Author Topic: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?  (Read 1535 times)

Offline porkpiehat

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thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« on: Mar 01, 2018, 10:14 PM »
I'm guessing my gear smells just nasty. I think there may be wd40 on some reels, leaking oil from my auger, cigarette smoke and bourbon from my fingers. I've been adding garlic and other "trout" scents to lures, reels, etc. hoping to mask and increase the bite. I may get some crayfish scent for cusking.

what are your thoughts on using these scent products in ice fishing? Will the wrong scent put a fish off? Also...

I've been storing my hats and gloves with mothballs to keep moths away. Will a hint of this on my gloves kill a bite?

I froze stinky dead bait once and used it for chuming and on my hooks. Does a rotting fish scent work against me, or should they be freshly dead?

Thanks!

Offline RyanW

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #1 on: Mar 01, 2018, 11:33 PM »
Well, first you would have to ask yourself if you are satisfied with your catch rate. If you are, don’t worry about it. If you aren’t, start by keeping your gear clean. Tobacco, in my experience, (amongst another thing...) has never stopped me from catching the numbers and size of fish I’m after. If your gear smells like that, adding “fish scents” isn’t masking anything. It’s just adding it’s own “stink”. It’s like when in highschool when the stoners thought a bunch of cologne was the answer but it just made them smell like weed and too much cologne.... It doesn’t make the situation better. I wouldn’t worry about smoke scent on your hands transferring to lures unless you smoke enough to leave transferable tabbaco resins on your smoking fingers.

Many many people who keep reef aquariums dose vodka directly into there tanks for a calcium buffer (I’m pretty sure it’s for calcium) so unless you’re exhibiting alcohol abuse by pouring your bourbon in the hole, I also wouldnt worry about that scent, it doesn’t stop those fish from eating (I know an aquarium is no where near the ecosystem that a natural body of water is). Garlic is also used in a lot of fish foods to guard against internal parasites and the garlic does add an “attractant” so the fish will be more apt to eat (if they are sick). However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and remember the stoner analogy from earlier. As for motor oil, gasoline, and things like that I would take an educated guess that it certainly doesn’t have a positive impact on attracting fish. Does it deter them? Well, we would have to perform a controlled experiment to figure that out or wait for a response from someone with first hand experience of those scents deterring fish. Also, Scent doesn’t dissipate as freely in water as it does in air (excluding wind and current). It leaves a trail of scent in the water that fish can follow. I don’t see many fish following oil slicks for food.

Stinky dead baits work for fish that like to eat stink dead things. When food is limited and fish are hungry, having a stinky dead bait can attract fish because they smell a potential free meal. Whether or not they end up eating it is up to them though. Having said that, nothing works better for catching fish than finding the fish regardless of what you may be doing to inadvertently stink up your bait.

If it were me, I’d start by thouroughly and properly cleaning ALL of my gear and taking care of any leaks that may be causing unpleasant scents. Disassemble/clean/relube reels. Once everything is as squeaky clean and scent free as you can get it, you now have a clean slate to start from. Start fishing with no scents and see how you do. After a while if you think you need a little bit of attractant or cover up scent, garlic should help both. The classic “plastic bait” scent that brings most of us back to our childhoods is Star Anise oil. You can buy this as an essential oil (for cosmetics and grooming products) much cheaper than you can as a “fish attractant” and it tends to work rather well if scents are your thing.  The power of marketing.....

So, to recap, smoke really shouldn’t matter unless you heavily smoke around all of your gear constantly to the point of your  gear changing colors from the smoke exposure or if you recovered gear from a house fire (again, heavy smoke exposure). Bourbon shouldn’t matter at all, no where near the amount needed to make a significant scent difference (unless your soaking your lures in bourbon). Motor oil, that one would concern me. Tidy up your ship and keep a clean deck. Fish clean and see if fish like the scent of garlic, or anise, instead of 4 other mystery scents combined with garlic.

(I also don’t see moth balls being a concern either unless you store your lures with mothballs).

Also, I’d be more concerned about scent transfer from my fingers if I were to be fishing flies or lures with a lot of natural fibers that would retain the scent transfer. Hair, fur, feathers retain a lot more scent than metal and plastic.

To make a long story short, other than the leaking oil, I think you’re over thinking things (says the guy that just typed a book...)  :tipup:
“When the fish are biting, it really doesn’t matter what you’re using. When the fish aren’t biting, it really doesn’t matter what you’re using” - Uncle Dave

Offline porkpiehat

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #2 on: Mar 02, 2018, 12:02 AM »
thanks man! maybe it's just the feb doldrum and not my stench stopping me from hooking up :)

Offline Spider1

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #3 on: Mar 02, 2018, 05:30 AM »
Some scents matter more than others. Stuff like bourbon and cigarettes or cigars, not so much. Gas and mothballs are another story, I bet they could put off a fish if you get them on a bait or jig. How many times have you watched fish cruise up to your bait and sit there for a long time checking it out before moving away, or taking it. They might even sip it in and spit it out in a quick shot. I'm betting that a lot of times, they either don't smell anything worth eating and want to see if it tastes the same or they might just not like the scent of it altogether and just leave. Sometimes I'll drop a jig with a brand new waxy on it and they attack it, but if I drop a waxy down that's old or been hit a few times and doesn't have any scent or taste left, they won't go near it or they drop right away. I have some of that spray on scent that I use in the summer on crappie jigs, it's a scented spray-on oil that really sticks to lures. I've been meaning to try it out on ice jigs but I kept forgetting it and now it's a little too late for this season. I bet that stuff would help mask human type odors that might put off fish and might even attract more bites.

Offline Snitch#8

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #4 on: Mar 02, 2018, 05:55 AM »
I don't know about anything else but my Dad use to swear on WD40.  He sprayed our Hot N Tots or Thundersticks before putting them in the water, while trolling for walleye.  I guess I don't know if they worked or not, but I do know that we caught fish!  Was it the WD40 or just the lure working it's magic?  Who knows!!!  My old man sure was fond of using it, though.

Offline Chute82

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #5 on: Mar 02, 2018, 07:55 AM »
I don't know about anything else but my Dad use to swear on WD40.  He sprayed our Hot N Tots or Thundersticks before putting them in the water, while trolling for walleye.  I guess I don't know if they worked or not, but I do know that we caught fish!  Was it the WD40 or just the lure working it's magic?  Who knows!!!  My old man sure was fond of using it, though.

That’s old school trick but the makers of WD-40 don’t recommend you pollute the water with their product.  Old guys believe it contains fish oil, the formula is kept secret  but the makers of WD-40 did comment it doesn’t contain fish oil. 
Kiss stealing, wheeling dealing, limousine riding, jet flying, son of a gun....WOOOOOOOO!

Offline lefty2053

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #6 on: Mar 02, 2018, 08:06 AM »
thanks man! maybe it's just the feb doldrum and not my stench stopping me from hooking up :)
I would say clean everything also. Start fresh. Fresh bait means better catch rate. I will pull off shrimp or worms or whatever I am fishing with if that bait has been in the water very long. Put on fresh bait and start catching. My wife and I were out one day catching fish and we had a container with shrimp in it. We also had a hot dog and a piece of String cheese in it. After a while we were not getting bites. Came home and through everything out and cleaned the container. Put new Shrimp in it and went back out the next day caught fish again.  So mixing bait scents is not good IMO. And if your bait is under water very long(10) minutes pull it off and put on fresh.
<===Lefty===

Offline Spider1

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #7 on: Mar 02, 2018, 08:56 AM »
I don't know about anything else but my Dad use to swear on WD40.  He sprayed our Hot N Tots or Thundersticks before putting them in the water, while trolling for walleye.  I guess I don't know if they worked or not, but I do know that we caught fish!  Was it the WD40 or just the lure working it's magic?  Who knows!!!  My old man sure was fond of using it, though.


wd40 is a petroleum product, not a fish attractant. Probably the fact that your Dad was using a good lure choice was the reason he caught fish. ;)

Offline Light liner

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #8 on: Mar 02, 2018, 01:14 PM »
As kids we used to use used spark plugs as weights for hornpout.
NEK VERMONT

Offline Philip

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #9 on: Mar 02, 2018, 01:37 PM »

wd40 is a petroleum product, not a fish attractant.


Those are not mutually exclusive descriptors

I personally wouldn't use it because its not good for the environment, doesnt mean it cant attract fish.     

Offline Osage

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #10 on: Mar 02, 2018, 05:53 PM »
Come on man,everybody knows you can't smell stuff under water,you would suck water up yer nose,and drown;D

Offline gearenup

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #11 on: Mar 02, 2018, 08:54 PM »
There’s good smell and bad smell. I stopped at a gas station on the way fishing. Since its flu season, when I got back in the car I put hand sanitizer on. Duh!
Fished all day watching fish after fish swim up, then away. Not 1 bite all day. When I got off the lake, a couple guys about 40 yds away from me came in with their limit on trout and a few salmon. Went back a few days later with the same jigs and bait, but did not even wash my hands with soap, just hot water, and just pounded the fish. Been fishing for 50 yrs and should have known better. So ya, convinced that even certain minuscule scents can turn em off. Soap, hand sanitizer, gas, but others poster mentioned have little effect except maybe oil.

Offline lefty2053

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #12 on: Mar 03, 2018, 06:24 AM »
One more word about scents. DO NOT eat any Citrus as in Oranges and such while out fishing. I found the fish get turned off on that as well.
<===Lefty===

Offline 3300

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #13 on: Mar 03, 2018, 07:34 AM »
i use it as a last resort.  some days it seems to help with the lookers. so it's just another tool to have at times.
the one i use has pheromones in it. one drop is way too much tho. all that is needed is for the lure/jig to to touch the spout of the dispenser.

when fishing with a smoking friend, he doesn't do as well. now he started using what i use. so he has to learn how to use it right. he only had it one time fishing together on a tough bite day for everyone.

Offline Houligan

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #14 on: Mar 03, 2018, 08:54 AM »
The best scents to use is common "sense". ;D

Offline missoulafish

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #15 on: Mar 05, 2018, 01:20 PM »
Salmon are scent junkies.....not sure about other species.

Offline bootstrap

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #16 on: Mar 05, 2018, 04:58 PM »
i found some stuff labeled "minnow paste" in an old tackle box a long time ago. looked like dark vaseline. was like crack for fish.

Offline Walleyewacker007

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #17 on: Mar 08, 2018, 02:38 AM »
Trout and kokanee really like the anise or shrimp smelly jelly. Salmon hit on garlic and tuna.

Offline filetandrelease

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #18 on: Mar 08, 2018, 04:18 AM »
I’ve used smelt stick for lakers and on walleye I occasionally use herring smelly jelly
     

Offline wirenut45

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #19 on: Mar 08, 2018, 06:05 AM »
filet, i,ll bite. what is smelt stick and smellie jelly? how do you use these? never heard of either ,n, very interested. thanks, wire

Offline filetandrelease

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #20 on: Mar 08, 2018, 06:47 AM »
Yes I like to bust wire , but these are real products smelt wand  is a scent that comes in a tube and works like lipstick ,, , and liquid
  Smelly jelly comes in several scents and also comes in sticky liquid and paste form , I like the paste better liquid can be messy , I also use smelly jelly on my fresh painted bucktails during soft water ,
  Does it work all I can say it doesn’t scare them away ,
 
     

Offline Walleyewacker007

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #21 on: Mar 08, 2018, 09:56 AM »
Smelly jelly is a liquid with a gelatinous consistency that is applied directly to your lure or bait. It is sold in multiple scents/flavors and colors. They even make a glow color that I use at night..it glows well, just charge your lure after you jelly it.

Offline lingcod

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #22 on: Mar 08, 2018, 10:27 AM »
I’ve had good results on yellow perch with a krill/anise scent. I  sprinkle some on dry oats and keep my waxworms in it. Amazon sells it.

Offline Fontona19

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #23 on: Mar 09, 2018, 04:19 PM »
I’ve had good results on yellow perch with a krill/anise scent. I  sprinkle some on dry oats and keep my waxworms in it. Amazon sells it.

This is a great idea.

Offline missoulafish

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #24 on: Mar 09, 2018, 06:53 PM »
If you live near a decent salmon river, bait shops should have powdered krill you could probably use in some way....

Offline wirenut45

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #25 on: Mar 10, 2018, 10:56 AM »
o.k., thanks filet. wire

Offline FG Steve

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #26 on: Mar 16, 2018, 09:02 AM »
I would say clean everything also. Start fresh. Fresh bait means better catch rate. I will pull off shrimp or worms or whatever I am fishing with if that bait has been in the water very long. Put on fresh bait and start catching. My wife and I were out one day catching fish and we had a container with shrimp in it. We also had a hot dog and a piece of String cheese in it. After a while we were not getting bites. Came home and through everything out and cleaned the container. Put new Shrimp in it and went back out the next day caught fish again.  So mixing bait scents is not good IMO. And if your bait is under water very long(10) minutes pull it off and put on fresh.

x2

Start clean. 
Rebait with fresh.  It's hard to beat live motion.

I like shrimp and anise scents for trout.

Legend has it that Cheetos are a bad smell.  I wonder if anyone ever tested that?
    Happiness is a wife who can outfish you.

Offline Fish Farmer

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #27 on: Mar 16, 2018, 11:32 AM »

Legend has it that Cheetos are a bad smell.  I wonder if anyone ever tested that?

I remember back in the 1980's they sold cheese flavored mini marshmallows for bait for trout, they reminded me of Cheetos. I don't remember if we ever caught anything.

Offline missoulafish

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #28 on: Mar 16, 2018, 11:39 AM »
Trout love velveeta....... :cookoo:

Offline Eaglecrg

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Re: thoughts on scents in ice fishing?
« Reply #29 on: Mar 17, 2018, 07:41 AM »
The older I get the more important I think scent is.  Jigs are often tipped with a piece of fish and I think it is the scent the fish provides that makes the difference between a bite and not.  I don't always use scent but find myself using it more and more.  It all started one day when I was fishing for lake trout with a friend.  It was one of those days (in spring) when nothing was biting.  I searched my box for something different and tied on a white jig that I doused with some crawfish scent I had.  My friend poked fun at me for using it.  After I caught 3 lakers in about 20 minutes, he was asking if he could use some.  Needless to say, I made him pay for his initial comment!

 



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