Are Largemouth Bass Attracted to Scent

The king of freshwater Fish which most anglers feel is the Largemouth Bass a species that can be seductive, smart, and the subject of many fish stories. There are recipes tricks creative approaches to capturing this trophy but is smell one of them Are Largemouth Bass attracted to scent? 

Yes, According to most anglers, they use scents on soft baits mainly Shad, Crawfish, and minnow-Natural scents because it is a favorite Largemouth food along with salt, anise, garlic, or for its uses in hiding human contact and chemical scents from manufacturing. 

Studies indicate fish can recognize aquatic plants and other fish in the same school by individual smell. A fish’s ability to smell is documented to be approximately 1,000 times better than a dog’s. Fish Biologists also proved in some fish species that a fish’s system of smell can double and even triple as the fish age. So how does a bass smell?

How Do Fish Smell


The odor-detecting part of the brain called the olfactory portion of the bass’ brain just isn’t quite as large or well-defined as a typical scent feeder fish known for that capability like the catfish, they can smell, and the scent does play a role in their feeding.

Like with sound, there are certain fish that are able to detect smells underwater far greater than the average human can in the air. Some fish are better than others when it comes to senses like the sense of smell and uses that sense for their talent when hunting.

There is no doubt Biologists believe that the eyesight of Largemouth Bass may be their biggest attribute. They also believe that a Basse’s taste and smell play an important role in its survival too. Lure companies put money on the fact that stinky baits also can make a difference.

If you ask them they will tell you that the most important sense involved with a Largemouth Bass is its eyesight. They are sight predators and the companies will base tons of money on what colors the Largemouth will be favoring this season.

The fact strength of a Largemouth Basses smell is much farther and better than a human can smell in the air. The fact that smells don’t dissipate underwater as fast as they do in the air, Bass are able to use this to their advantage when they are hunting.

Smells can linger in small amounts for longer periods underwater which can become advantageous to predators on the hunt. Like most fish, Largemouth Bass have nostrils on either side of the head.

These nostrils contain an olfactory rosette that detects odorous chemicals and transmits them to the brain for translation. They can adapt and use this when visibility is bad and even when it is not. Some prey fish emit sweet odors that linger in water and give their location away.

Fish like Salmon can find their way home to spawning areas that they haven’t been to in long periods of time. They can locate the stream where they were hatched years before. Bass has a tendency to be finicky and some anglers believe they will use their sense of smell to decide what they will or won’t eat at that time.

Obviously, catfish are among the most specialized. Their barbules (whiskers) are loaded with taste buds, allowing them to determine if they want to eat a morsel just by brushing it with their whiskers. Largemouth Bass will scrutinize soft bait and be more finicky than with harder lures.

With softer lures, Bass will have a tendency to experiment and fiddle with soft bait. This is the time when they can be finicky and will be the best time to experiment with scents that can be applied to soft lures you can apply by spraying them on. Try different flavors and experiment with some.


Largemouth Bass Lateral line


Largemouth Bass has the same 5 senses as other Predatory or Game fish. They use them to certain degrees depending on the water’s clarity and the environment they live in. They have a low number of olfactory folds contained in the nasal passages. The nasal contains 15-20 of these folds compared to 120 or more in some other game fish.


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The sense of taste is a bit more difficult to measure for the Bass. Many anglers use scented lures, sprays, gels, or concoctions to doctor up their favorite lures, but this practice is mainly to cover human scent from handling the lures.

Hearing of a Largemouth Bass is a little stronger than taste or smell. They have tiny inner ears that can pick up clicks of tiny crayfish that Bass finds appetizing. That is the reason anglers will add a tattle or clicker that is added to a lure.

A lateral line of the Largemouth Bass is much more utilized to find prey and hide from predators. What is the Lateral Line?  The lateral line is basically a line of pores that extends from the gills to the tail along both sides of the fish.

Lateral Line pores are tiny nerve endings that can pick up tiny vibrations. The Bass’s ability to sense these vibrations ab Bass can determine food or prey and even will alarm them if there are predators in the area and will distinguish between them.

These small nerve endings will let the Largemouth Bass know how big the fish in this area is. If the Lateral Line on the Bass determines that the objects are prey the Bass will then move in closer and use his eyesight to hunt and eat the unlucky lunch.


Are Bass Attracted To Light At Night?

  • Yes
  • Bass are naturally curious predators attracted to:
  • Natural forms of light from the reflection of the moon
  • Artificial light coming from boats & the shore
  • Fish lights provide green, white & blue colors frequencies of the light spectrum that are naturally sensitive .……………………………………………. Read more

Bait Scent


Lots of professional Anglers believe that natural formula should be used on soft lures and that it can make a huge difference in bites. There have been many tests done with natural flavor on soft lures or rubber worms that can give a bass a more enticing and longer experience giving them a long time to hook up together forgive the pun.

In response to a positive smell, bass generally will hold onto a worm emanating a positive scent for a longer time. This gives you the advantage of being able to get a good hook set and catch the fish. Three scents that appear to be positive scents are salt, anise, and garlic. Crawfish Natural Scent is always listed as a favorite for many Anglers. Once a Bass grabs a Crawfish flavored-scented soft bait the Largemouth will hold on and refuse to give it up. These scents are used in soft lures already in the box find these scents in your favorite lures. They are considered Natural Scents.

Natural Scents are believed by most fishermen that if you use spinnerbait or soft lures then you should use naturally flavored sprayed on or applied in a way that it stays on the longest time that is possible. Salt is the natural flavor of blood and makes the most sense to fishermen because the scent and taste will taste and smell like a wounded fish.

Natural scents have stood the test of time, so anglers who pooh-pooh the use of taste and scent additives are hurting themselves. You need something to mask the unnatural scent of plastic, and applying a natural scent can only help you hook and land more fish.


What is the Best live Bait for Bass fishing?

Bass are predators they’ll eat pretty much anything smaller than them in their natural environment like:

Crayfish & other crustaceans.
Small Bluegills & small Catfish called “stones.”
Insects on the surface-Grasshopper-Crickets-Dragonflies
Yes-Bass will eat smaller Bass .……………………………………………………………………………. Read more


Bass Attractants


Besides natural scents, there are attractants that a Largemouth Bass will appreciate. So it’s more about masking the scent of the plastic and manufactured material that is involved with making the lure When it comes to fishing everyone has an opinion so it is really hard to get an opinion on whether it is worth your while to spray up your lures with scents when there is.

Despite what some may claim, fish attractants are not designed to bring fish from the other side of the lake. The key to any attractant is its’ ability to entice fish to strike once you have found them and to tempt the fish into holding that bait as long as possible. In high-traffic and overfished areas, this is a tall order but can absolutely be the difference-maker on any given day.

They might be gobbled up right away without hesitation other times a Bass might just bump a soft lure. out of curiosity. Even if a Bass isn’t hungry the attractant will be too much to turn down. A freshwater bass can detect 1/200th of a drop of substance in 100 gallons of water. Predatory fish can detect a prey odor source at 25 feet and some fish species have been noted to have a better sense of smell than even the best bird dogs.

These scents have a unique rendering process with live bait that produces the naturally concentrated oils of the most prevalent forage species. Aerosol cans fit easily into any backpack or tackle box, and applying the attractor on any lure is as simple as point and spray. They also come in 16oz. trigger spray bottles. Use the popular crawfish formulas when fishing for Rainbow Trout or Largemouth Bass. Try these top popular fish attractants for Bass:

  • Liquid Mayhem

  • Megastrike Original

  • Bass Assassin Bang

These new Fish Attractants come in different combinations of natural prey fish flavors crayfish, and a shad rendering process of real live bait to produce a very enticing scent and flavor cloud. Bang is extremely effective on even finicky fish. This is mainly because it is extremely natural. Efficient, effective, easy to apply, not heat sensitive, liquid-free, and 100% natural, Fish Sticks are for the hassle-free angler. It uses primarily baitfish and crawfish oils as the main ingredient.


What are Largemouth Bass Habitat Requirements?

Ideal largemouth Bass habitat is one with:

  • Slow to non-flowing water
  • Clear H2O
  • Water temperature-65° to 90°F,
  • Oxygen content-8-9ppm
  • Vegetation-provides a place for food and cover if necessary
  • Soft, shallow substrates
  • Food available
  • Found in rivers, lakes & ponds, though lakes provide the preferred habitat …………………………………………………… Read more



 JimGalloway Author/Editor


References: Bass Resources .comScents and Attractants Do They Really Work?


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