Just when you thought that the debate about fishing scents has ended, another one comes to market the very same year. It seems every tackle supplier has some “secret sauce” that is better than the competitors. Do they though? One that smells fishier or one that sticks better than the rest. That is the claim but is it the truth? Hardly. The best fish attractants for bass are highly controversial.
Still, most of us can find some common ground with each other about which ones to choose. The problem exists because so many exist. some work better and some don’t. Some stick better and some fall right off the lure after a cast or two. Things like coffee, garlic, anise, crawfish, minnow, and salt are in common use in these products. The question is no longer if they produce extra bites or not.
Fish attractant works so well that you can go into any tackle store and see the shelves absolutely lined with different ones in different flavors, smells, and textures. They also have ones for different fish species. Of those, many are to center around attracting the largemouth. It can become impossible to decide. Because of this, we have made a list of the most effective ones that we have found. All of the ones on this list were hand-picked by our own reviewers.
1. Liquid Mayhem
Our top spot goes to Liquid Mayhem. Liquid Mayhem is packed with the greatest scent and flavor. It has such a good appeal because it is made out of real bait.
That alone should prove how effective it is. They actually took real bait, mashed it up, and made a gel out of it. If that isn’t natural in the water, nothing else is. It also comes in a potent, extremely sticky, gel makeup.
This is absolutely unmatched as it hangs onto your lure. It is really difficult to make this stuff come off. Even after 20 or more casts, it stays on the fishing lure. Many flavors are offered too. That is no exaggeration. The bass version is a crawfish scent but you can also catch bass on the other ones too. They have a minnow scent, garlic crawfish, shad, leech, panfish, garlic minnow, nightcrawler, anise, and many more. Those are some of the freshwater varieties. Believe it or not, there is more to choose from.
It comes in ocean flavors too. Liquid Mayhem also comes in a conveniently sized squeeze tube that you can throw in your tackle bag. Because it is a gel and not a spray, it is very easy to just squeeze some on without getting it all over your hands, the boat, or your clothes. You won’t go home smelling like garlic and fish bait. For what you get, it is also fairly well-priced and makes a great addition to any angler’s tackle box. We think Liquid Mayhem is the stuff of choice for scent fishermen.
2. Megastrike Original
Make no mistake. If it was not for Liquid Mayhem basically squishing up some real bait and putting it in a tube, the top spot would go to Megastrike without even a fair competition. Megastrike is the scent of choice for many professional tournament anglers. It has single-handedly won millions of dollars for many of the best professionals in the sport.
This was before it even became commercially available for use. Invented by Bobby Uhrig, a tackle designer in his own right, Megastrike is literally the stuff of champions and this is no accident. It is different than most others because it uses amino acids.
Amino acids are the basic foundations of what makes a fish healthy. Almost everything uses amino acids inside a fish. They use it in their blood, their scales, their weight, their slime coat, and most other essential body functions. When you put amino acids on a fishing lure, fish are not slow to sense it in the water. It is also incredibly cost-efficient. You can make a single tube of Megastrike last at least a few times longer than most spray bottles. Regarding spray bottles, they just don’t exist here.
This comes in a tube. That means no wasted product and no wasted money. When you apply it to the lure, it stays on incredibly well. Personally, I love how mild the smell is. The original scent doesn’t reek very much at all. You can remove the smell with basic soap and water. Its good to have when your sensitive to smells. The price tends to vary but it is somewhat expensive for a fish scent.
3. Bass Assassin Bang
Bang uses a highly concentrated 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.
It comes in a lot of good flavors including garlic, crawfish, shad, crawfish, a combination of crawfish and shad, and a few others. It effectively will attract predators from a distance unlike some of its competitors out there.
It can be applied pretty easily to soft plastics, jigs, or other lures. It borrows a lot of realism from good old mother nature. It uses primarily baitfish and crawfish oils as the main ingredient. The smell it has is strong enough to hypothetically flip your boat over.
Being a spray, it is easy to thoroughly coat your bait. Just a few quick sprays and the task is finished. Spray, spray, cast. Being oil-based, it will eventually start to come off. After around 20-30 casts, it is time for another spray. Using oil is nice for many people though. When it hits the water, it comes off and fills the surrounding area with the smell and flavor of natural fish oils. As great as it is, it only comes in smaller cans or bigger spray bottles and these can run out way before you can get more. When you do need to get more, it is not necessarily cheap either. It actually is relatively expensive.
4. Berkley Powerbait
The workers at Berkley fishing seem to have created a fish-catching elixir that has contributed to the success of their lure lineup. Many of them contain the signature formula, the “bite juice” that Berkley is known for. The same exact stuff that they store all of the soft plastics in. The same top secret that has caught millions.
Sorry to disappoint anybody who came to see the bite juice ingredients that Berkley uses, but nobody knows but the workers on official business. It is a business secret and we don’t have the answer you are after.
The bottle the juice comes in is not a spray bottle. It is not a squeeze tube either. It looks more like a bottle you would store paint in so it can get messy if you are not careful. The stuff itself is a liquid and a fairly thin liquid too.From observing the color as well as the performance and behavior of the liquid, my best guess would be that it is oil-based. I do not currently know what type of oil it is though. It’s debatable, because Berkley say themselves that oil should be left at home.
It could be shad or minnow oil or it could be anise or another unrelated kind of oil. The smell is not near enough to make you displeased. It is mild. The liquid works extremely well and gets a ton of bites too. When held up to the nose, it has some essence of sardines, squid, and shrimp.
It is also extremely water-soluble so it will come off very easily and does not stay on the lure a long time. It will dissolve in the water and leave a scent and flavor trail in its path. To help with this, one can appreciate its price point. Powerbait is not very expensive at all. It costs less than most lures do. Since it is so inexpensive though, the amount you get is much smaller compared to other scents available. They also have different formulas for multiple species.
5. Berkley Gulp Alive
I don’t know why but Berkley really has the habit of being the potion mixers of the fishing industry. They appear on this list twice so they must know what they are doing. In addition to their original fish formula, they also have created a dispersion formula that starts releasing scent as soon as it hits the water.
Unlike their original formula which uses oil, Alive uses water resins. Gulp Alive is the exact same bite juice that gives the appeal to every fishing lure that wears the same name. If you have ever seen fishing lures with the same label, you would find that they are packaged in a certain type of liquid. That liquid is the same stuff.
It is a very potent smell in and out of the water. It smells a lot like iron. This will be a pain to get out of your clothes if it gets on you. Because it is so funky to human beings, this is not one you want to get on anything but your bait. If it gets in your car on the drive home, you will regret it on the drive.
It is a lot easier to apply than the original formula with the inconvenient bottle. It comes inside a spray bottle instead which makes applying it simple. It is also a little more expensive than the original stuff too. While you do often get a ton of it at a time, it washes off quickly in the water because it was designed to do this. All in all, it has more scent dispersion than live bait and the fish can sense it from far away. It may even be better. The word “alive” on the bottle is not by accident.
This is extremely effective and has been on everything I put it on. While it works best on fishing lures designed by Berkley for this purpose, it also works decently well on unrelated fishing lures too. It is a great multiple-species choice to consider if you want to do some live bait fishing without using live bait.
6. Fish Sticks KVD Lure Enhancer
It seems that the world’s greatest bass angler is at it again. Efficient, effective, easy to apply, not heat sensitive, liquid-free, and 100% natural, Fish Sticks are for the hassle-free angler.
Unlike most others out there, Fish Sticks is actually not a liquid at all. It comes in an applicator that you just rub onto the lure before you cast. Take off the cap, rub it on like you are putting on some chapstick, and you are off to the races. Fish Sticks is the most convenient choice out of all of them. It comes in two basic flavors but more are offered. They are natural too.
The crawfish flavor is made from 100% natural fish oil, crawfish, garlic, and salt. The Shad flavor is made of 100% pure fish oil, anise oil, Gizzard Shad, and salt. Kevin Vandam uses these applicators on his own baits. That should tell you something. Because it is an applicator, this is completely mess-free. No mess on your hands, the boat, or on the car steering wheel. The applicator also has a potent smell but not to a human.
If you put it up to your nose and inhale, it stinks. Normal use out on the water completely eliminates this though. You have to try to smell it for it to bother you. It is also extremely good for value. While you do not even get a full ounce, it will still lasts for thousands of uses. You can just throw it in the tackle bag before you go out. It is very easy to transport. It will not get all gooey in the sunlight either.
7. Yum Scent Spray
Yum has a spray that penetrates soft plastic bodies to infuse them with the scent and flavor of the spray. The spray can be applied to pretty much any soft lure made of plastic to give it much more appeal. It comes in a spray mist bottle so application is easy.
It can be applied directly or you can soak your lures in it overnight to completely change the game. It comes in a trio of flavors. Crawfish, garlic, and shad. It is made out of special biological enzymes and other attractors that mimic live prey. It is moderate in water solubility. It does not come off extremely fast but it does not stay on for very long either. The odor is repulsive but it isn’t very strong smelling.
The price is also somewhat expensive so you may need to look at your budget first. You get four ounces and if you fish a lot, it can all go very quickly. It is also very sun and heat sensitive. You want to keep it out of the sunlight if at all possible. It can get gooey and refuse to spray if it hits a certain temperature. As long as you keep it out of the sun, you should be fine.
8. Pro-Cure Shrimp Super Gel
While you do not normally run across shrimp inside of freshwater boundaries, they are still a great option for catching largemouth bass with live bait. Shrimp are not normally found anywhere near where bass swim. That doesn’t mean that they will not be attracted to the smell.
Shrimp are a bit like crawfish in how they smell and how they behave. This makes it a great choice to put some shrimp scent on your jigs and other bottom-bouncing crawfish imitations. The workers at Pro-Cure have created a super gel that perfectly personifies real shrimp.
This is exactly what it is made out of. It is normally used for turning on salmon and trout but shrimp works well for every fish species. Since it is a gel, it is recommended to keep it out of the sun to prevent it from getting gooey. The price is a little on the higher side. Because of its gel makeup, it is extremely sticky and will continue to stay on the lure for much more than ten casts. The value is pretty good.
9. Smelly Jelly
Smelly Jelly is aptly named. The smell it has is nothing short of smelly. If you want to attract any fish from very far away, this one is the one to do it for you. While it does not come off in the water, the scent spreads over a vast distance. It is the original stinky and sticky liquid. It was the very first one of its kind. Many others copy it.
This makeshift gel component product will stick to your bait body for quite a while. It comes in as many as thirty-one different flavors to choose from. Great flavors like anchovy, bass attack, anise, and many, many more. There are more than enough choices to cover absolutely any fish preference you could ever find.
It’s sun sensitive so store it properly. The only bad thing about this one is that the scents are extremely expensive. You only get a few ounces per bottle and the bottles cost a ton. Those who have a limited income may choose another one for this reason. Other than that, it is a great option to consider if your budget will allow it.
10. Baitmate Classic
A classic indeed, Baitmate is a commonly available choice that doesn’t cost a lot of money. The solution is made up of natural fish oil. It also contains fish pheromones and anise oil to repel negative odors. While it does smell fairly bad, you have to consider that the price is great. It comes in a few different flavors that are for catching bass, Crappie, panfish, and catfish.
Because it is based in oil, once again, it does not stay on the lure very well but will surround the area in its appeal. It will also tend to dry out in the sun so make sure to store it away from the heat. Although it is a spray, the bottle it comes in will sometimes refuse to spray but will leak out instead. A great thing about it though is that the predators can find it easily. If you desire to chum up a spot with flavor because the weather affects your fishing, this can help you get extra bites.
The fish do like it though. You need to keep reapplying it over the course of the fishing day because it comes off so easily. With that, it is a very great value to just buy more when you need it. The smell is somewhat stinky but not near as potent as many others. This however, will be something where you will need to wash whatever it gets on because the bottle does not spray very well for some people.
Overall, It May Be Said
There certainly is a ton of bait scents and flavors to choose from but the best ones are a heated topic to debate. While one may work better for a certain person on a certain day for a certain reason, we can conclude that there is no single brand or product that will work good in every situation. Different bodies of water require different products to be effective.
there are times when one works better and times when they don’t. Largely, it is up to you to experiment on the water to see which one works best in your area. then and only then can you be sure which one is the right one to pick for you. Try them out and see!
Do you agree with our list? Don’t forget to leave a comment below this post to let us know. Tell us what attractants you like to use and why. You can help us all out!
I have only just started to take up fishing with my friend, who is actually quite an accomplished fisherman. I never knew that you could buy bait scents that will attract the fish to you. Remarkable.
I am going to invest in one or two when we next go out to fish and see what one works best for us following your instructions in this post. I have forwarded this post to my friend too.
Thanks for sharing, and I’ll let you know what scent we find best.
All the best,
Hello Tom. It is pretty cool, isn’t it? We appreciate your further sharing the post. Thank you! We look further to hearing from you again soon!
Your article is a great read! Although im not a very good fisherman its something i thoroughly enjoy (especially in the summer). I had no idea this type of thing was on the market. Maybe this is why im struggling to catch fish.
Hello Russ. I am sure you will get better as time goes on. It is like anything else. The more you practice at it, the better you get. When I first started, I didn’t know about products like these either. Good thing I do now though!
Liquid Mayhem is Awesome, I’ve used a lot of the others but have most if not all the Liquid Mayhem scents even the 4 salt water ones, Tight Lines
We love it too. TIGHT LINES!