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stillfishing

What types of scents work the best for salmon

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I've only ever used a scent once and that was because a customer insisted it would catch more fish. I picked out two good identical lures, put the scent on one and the other clean and put them down to the same depth. After the first three fish on the clean lure the customer threw his scent over the side. 

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Dr Bruce Tufts said that for a scent to work it would have to be water soluble.

Back in the 60's my slip was next to a well known Lake Simcoe lake trout guide. One afternoon while having a beer on his boat i spotted a small bottle and asked what it was he said fish attractant. When I asked if it worked he said " It works for me I sold over $3000 worth at the sportsman show" In the 60's 3000 would buy a new car. He said it was Cod Liver Oil he bought in bulk however I never saw him use it while fishing

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Years ago before I ever thought about salmon I watched a video where the guy dipped his baits in oily bilge water and caught fish. I know a guy who rinses his lures in dish detergent.

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The past few years I have come to depend on scent . I found one that I have so much confidence in I buy a bottle everytime I see one. Put it on my jigs&  plastics for bass ,pike , panfish. Put it on my Flies for steelhead last spring . Also on my skien for Salmon & Trout . It flat out works. Turned My Friends on to it and guys I see on the water. Didn't do much trolling this last year but will try it this coming year. 

 

You are not getting bit , put some on , next cast a fish. Do that a few times & you find out quick it's the squat drops. 

Edited by HB2

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Pier season I rub my spoons with skein juice.  Cheap and persistent odor left on lure.  Make sure you clean them up when done fishing however.  

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I believe their is a HUGE difference in trolling lake Ontario and having a bass sneak up and sniff a lure.

Lake Ontario salmon fishing charters

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"Smelly Jelly" is what we use, when we use scents.  It's stays on spoons nicely.  Just be sure to wipe off any residue before storing your lure, it will tarnish if left on. 

 

Ours is blue in color, I think it's the Herring  scent.

 

we don't always use it, but we figure it can't hurt  (especially when the bite slows down).

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2 hours ago, Silver Fox said:

I believe their is a HUGE difference in trolling lake Ontario and having a bass sneak up and sniff a lure.

Lake Ontario salmon fishing charters
 

Scott,

 

I agree with you and have not used scents while trolling, but every so often I see the downrigger camera videos people post.  I start to wonder when I see fish stalk a bait for quite awhile and the fact that the speed these fish can swim makes our trolling speed a non issue.  Maybe they can and do pay attention to scents, heck they can smell there home rivers thousands of miles away.  A lot of people run meat because they believe in the natural scent the bait brings.  Maybe this year I will do a few experiments and see what catch rates show.  Problem is how to do a real good test.  You hear people say I put two lures down at the same time and had scent on one and not the other and one out caught the other.  Well sometimes I have two lures down that are the exact same with not changes to lead length, depth or anything else and one out catches the other big time.  Maybe its the blank, maybe its the micro difference in speed because there position on a turn, who knows but it happens like that with everything seeming the same.  Hard to do a good scientific test on this type of thing.  Probably becomes a gut thing after running your experiments.

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I catch alewives behind my boat in the slip and then package and freeze them.  I then take 1 or 2 ever time I go out and cut it up.  I put a small piece on the hook for flasher/fly setups and then I rub the spoons with the other pieces before sending them out.  Not sure if it helps, but it helps to get the human stink off.  

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The sense  of smell is a HUGE part of  of an animals survival in the wild. From self defense from danger , finding food , Procreation  . If I go to FLA and dont put a piece of Shrimp on my jig , I get 1/3 or less action. Why does cut bait work so well when flies look way more sexy?  Underwater video I see has the salmon come from behind and trail the lure for a ways sometimes ( You can see this on your sonar) before striking or turning away. 

 

All I know is when I come home from work & smell my wife has been baking ,I get hungry , my mouth waters ,&  I start looking  for cookies. 

Edited by HB2

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Yeah if you run a Water Wolf camera, you would be amazed at how many fish follow a bait and never hit it.  The last time I used it was on a downrigger line with a spoon.  5 completely different fish came and checked it out.  They swam withing 1 foot of it and just swam with it and then peeled off (one did take a swing and a miss).  That was just 2 hours of camera time and only 1 rod.  

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I tried WD-40.  With a semi controlled test, same lures different sides of the boat, wd on one side not the other.  The wd side took more fish.  Trolling pattern was back and forth along a bay shore, same depths.  This was not run with a down speed indicator.  Differing speeds could have been the result of current...

 

Then I tried Dr Juice against the WD.  Same flawed test.  Dr won out.  Don't ignore any spilled on gunnels, sucks to scrub off after it sets for a week or so.  

 

Then I tried somebodies Herring.  It took me a couple of times to realize the smell was not my partner's lunch. (He eats weird forms of animal protein.)  I pitched that in the trash at the landing.  It may have put the hex on a couple of good baits.  I may have heard even the racoons left the landing until trash was picked up.

 

Life is good as I have a reliable brick and mortar store that stocks the Dr.

 

 

Edited by youp50

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I have tested dr juice as well after aj,s bait and tackle recommended it and found it works and well trolling for bluefin tuna the fish can tell the difference between fresh and frozen bait 10 to 1 and thats trolling around 5 mph .Dont kid your self fish can smell just try berkley gulp versus plastic baits and you well see.

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8 hours ago, hard knox said:

I have tested dr juice as well after aj,s bait and tackle recommended it and found it works and well trolling for bluefin tuna the fish can tell the difference between fresh and frozen bait 10 to 1 and thats trolling around 5 mph .Dont kid your self fish can smell just try berkley gulp versus plastic baits and you well see.

Berkely Gulp is a water soluble scent

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