Despite what some may claim, fish attractants are not designed to bring fish from the other side of the lake. The key to any attractant is its’ ability to entice fish to strike once you have found them and to “trick” the fish into holding that bait as long as possible. In high traffic and overfished areas, this is a tall order but can absolutely be the difference maker on any given day.
Shape, noise, motion and technique are all very important factors that cause fish to strike. But getting a strike and landing a fish are two very different things. A fish will spit a lure in a fraction of a second if the bait feels unnatural or has an unnatural or negative odour and this is where bait scents can change the game.
A fresh water bass can detect 1/200th of a drop of substance in 100 gallons of water. Many predatory fish can detect a prey fish odour source at 25 feet and some fish species have been noted to have a better sense of smell than even the best bird dogs. With that sense of smell, the masking powers of a quality fish attractant are critical in hiding unpleasant odours such as gas, sunscreen and cigarette smoke.
Using a quality fish attractant is highly effective in “tricking” the fish into holding the bait much longer and in some instances up to 30 seconds longer. So while the shape, motion and retrieval technique of a lure may be the primary factors in bringing a fish to within striking range, the taste and smell of the bait are critical factors in getting that fish committed to the strike and holding the bait longer.