Slow Start of a Cold Year Bass Fishing
It is spring, right? The weather just will not cooperate with my bass fishing plans. Every weekend is cold, windy and rainy. Water temps in the low 50’s opening weekend really had the bass in a bad mood. They were in shallower water, but they were completely buried in the weeds. Had to actually push them out with the trolling motor if you wanted to even catch a glimpse of one. When is this global arming going to kick in already?
The following couple weeks hasn’t been much better. Water temps haven’t breached the 60 degree mark. Fish are feeding a bit, but not bedding at all. Rain and cold has continued, limiting my time on the water to two trips (would have ben three, but my battery charger died, leaving me with no trolling motor power). The fishing continues to be hard. Lucky, I have some help maximizing for these poor conditions.
How have I been managing to put fish in the boat? Our new water soluble fishing scents. Nelson Creek Outdoors has launched our new line of fish attractant, Lucky 7 BioStrike AFS in three great fish-catching varieties: baitfish, crawfish and garlic. On my last trip, a few bass were chasing minnows (albeit slowly and without much effort) in the shallows. I “matched the hatch” as they say, and used our baitfish formula. This opened the tight lips of a few of these bass, and I was able to make a fun evening of it. I slathered a bit on a senko worm and got some good strikes and boated several fish, turning a slow start into a decent trip.
Why do scents work? It can be complicated. You will hear words like “amino acids, aromatic amines, pheromones and semiochemicals”. Lots of nice, dry reading available online. The simplified version will be used here. Fish can detect scents and chemicals emitted by or leaking from prey. They have organs that detect these chemicals. Their brains interpret these chemicals and can trigger a reaction. These reactions are feed, mate or fear. In general, we use the feed trigger (which in a baitfish may be a fear signal that is interpreted by game fish as feed). Fish attractants use these chemical signals, releasing them from you lure into the water to trigger game fish into actively feeding.
Lucky 7 BioStrike AFS scents contain these signals from natural prey items (except garlic, more on that later) and added ingredients. They are oil based, but we make them water soluble. This gets them into the water column and easily detectable by fish. “Smelling” to a fish can be thought more like “tasting” to us. They need to detect the scent in the water without it floating away or encapsulated in something else. So BioStrike AFS gets these chemical signals into the water in a form they are easily detected and can trigger fish into feeding. That is the simple version.
There remains one question: why does garlic work? It is actually a neat quirk of chemistry. Some chemical signals closely resemble other chemical signals. From above, fish detect chemical signals and they cause a reaction. In the sensory organs, the chemicals fit into the fish’s receptors like a key in a lock. As far as the chemical in garlic, its “key” shape happens to accidentally fit the “lock” in the fish’s receptor. There, it causes a trigger response. The fish do not fear it, and it does not drive them to mate. So the reaction that is left is to feed. This is why so many fisherman have found garlic to be such a successful scent to use fishing.
Next time you go out and the weather doesn’t cooperate and the fish are in a negative mood, take along a fishing attractant and give it a try. Use a quality product and you may just be able to trigger the bass in your favorite body of water into actively feeding.