Many people have not considered that fish have a sense of smell. A fish’s ability to smell is documented to be approximately 1,000 times better than a dog! From bass to sharks, Predator fish smell much better in water than humans do in the air. It stands to reason that scented lures are a must.
The smell occurs when scent molecules dissolve into the wet lining of your nose. scent molecules spread the same way in the water. Fish sniff the water coming through their nostrils (also called nares) to detect chemicals in the water. Which can help them avoid predators, locate mates, find food, and avoid your fishing lure.
Let’s take bass as an example. Like most fish, they find their prey by sight or sound first. The last sense activated is the smell. It still plays a critical role in hooking a fish. We have all seen a bass see a bait and look at it, deciding whether or not to bite. The bass is looking for that final stimulant of a positive or negative smell that will let them know if they should attack.
There are three prominent positive smells that bass is attracted to, Anise, salt, and garlic. In response to a positive smell, the fish will hold on longer, allowing you to get more hooksets.
David DeLong was the first person to put anise in his lures, and we still do it today. Since scents can be messy and expensive, we mix the anise into the plastic before making the lure. This is why DeLong Lures maintain that smell for longer than other lures.