By Tim Huffman

Scents makes sense. You’ve heard, “I catch plenty of crappie and never use a scent on my jig.” I agree there are times when it doesn’t make a difference, especially when fish are aggressive. However, it’s my belief that scents never hurt, and since they are known to make a huge difference much of the time, why not use it all the time. It’s a proven advantage.
One: Oil-Based. The oil-based liquid scents haven’t gone away. Old and new brands are available and they work. Oil liquid scents have the advantages of an immediate, strong attractant smell, oil slick and they provide a shinny oil finish on the plastic.
Two: Paste/Dough. Crappie Nibbles, along with similar products, have proven to be fish-catchers. They are dough ball style application. I love the results but don’t enjoy putting them on all the time. The good dough baits attract fish but they must be added after every bite or fish caught.
Three: Super-Strong. A tough product by Stubby Steve’s, and maybe other companies, makes a durable attractant that lasts an hour, maybe longer. It’s like a dough ball made of stretchy rubber. Put it on the hook and it stays. It adds color and can be used to help hold a minnow on the hook.
Four: Gels. A gel is an in-between consistency, like thin grease, that allows easy application, strong scent and is long lasting compared to oils and dough. Two heavy-hitters in the fishing gel market are Johnson and Bobby Garland.
Chris Pitsilos, Brand Manager for Johnson Fishing, says, “We believe scent is important. That’s why we make most of our crappie baits hollow so scent can be loaded into them. Our Shad Scale attractant has a synthetic, shad odor scent and is full of fleck. The point of the fleck is to give the appearance of scales coming off of the bait. It can be the something extra that draws more strikes. Shad Scale is a jell that will stay on the bait for a while.”
Gary Dollahon, Public Relations for Bobby Garland, says, “The Bobby Garland Mo-Glo Slab Jam has had phenomenal results. It’s a gel scent that stays on longer so you can catch fish without having to apply it constantly. It only takes two or three beads and it can be spread on the jig like spreading jam on toast. It’s all amino acid based, natural fish oils, with phosphorous in it. You can see the hologram flakes. The purpose is to appeal to the fish with a protein base, real shad scent and the visual of the flakes. It triggers them to feed.”
Scents/attractants are here to stay. Whether you prefer oil, dough, rubbery or gel, there are attractants that will help you catch more fish by masking bad odors while giving off enticing smells and providing a visual bonus. Don’t miss out on the extra pole bends provided by attractants.