud products displayed near lake
A BaitCloud ball is like a bath bomb for fish. Tossing one into the area you’re targeting creates vibration and a visual cloud, all while releasing specialized scent and Bio-Glitter.

Perfect for shore angling or ice fishing, each biodegradable ball works to draw bait and predators to your spot.

A test I did last fall showed baitfish swarm the shallow sand area I chose for my experiment. Each tube contains three balls, available in eight formulas, with a retail price of $10.99.

Also new for 2019 are BaitCloud InSerts. Used with soft plastics, these small tablets work on the same principle as the balls. The pre-production samples I was given late last season certainly tricked some November smallmouth bass when shoved inside tube baits.

Set the Hook Soft Plastic Marinade

Angler spraying Marinade on baits
Looking to recharge your soft plastic baits to make them more potent? Look no further than Set The Hook’s SoftPlastic Marinade. It’s a liquid formula that contains natural proteins, as well as amino and fatty acids. A few drops added to your favourite bag of plastics prior to hitting the water will up the odds in your favour. The marinade smells like the real deal and has a slick consistency. Available in three flavours, packaged in a 2 fl. oz. bottle, and priced at $9.99.

Originally published in the April 2019 edition of Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine.

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