Our latest Ask JD question comes from Rob Y. who’s looking to make some sense out of scents when it comes to fall salmon fishing with plugs. Rob writes:
JD, I have a quick question about fishing with Kwikfish for salmon. I heard or read somewhere that instead of doing a sardine wrap you can put some self-stick Velcro on the bottom of the plug and then smother it in gel sent. How well does that work? And, do you think a sardine wrap really works since the fish are on the move anyway? By the way, loved your steelhead book!
Hey Rob! There have been several methods devised over the years to avoid having to wrap plugs with sardine or herring fillets…some guys have done the Velcro thing, while others have glued sponges or stuck scent pads to the bottoms of their plugs and then doused everything in some sort of scent. Then there was Pro Cure’s Bait Butter, which was a scent concoction with a peanut butter consistency that you could just lather your lure in. All of the above worked, but…
There’s simply no substitute for a fresh, bloody sardine fillet. Commercially produced scents work great but I think of them more as an additive than the “main course.” I can’t stress it enough: good quality bait wraps are the key to success!
I did a little testing of this theory in Alaska and ran two identical plugs — one with a bait wrap and one without. It was close to 10 to 1 on the wrapped lure. Enough said!
As a beginner salmon angler, I shied away from bait wraps initially — only because I really didn’t know how to do it. Well, I say don’t fear the ‘dine! If you’d like to learn how to do it, check out these two simple how-to videos:
How to Fillet a Sardine
How to Wrap a Kwikfish
And one other thing…the main problem with the Velcro and sponge method is you can never get the funky smell off your plug. At the end of the day, it’s easy to clean your plug (with a little Lemon Joy) so that it doesn’t accumulate any salmon-repelling smells.
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