Do Fishing Lure Attractants Work?

Do fishing lure attractants work - featured

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Have you ever face a situation that you cast your lure, you see the lure goes by the fish, but the fish ignores it and continue swimming as nothing happened? If you had those days, you sure know how much frustrating it can be. You are not the only one my friend.

I remember myself asking, “what’s wrong with the fish today? aren’t they hungry?”. Well, if you will pay more attention to everything you do before and while fishing, you might learn many new things about the fish.

One reason fish ignore our lures is related to odors. So will it help to use fishing lure attractants? Do fishing lure attractants work?

Do fishing lure attractants work?

There is a big question about the use of fishing lure attractants. Does it really work? Is it worthy or is it just a gimmick made by companies who want us to spend money on a useless fishing product?

So, if you want to know the answer, you must continue reading this great post of fishing lure scents, and not only you will know if fishing lure scents really work, you will also learn many other cool things you never knew about fish, which will help you a lot in your fishing.

So, let’s start with understanding if fish can smell from the first place.

Do fishing lure attractants work
Do fishing lure attractants work

Can fish smell?

While there are people who think that fish cannot smell inside water, this assumption is wrong, and after so many researches that were made on this topic, it is well proven that fish has an extraordinary sense of smell and taste. After all, we all know that sharks can smell blood from a long distance.

The flows of water which goes thru the fish nasal cavity, helps the fish not only to find food (a fact that we, fishermen, take as an advantage), but also find other fish from their species, find their mates, look up from predators, and even to find a way back to their birthplace.

Do fishing lure attractants work - Shark can smell blood
Do fishing lure attractants work – Shark can smell blood

How Lure attractant affect fish?

Before we answer this question, I would like you to think for a moment, and ask yourself the following question. Does it matter which lure you use for fishing? Absolutely, yes! Why? Because each fish eats differently! Each fish reacts to a different size of lures, each fish reacts differently to different colors, and even reacts differently to sounds that the lure makes, and so on. Same goes for fishing lure scents. So, prior to answering this question, we should understand how fish feed.

How do fish feed?

Well, the answer is very simple. Fish feed similarly to humans, which means they use their senses. Not only the smell sense but other senses as well.

Having that said, there are fish, like catfish, that use primarily their smell sense in order to eat, however, there are other fish, like bass, which are more sight feeders, which means they decide to eat according to what they see. But their smell sense is still useful.

Now, after knowing that fish use their sense of smell to feed, let’s see if fish attractants are effective.

What are lure attractants are made of?

When we look at fish attractants products, which are available in the market, we can see that most companies have in their fishing lure’s recipe garlic and salt. Of course, garlic and salt are the primary ingredients, but they are not the only ones. There are more ingredients inside.

Each company has different recipes for different fish species.

Do fishing lure attractants work - Garlic and Salt
Do fishing lure attractants work – Garlic and Salt

Does fishing lure attractants make a difference?

Yes, fishing lure attractants do make a difference. Like we said in our winter fishing tutorial, we explained that we use fishing lure attractants for three main reasons.

Foreign odors turn fish off

First main reason for using fishing lure attractants is since it distracts the foreign odors that your lure has. You see, when you go out fishing, your hands touch many things on their way to the lake (or beach). For example, you fuel up your car on the way to the lake. The fuel’s odor remains on your hands and that passes to the lure. Even smoking a cigarette has a strong smell that remains on your lure. So, having these odors were shown by researches that drive fish away. And if you are bass fishing, you will see that very clear.

I even saw some fishermen that before they start fishing, they wash their hands, and then apply the fishing lure attractant directly on their hands before they start fishing. So, during the fishing, when they change or handle lures, the lure is not getting strange odors that can turn the fish away.

Giving the lure a natural smell that attracts fish

Another reason for using fishing lure attractants is to apply a natural smell to the lure.

Do fishing lure attractants work - spray and catch
You see, even if your hands are clean, your lure has strange odors of plastic, silicone, and metal. These odors will turn fish away. So, applying the fishing lure scent directly on the lure can help a lot.

If we will take catfish, for example, catfish eat at night as well. The catfish feeds a lot using its sense of smell. So, if your lure will have a more natural smell, that will attract the fish to attach your fishing lure. Even smallmouth bass, that mainly feeds by their eye of sight, will attack your lure when the water is less clear. That’s will make the fish to hang out next to your lure more time and examine it. In these situations, that you see the fish hanging next to the lure, make a move, and let the fish think that he is about to lose his meal. Many times, you will have an attack right after that move.

Giving the lure a natural taste

Okay, so we got the fish to attack and have a bite of our lure. However, sometimes that specific hit does not hook up the fish completely. And if you will make the hook set at that time, you are about to lose the fish.

So, in these situations, you need to wait for a second or two for the fish to swallow the lure or take another bite of it. However, if the lure won’t taste natural, the fish will spit the lure out. We can see that many times with carps.

So, applying a lure attractant on the fishing lure directly will make the lure’s taste more natural and more appealing for the fish to make that desired bite.

A chance for bigger fish

Sometimes when we fish, we see that people We all know that older fish are more suspicious then younger fish. Having that said, when we use lure scents, it gives a more natural smell and taste to the lure, which reduces the suspicions of the fish, which can lead the bigger fish to attack your lures.

When are lure scents more effective?

We will start saying that fishing lure attractants are more effective when the water is not very clear, that will enforce the fish to use their sense of smell more than their eye of sight.

Another time when the lure attractants will be helpful is when the water is clear and cold, and the fish barely eat.

Are the fishing lure attractants any good?

The lure scent products, that are out there, are very good. If you decide to purchase one of them, try to see if there is a specific product for a specific fish. Since these products are not expensive, you can purchase one and see how it affects your fishing. I promise you it will make a difference for you.

No doubt it will also improve your chances in difficult situations.

Fishing lure additive
Fishing lure additive

I can recommend you to purchase a good lure attractant, and not make your lure attractant yourself when other people at your home won’t like the smell it makes while you prepare it.

How to make a homemade lure attractant?

Do fishing lure attractants work - Crown golden corn syrup
Do fishing lure attractants work – Crown golden corn syrup

In normal situations, instead of buying a fishing lure attractant, I recommend you to make your own fishing lure attractant. Exploring your own recipe can give you the best results. It will let you learn fishing and fish the best way possible.

So, let’s start making our own fishing lure attractant.

We will need to have garlic powder, salt, and oil. Oils like extra virgin olive oil or fish oil are very good, however, almost every oil will do the trick.

Put all the ingredients in a plastic container, mix them all very well until it has a solid texture with no lumps. Then you can dip your lures into it and let them absorb the smell.

Another option for a good lure attractant is corn syrup. Corn syrup is very good and I dipped my baits many time with corn syrup a day before I went fishing. These fishing days were working very well. A good corn syrup I am using is Crown Golden corn syrup.

Of course, there are so many other things that can make your lure attractants be effective, however, in general, I prefer to use attractants that are made from garlic and salt.

I will post soon some good recipes for lure attractants that will help in your fishing.

On the meantime you can watch this video that describes how to make a simple fishing lure attractant.

Before we wrap up everything

It is important for you to know which fish reacts to smells than others.

In the first place, the fish that mostly use their sense of smell for feed are catfish. Carps are at the second place, Salmon and trout are at the third place. Bass fish are right after them, and at the last place, we have the Muskies and pike that barely use their sense of smell to feed.

Do fishing lure attractants work - Catfish in the first place
Do fishing lure attractants work – Catfish in the first place


Before we sum everything up, it is important to mention that the color, shape and, action of the lure is very important for your fishing to be successful. And these things are the main factors for your fishing.

However, having fishing lure attractants will take away the foreign smells from your hands and lure. It will give the lure a more natural smell and taste, which will make the fish feel more comfortable and less suspicious in order to make the fish bite.

Making your own homemade lure attractant is your secret weapon compared to other anglers at the same place and time. Remember, sometimes the fishing lure attractants can be that small thing that is missing and will bring you back home with more fish than others.


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