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Does anyone have an opinion on the over handling of sp's possibly contributing to a lack of takes. I know it would be a hard one to postively prove. Bringing it up to see if its a handling thing or age or usage thing.

I spoke to a chap who makes a habit of rinsing his hands in saltwater before handling lures, also similar habit to another who rinses his hands before handling bait. Could it be a scent thing?

Another outlook in relation to age/usage, deep water marks from boats, using sp's for pollack etc, a few fish on a lure then nothing, put on a new lure and fish again. Just coincidence or is there anything else in it???
Food for thought for sure, throw into that sp's with scent and the answers seem limitless.
 

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Makes sense to me Mike, we all know fish have an acute sense of smell or whatever to detect food , so why couldn't they pick up on are scent and be put off..
 

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and if this rings true does a smoker have an even bigger disadvantage? tobbacco is a strong smell even to us!
 

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Mike, perhaps with the sented lures eg Xlayers. Not with all as George and I have been doing good with some "old" Fin-S fish lures that have been used on a bunch of trips...
 

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Mike

I think it depends on the SPs?

Some SPs are salt impregnated and give off scent for a long time. Others are coated with scent and lose it relatively quickly.

I have seen the "new SP fishes best " theory in practice and it seems to hold water. But you can get lots and lots of scents nowadays, I use them now and then and they can make a difference.

My tip would be to always keep SPs in the bag they came in. It seems to help them keep their scent better than moving them to a SP proof box.
 

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An old college mate and myself had this discussion a few years ago, which led to me writing my final year dissertation on this subject. The experiments that i carried out with Carp, showed that there was no significant difference in bait selection between a handeled and non handeled bait. Although it is only one short study, my opinion is that it really dosn't make much difference at all.
 

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An old college mate and myself had this discussion a few years ago, which led to me writing my final year dissertation on this subject. The experiments that i carried out with Carp, showed that there was no significant difference in bait selection between a handeled and non handeled bait. Although it is only one short study, my opinion is that it really dosn't make much difference at all.
That is properly interesting Gaz! Have obviously heard multiple people suggest how bad it is to overly handle baits over the years, but there is obviously very little, even semi-scientific data around.
 

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Hang on.

Are we talking about leaving a foreign scent on the bait (sweat, tobacco etc) or taking scent away?

Common sense says that if a lure is only coated and you touch it with dry hands, you remove some of that scent. If that scent was otherwise effective then you've just made the lure potentially less effective.

Most carp boilies were flavour impregnated I thought, so handling them wouldn't make a difference. On the other hand, Xlayers are bathed in a scent/release agent which can be rubbed off.
 

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That is properly interesting Gaz! Have obviously heard multiple people suggest how bad it is to overly handle baits over the years, but there is obviously very little, even semi-scientific data around.
Yeah it interested me, trying to prove or disprove an age old myths. There is very little scientific data on this subject, and although my dissertation showed no difference, many more studies would need to be carried out to suport my findings.
 

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Are we reading too much into this? I've heard stories of bass being gutted and people finding all sorts of crap in there like chicken bones...

Are they really that fussy that someones smelly fingers would put them off? I know....fiddle with the misses first, it might improve your catch rate...

I've also seen that program where Cyril Chaquet (fishing adventurer) was fishing for pike in canada and couldn't fail, they were taking everything he threw at them. His guide was eating liquorice and Cyril even tied some of that to a couple of trebles and cast it and retrieved like a lure and he caught a fish!!!

Are we over analysing here?

I mean, Liquorice FFS! :|
 

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I think a lot of us sometimes forget that all animals are inquisitive creatures, including us and including fish.
If something is new or different you want to check it out and give it the once over.
luckily being human we have many different ways of doing this, fish on the other hand, i'm not so sure, one of the major ways i believe they have of getting a feel for something smaller in its space is to suck it into its mouth.
From fishing from a yak basically the whole of last year i have witness time and time again bass coming up to check the boat out, later in the year on certain marks you can tell if there are bass there as if you splash the paddle about a bit they will come up alongside gills flared coming to see what's going on.
The americans an australians actively fish for "reaction bites." not trying to imitate food, just trying to wind them up into having a go.
With sp's i suppose its at the other end of the scale as you're trying as closely as possible to represent a food source a lot of the time, even then i think handling of baits must have little impact most of the time, for the most part i think it's over thinking a situation.
some time's if i get into a bad spell and start over thinking how i am fishing etc etc i'm only brought back by a mate just chilling out and fishing and giving me a thrashing!
Saying all that though i do try to handle my sp's as little as possible and make sure I always have the bags sealed etc etc, also am definitely a firm believer in the fresh x - layer!
Cheers
 

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I mean, Liquorice FFS! :|
If you think thats bad me and my mate used to fish a lily covered lake for pike years ago and our best ever lure was an 8 inch, inch wide piece of stick off the floor with a weedless single hook electrical taped to the back of it.. no moving weight system but cast like a bullet!
 

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I understand peoples concerns on this matter but its really not something I'd worry about personally.

I do a lot of fly fishing for trout, you constantly handle the flies, you have to to tie the bloody things on, untangling droppers and appliying floatant or sinkant.
Flies are tied with all sorts of materials, some of these are treated with chemicals to kill bugs like rabbit fur and feathers, these materials will also absorb oil from your hands etc.. Some of them are fished static like buzzers, others with very little movement imparted on them. The fish dont ever seem to mind my fingers having been on them. The fish either react to them as a natural food source or sometimes if using lures like cats wiskers, lead heads, even boobies and bungs, they just eat them because they annoy the crap out of them.

Fish don't have fingers, all they can do is suck it and see by which time it's often too late.

Then there's carp fishing... have you seen some of the flavours people use for boilies? Strawberry, tootie fruitie, anchovy...none of these are natural food but people still catch monsters on them.

I've no doubt scent can play a part in attracting fish but I wouldn't ever worry about MY scent putting them off. It's a different world down there, eat or be eaten.
 

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Sounds reasonable Mike. Keith was saying about 'old' SPs doing less catching.
I firmly believe it.

Mike, perhaps with the sented lures eg Xlayers. Not with all as George and I have been doing good with some "old" Fin-S fish lures that have been used on a bunch of trips...
If retrieving a lure, I don't think it matters so much IF the attraction is reactive and visual. However: slow it down, leaving a scent trail and I think it does.

Mike

I think it depends on the SPs?

Some SPs are salt impregnated and give off scent for a long time. Others are coated with scent and lose it relatively quickly.

I have seen the "new SP fishes best " theory in practice and it seems to hold water. But you can get lots and lots of scents nowadays, I use them now and then and they can make a difference.

My tip would be to always keep SPs in the bag they came in. It seems to help them keep their scent better than moving them to a SP proof box.
Paul uses them all the time now. He has a wheelbarrow full and it certainly hasn't hurt his catch rate.

That is properly interesting Gaz! Have obviously heard multiple people suggest how bad it is to overly handle baits over the years, but there is obviously very little, even semi-scientific data around.
No, very true. However, there is no scientific data regards God yet millions still abide by the existence of such things. It's about gut feeling and faith. I often don't question inbuilt instincts.

Saying all that though i do try to handle my sp's as little as possible and make sure I always have the bags sealed etc etc, also am definitely a firm believer in the fresh x - layer!
Cheers
Me too. Results seem to confirm it.

Fish don't have fingers, all they can do is suck it and see by which time it's often too late.
Enter the world of LRF and HRF which relies on that fact.
 

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I also don't believe that handling SP's with our hands can take their scent away and make them less atractive.

Sometimes fish (bass and others species) attack a lure out of reaction, like plug fishing for example, IMO most of the strikes are reaction ones.

And the same thing to "fast" moving SP's like some swimbaits and so.

About bass gut content....I will not even comment x) I've seen all sorts of trash, from a tampon (true story!) from the best of them all:

While fishing in the Sagres region (Algarve) in the Summer, in August there are a massive hatch of "winged ants" (I really don't know the name in english), and lot's of the little bugs fall on the sea surface.
Me and a friend of mine caught about 7/8 bass each in one night.
He took a few home, such as I did and when we gutted them...

...Yeah that's right, they were STUFFED with winged ants.

Hell yeah! :D
 

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Just wondering as freshwater fish get released back, that they're more shy of certain bait flavours in the future maybe?
So fishing for bass, some may not get a second chance to be fussy I suppose?!
 

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I used to smoke and bait fished with a guy who didn't. Our casting was pretty much the same, with similar rigs and the same bait. His catch rate was far better than mine and the only thing I could think of was my nicotine coated fingers putting the fish off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the replies here, def gave some pointers in relation to the original query.
 
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