As with many things in fishing, scent is a topic of a lot of heated debate.

Does it work? What kind do you use? Is there any science behind it?

The answer to all of those questions really depend on who you ask, but there is definitely evidence to suggest that scents can play a key role in upping your fish catches in certain situations.

Which Scent Do You Choose?

You can get lost in the amount of fish attractants on the shelves at your local bait and tackle shop. There are a ton to choose from and they vary from sprays, gels, sticks, jellys, you name it. What sets them apart?

Liquid Mayhem, one of the fastest growing scent companies on the market, has a unique selling point and one that makes a ton of sense. They utilize the actual real creatures that their scent is trying to imitate. If you purchase their crawfish scent, it is made with the real crushed up pieces of actual crawfish. This is a no-brainer. The closer you get to the smell and taste of the real deal, the more chance you’ll have of a fish being attracted to your bait and holding on to it longer.

Does It Work?

Specifically with Liquid Mayhem, you have a very concentrated gel that is formulated into a sticky matrix that stays on your bait longer. That solves problem number one with scents. Many disappear far too quickly and are only effective on a couple of casts before the scent is completely gone. With Liquid Mayhem, you can use a bait for up to 30 minutes without having to reapply.

If you’ve ever seen a bass eat a bait, you know it can suck it in and spit it out in the blink of an eye. Bass can detect 1/200th drop of a substance in 100 gallons of water, so there is no doubt they have a keen sense of smell. When fish are dropping a bait quickly, scent can “trick” them into holding onto the bait for longer. Many times, much longer, even up to 30 seconds in some cases.

When Do You Use It?

The short answer is all the time. Most anglers are lackadaisical about their use of scent, but if you diligently use it and reapply twice an hour, you will catch more fish. There is no debating it. However, there are times when it is more effective than others and knowing those situations is really important.

Spring, when bass are bedding, scent can play a really big factor. When you toss a craw or a creature or a worm onto a bed, the extra attraction of scent will give you more time to set the hook when a bass picks it up. This makes a huge difference when you’re getting a lot of short strikes or trying to get a wary bed fish to turn on a bait.

It’s also important to know your forage. Make sure you spend time paying attention to whether bass are on a shad bite, craw bite or some other type of bait fish. Match the scent to the situation. You’ll find that your bite and hookup ratio will improve dramatically.

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