Do you love big bluegill?
Ive wondered about this, too. Not so much what people use, which is widely variable and subjective. Rather, I'm interested in which scent or scents are universally attractive to bluegill. I've done a lot of reading on it, looking for a particular bluegill oriented attractant.
So far, I haven't found one.
I have learned that they seem to be attracted to the same range of scents as bass... both members of the same general family of fishes. These are, in no particular order:
Sweet or Fruity, like Anise
There may be others, too.
Keep in mind that attractants have TWO functions:
- TO attract through waterborne scent
- TO entice, so the fish holds the bait harder, longer
It is also important to recogonize that fish do not smell the same as we do. We breathe air; that's no surprise. This means our olfactory organs are attuned to the chemistry and reactions of airborne molecules. Fish do not inhale per se; and certainly not air.
Water is their medium and is borne over the olfactory folds within their nase by movement. This means that airborne scents which WE recognize are highly unlikely to be recognized by fish in the same way. The scents they do recognize must also be present in higher concentrations.
It also points to the fact that scents which are intended to be recognized by fish must be water soluble. The single most important element in attractants is the presence of certain water soluble amino acids, from a variety of sources. Without these, the scent may not have the desired effect... if any.
What all this means is that scents should not be oils, as they react differently in water than in air.
Scents should be thick enough to remain in place, but breakdown in water at a measured rate.
They should be composed of elements and compounds that are attractive to fish - not to us or our noses.
Certainly, other factors come into play and there will always be those illogical things that make no sense - but which seem to work. Someone always swears by WD-40, after all!
But my money is on the water-based gel scents that are being seen more and more, as they stick and last a long time once in the water. Those that are intended for bass would be my choice, mostly because there aren't very many bluegill specific attractants around. If you find one, so much the better.
We'll see what the others say - Im keenly interested.
I never have used any for bluegill but have used a shad attractant for crappie.
Cheese provides protein based amino acids, which certainly seem to draw in catfish. It isn't to say that oil based formulations never work; some things seem to defy the science.
Rather, what appears to be the case is that water based formulations allow the scent compounds to be taken more readily into the folds of the fishes olfactory organ(s).
Remember the purpose of the 'attractant,' as it is applied here. It is designed to stimulate the fish to bite and to hold on tight to a bait - one that they have already discovered. We are not trying to bring them to it, but to stimulate them to greater effort. Attract em to the flash or noise of your lure, for example, and then hit their noses with a blast of goodness!
Smelly Jelly works really well, but is a pain in the butt to keep clean; same goes for Bio-Edge scent liquids. I would like to try their scent wands.
B.A.N.G. has always worked for me esp. the combo spray or pure craw. It`s great stuff!