More on Scents

Brian Waldman with one of the thousands smallmouth bass and largmouth bass that he has caught without using a scent.


On March 9, we published 2,656 words about how and why Pro-Craft Bait Scents' products have become an essential part of the Midwest finesse tactics that Travis Myers employs for pursuing smallmouth bass in the rivers that meander through the Appalachian Mountains near his home in Paw Paw, West Virginia.


On Jan. 15, 2014, we published 2,484 words in a Midwest Finesse column entitled "Scent for Fishing: a Scent Debate."  In that story, we featured insights from nearly a dozen Midwest Finesse anglers about using scents. One of those respondents was Brian Waldman. He resides in Coatesville, Indiana.  He is the webmaster of Big Indiana Bass. And when Jacob Wheeler of Indianapolis was a teenager, Waldman spent a lot of time fishing with him. Some observers describe Waldman as being Wheeler's piscatorial mentor.  (Wheeler is now 26 years old, and four years ago he won the Forest Wood Cup. He is currently ranked in twenty-second place in BassFan's World Rankings).

Shortly after we published Myers' treatise, Waldman responded to our request for other opinions on the subject by sending an email to the Finesse News Network.


Here is a slightly edited version of his email:

My opinion on scents for bass has not changed since Jan. 15, 2014. Scent, to me, is a lot like color in that it does not matter, except when it matters, which likely is only a very small percentage of the time. Just about any angler you ask probably has at least one story where they would swear it made a difference, but I do not base my approach to bass fishing on these rare or random occurrences. Except for the scent that manufacturers impregnate into their baits, such as Z-Man Fishing Products' Scented LeechZ, I do not use scent at all for bass fishing, and that has been the case for 30 years.

Depending upon how much time I spend each year chasing other species of fish, I routinely catch between 1,500-2,500 bass per year using my current (non-scented) approach, and  that works out to being  an average of nine to 12 bass per hour. How much more would my catch rate have gone up if I used scent regularly? Would I have caught a few more fish on a few more trips over those years if I had used scent all that time? Perhaps, but the trade-off to me is then having to buy it, bring it, prepping my baits with it, applying it regularly, spilling it, and tracking it everywhere.  Moreover,  the "costs" involved do not justify the effort in my opinion, which is to say I am catching enough fish without scent to not worry about finding out what I might be missing. It is a choice everyone has to make for themselves based on their own waters and preferences.

Endnotes

Here are six links to other columns about scents:

(1) http://www.in-fisherman.com/2013/02/25/finesse-news-network-gear-guide-scents-2/.

(2) http://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/08/02/walleye-scent-products/.

(3)  http://www.in-fisherman.com/2013/06/18/finesse-news-networks-gear-guide-z-man-fishing-products-scented-leechz/.

(4) http://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/04/13/scent-for-bass-does-it-matter/.

(5) http://www.in-fisherman.com/2013/12/18/midwest-finesse-ways-doc-seger/. In this blog, Larry "Doc" Seger talks about why and how he uses a garlic scent in the Ozark waterways that he fished.

(6) http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/scent-for-fishing-scent-update/.

Here are four  links to Midwest finesse columns about Brian Waldman and a link to his website:

(1) http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/a-summary-of-bass-fishing-in-central-indiana-in-2011-from-the-perspective-of-brian-waldman/.

(2) http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/a-guide-to-frugal-fishing-an-update-according-brian-waldman/.

(3) http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/the-manifold-virtues-of-the-small-hair-jig-according-to-brian-waldman/.

(4) http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/the-manifold-virtues-of-the-small-hair-jig-according-to-brian-waldman-an-update/.

(5) http://www.bigindianabass.typepad.com/.

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