Deer hunters have been using this attractant technology for years, and now it’s the fisherman’s turn. If you want to ramp up your fishing action right now, here’s how…
by the FishOnDaily staff
Like any predatory species, most sport fish have a highly tuned sense of smell. This is no great revelation to seasoned anglers, but it is part of an overall fishing strategy that too many anglers tend to ignore. Yes, fish are primarily sight feeders, so it makes sense that we pay a lot of attention to our choice of bait colors and try to match that to water color, ambient light, and the preferences of our target species. But for some fish, adding an attractant scent can turn a sluggish day on the water into a livewell buster.
Fish use their incredible sense of smell not so much to target an individual meal as to help them key in on areas where a good meal is most likely to be found. This is why offshore anglers often rely on chum slicks. The oils (usually a menhaden base) and other chum ingredients alert fish to potential food nearby. This brings them into the area, where they can then spot and feed on the smaller baitfish that are also attracted to the smell.
For more stationary game species, such as largemouth bass, a chum slick or a subtle saturation of “food smell” in the water can put the fish on alert. A few casts with a quality scent-soaked soft or hard bait can pique the interest of a big bass enough to cause a strike.
If it’s catfish you’re after, then a chum slick should definitely be in your bag of tricks. Perhaps more than any top freshwater species, catfish rely strongly on scent to find food and are more inclined to seek out bait scent over greater distances than, say, largemouth bass.
My grandfather used to save old cheese rinds and let them fester in the cellar. Whenever the rains came and the river started to rise, he’d grab his bag of stinky cheese bits and head for the water, tossing them into the riffle above his favorite cat hole. It usually wasn’t long before his stringer was heavy with channel cats.
The problem with using attractant scents and chum—especially in freshwater environments—is that they’re usually messy, bothersome to deploy, and most folks simply don’t want to take the time to use them effectively.
Recently, we came across a product that eliminates those challenges and gives us the ability to both apply scent to individual baits and to create a chum slick that covers the entire water column in the areas we fish. It’s called The Fish Bomb, and if you’re also a dedicated whitetail deer hunter, you probably are already familiar with the technology behind this product.
Bassmaster Elite Series Pro angler Clent Davis is a believer.
“Fish scent is a big deal to me,” says Clent. “[The Fish Bomb is] something I use every day and, to me, it just gets more bites. When you fish for a living like I do, you want every advantage you can get. The Fish Bomb makes a big difference. It tastes like the real thing and that’s what the fish want.”
The Fish Bomb is an aerosol can-based attractant available for fresh and saltwater applications, with scents that include Garlic, Crawfish, Shad, Menhaden, Stinky Cheese, and Shrimp. The unique scent formulas are oil-based, so they stay on your bait through multiple casts and maintain better cohesion in the water when used to create a chum slick.
And that, really, is what we like most about The Fish Bomb. The spray-on or dip-in attractants we see on the market today are designed to be applied to your hard, soft, or live bait. Likewise, the chumming or in-water attractants currently available work only in or under the water. None of the attractant products we’re aware of have the dual capability of The Fish Bomb. This product allows you to apply scent directly and cleanly to your bait, or you can deploy the can itself into the water to create a chum slick anywhere up or down the water column.
For typical searching patterns, simply spray your bait with the scent of your choice and cast as usual along targeted structure or wherever the fish are holding at that time of day. Since the oil-based formula stays on your bait through multiple casts, you effectively “wake up” the water you are working with every cast.
To liven up a cove or bring in downpool fish when plying a stream or river—especially when catfishing—try submerging a can of The Fish Bomb.
Each can comes fitted with an actuator ring that allows you to secure it to a line or swivel. By attaching the can to a line, you can drop or cast the can into the water and use a weight to get it to the depth you want. Pressing the nozzle tab all the way down allows continuous dispersal of the formula into the water and creation of a concentrated chum slick. This is especially convenient for shoreline cat anglers because it allows you to cast the can to the area and depth you want to initiate your chum slick.
Of course, this design is also ideal for fresh or saltwater trolling.
Another “plus” we discovered about The Fish Bomb is that three of the formulas (Garlic, Crawfish, and Shad) come with a Tightlines UV enhancer. Ultraviolet light, as you know, penetrates deeper into the water column than the rest of the light spectrum, so anything capable of reflecting UV light is more visible at deeper depths. These UV formulations, therefore, are designed to make your bait (and the scent itself) more visible than non-UV-treated baits and scents. We haven’t had the chance to test this yet, but it makes sense to us.
One angler who has used the Bass Bomb/Tightlines UV formula to great personal success is Christian Greico, fishing on Florida’s Big O.
“The Fish Bomb Garlic UV scent was one of the key factors in our Florida High School State Championship win on Lake Okeechobee,” says Christian. “A front was moving through during the two-day tournament and we found a stretch of mats that were holding some good fish. I really believe spraying our baits with the Fish Bomb helped those big fish see the bait better in the tannic water and hold onto the bait longer in order for us to get a good hook set in.”
Ice fishermen have also come to appreciate the advantages of this new scent and sight technology. In fact, early R&D of The Fish Bomb was carried out under the ice. Field trials showed that The Fish Bomb could ride “shotgun” on underwater currents as much as 200 yards downdrift of the release site, greatly expanding hard water bite opportunities. Combine that with Tightlines UV formulation and a cold, dark day on the ice can turn hot rather quickly.
When the fish are “on,” scent enhancers are often overlooked assets by most anglers as being too bothersome. We’ve found that The Fish Bomb not only eliminates that hassle and mess, but also makes a big difference when the fish are playing “closed mouth.” For those times, we recommend giving The Fish Bomb a try. A can stows easily in your bait bag, and it allows you the flexibility of applying it directly to your bait as needed, or chumming a large area of water at whatever depth you choose. For around $9-$10 a can, it is money well spent.
article copyright © 2017 by FishOnDaily.com; promoted by Rockfish Sports, Inc.