Worms used to be good enough

There was a time when I was skeptical about fish being attracted to scent.

Oh sure, catfish would follow scent to their food supply, but what about bass, bluegills and even walleyes. I stopped being a skeptic many years ago when I first used a scented lure called Bionic Bait.

This fish attractant was produced close by in Salem, Ohio, and it worked for me. Now, the fish did not jump into my livewell to get at the Bionic Bait, but it did improve my success when I tipped a jig with it.

Bionic Bait is no longer made, but it was followed by other scents such as one called Fish Formula.

This scent is also out of production, but I was introduced to it while filming crappie fishing on Lake Barkley. The guide gave his jigs an occasional spray of Fish Formula and I asked him about its effectiveness.

His response was that you have to give yourself every advantage to catch fish and he felt scent helped. I couldn’t argue as he was catching crappies one after the other. I came home and bought a supply of Fish Formula and hoped it would give me an advantage. I think it did.

While I was once skeptical about scent for fish I certainly knew it was useful with warm-blooded animals. I used it all the time when I trapped, and it sometimes worked when trying to lure a buck deer my way.

And any red-blooded human male must admit that a whiff of a lady’s perfume will at least cause heads to turn in her direction. Scent is an important factor of nature. But will it work on fish? Experts say yes and I agree.

In-Fisherman magazine is often too scientific to me, but even I can often work my way through their specialized research and take away a few tidbits that will improve my fishing. A recent issue had a few pages on how bass react to scents and it was an eye opening study.

It was interesting to learn how Berkley PowerBait dispersed scent into the water using oil-based soft plastics. This discovery led to the development of Gulp! which was water-based.

This scent really caught fish, but keeping it had some drawbacks and the search went on for even better scent based fishing lures.

Now Berkley has developed MaxScent, which is touted to be even better than either PowerBait or Gulp! The new product comes in several different shapes, and is supposed to not be ruined by exposure to air.

Rest assured that there will be an assortment of these new products on my boat this spring and summer. Like the guide once said “you have to give yourself and advantage over the fish” and I intend to do just that.

I’ll also keep studying with magazines and on the internet.

There is a lot of info out there and every little bit I can absorb will help make my fishing more fun and more successful. Some of what I find is good advice, but once in a while I find something that just doesn’t ring true.

The same can be true with magazine articles, but I do find In-Fisherman to provide the best scientific studies.

My only problem is trying to understand what I read. For instance “Bass Olfaction and Taste” is beyond my flipping a jig toward underwater structure that I hope will hold fish.

Even if it doesn’t I will have a good time.

Scenic river

We are fortunate that one of Ohio’s scenic rivers runs through our county and now is your chance to learn more about Ohio’s Wild & Scenic Rivers by attending a film about these wonderful gifts of nature.

The film “Call of the Scenic River, an Ohio Journey” will be presented at 6 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Lisbon Train Station, 235 S. Market St.

The program is presented by the Little Beaver Creek Wild & Scenic Advisory Council and Columbiana SWCD in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ohio’s Scenic River Program.

For more information, call Joshua Emanuelson, Little Beaver Creek Watershed coordinator, at (330) 277-2977.