Scented Baits, Your ‘Key’ To Catching Flatfish!

Fish Smell

Today, scent is key to catching your true share of flounder. Unless you use scented baits at this time, you’re not going to catch as many fish as you would if you did use scent. The catch ratio between those who use scent and those who don’t varies between 5:1 and 10:1. During the 1950s & 1960s, every open boat angler boarded with a huge ‘potato sack’, or purchased one on board. There were no limits, or size regulations then, but today, supply of game fish is less, and scent ‘definitely’ will help you to catch more fish and to enjoy your day.

Fish are simultaneously attracted to familiar aromas and repulsed by even ‘tiny’ amounts of unfamiliar smells that inevitably stick to human hands, gloves, rods and reels, including but not limited to tobacco, cosmetics, sun block, motor oil, lubricants and many more. You need to attract fish by presenting ‘familiar’ aromas that resemble fish food, fish oils, your prey smelled before.

Your Objective In Using Scent Is Two Fold: cover unwanted odors normally transferred to bait through touch and to apply scents that induce a fish’s to feed.

To this end, many scents are manufactured and sold as liquids, gels or powders. Some anglers make their own, and all fishing scents can work well. Liquid scents may be sprayed, if the temperature is above freezing and its not too windy. Gel scents stick like glue to lures, and can last for 20 – 25 casts. Gel stinks up your hands and everything else it touches, but washes off eventually. When it is no longer ‘visible’ on your lure or hook, it’s time to reapply more gel. “Hatchery Powder” – the way you use “Hatchery Powder” is to ‘roll’ your bait in the powder. Initially, pour a little powder (these are ground pellets, fed to fish in fish hatcheries) on your hand, or better, into a plastic cup. Then roll your bait in the powder and finally, hook up your bait by just rolling it in the powder.

Some anglers very much prefer  ‘pre-scented lures’, because when chomped, scent continues and fish that bite don’t let go! In addition, artificial bait is never nibbled off your hook, while the only disadvantage of ‘pre-scented lures’ is that they cost more than good ‘unscented lures’ which may be treated with gel.

The most famous ‘pre-scented’ baits are made by Berkley Gulp. In the absence of a “Burkey Gulp”, scent can be applied to excellent, reasonably priced plastic, metal and wooden lures.

swimming mullets
In my box were several packs of “Berkley GULP” Swimming Mullets and I had just bought a few flounder rigs. I rigged the Swimming Mullet on a circle hook, tossed it out and let it settle. There were not many fishermen on the pier and most were at the end fishing in deep water, but I stayed closer to shore. Instead of reeling, I began walking slowly down the pier. Wham! I got a bite immediately and set the hook on a lizard fish, not what I wanted, but it was a fish. About 15 minutes later, using the same technique, I had a good hit and lost an 18-inch flounder at the base of the pier, but I was on to something. I continued to drag the “GULP!” baits around and did some casting and slow retrieves and caught flounder after flounder when no one else was catching anything, but small fish and sand sharks.

Fishing scents do four things.

1.- Provide an ‘area’ scent to bring fish near your hook.

2.- Convert a lure or bait from being an inert object to an article that feigns life and smells good to a fish.

pro-cure super gel

3.- “Fizzards”
The trade name of an aromatic putty-like gum that generates very visible bubbles when submerged. The bubbles are easily seen as “Fizzards” effervesce, release ‘shad oil’ and leave a scent which attracts fish and triggers an urgent biological urge for them to feed.

4.- Powder (fish food) is composed of ground pellets that fish nurseries use as feed. To use, roll your bait in this powder and then hook it as usual.

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American Veterans Memorial Pier
69th Street Pier, Brooklyn, NY =======================================================

ground battery pallets
Powder (fish food) is composed of ground fish food pellets fed to juvenile fish in fish nurseries.

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