Scented soft plastics worth trying

Walk into any tackle shop and you are barraged by the selection of scented soft plastics available to anglers today.
Bright-coloured packages contain every shape and colour imaginable in scented varieties to replicate forage options for the fish we chase.
Do these scented soft plastics help us catch more fish? I don’t think they can hurt. In fact, I rely on scented baits to help me catch more fish.
Although most of these baits are designed for bass, I have used them to catch nearly every fish that swims in Sunset Country at some point along the road.
Based on the options we had only a decade ago, soft plastics have improved significantly in that we have baits that are extremely life-like in both appearance and texture. And there are scented varieties that have some serious science behind them to trigger fish to strike.
I use a bunch of different brands of soft plastic baits over the course of the season, matching the bait to the situation I’m faced with. But one thing in common with all of these baits is that they contain some sort of taste that is supposed to appeal to fish when they bite.
I personally really like soft plastics that contain salt. And when you think about it, which animal doesn’t like salt?
The other advantage to adding salt to baits is that it makes them a little bit heavier, which, when the baits are rigged without weight, give the plastic just enough weight to sink in a way that appeals to the fish.
Other companies add scent that is designed to appeal to the fish’s taste buds. The two brands I use most often—Northland’s Impulse and Normark’s Trigger X—contain both fish-attracting scent and salt.
Northland Fishing Tackle worked with Bemidji State University to design its Impulse line of baits. They claim their baits are 143 percent more effective than its leading competitors.
All I know is that these baits come with a distinct odour that smells like money to me! They catch fish and I have confidence in them.
My favourite Impulse bait is the four-inch Smelt Minnow. They have some really nice colours and shapes that I rely on for bass and walleyes.
Trigger X, meanwhile, claims to have packaged up pheromones that instinctively trigger fish to eat their baits. They have designed a walleye-specific line and an Aggression line that is aimed at bass anglers.
The walleye baits are water-based like the popular Gulp baits that have been around for several years. They will dry out if they are left in the air for prolonged periods of time.
The advantage of these water-based baits is that they have the ability to leave a scent trail in the water. As well, the Trigger X walleye baits all are packaged nicely so the baits are straight, directly out of the package.
My favourite Trigger X walleye bait is the 6.5-inch Nightcrawler. I will rig these on a crawler rig behind a bottom bouncer for covering water to find walleyes.
On the Aggression side, my favourite Trigger X bait is the Hodad—a tube-like bait that can be used for smallmouths and largemouths. It was a top bait for me in several tournaments last summer.
Don’t be afraid to try some scented plastics when you go fishing this summer. The reality is, the tackle companies must produce baits that are going to catch fish or they are not going to be around for very long.
The fishing industry is far too competitive.
Just remember, for these baits to be effective, you must gain confidence in them and use them in situations where they can shine.
Give them a shot this year.