Are Bass Attracted To Garlic?

Adding scents to lures has become an argument with fishermen and anglers. Many questioned the reality of bass being attracted to scents like the garlic scent, and a lot of people kept it under wraps as it works for some, and some just weren’t successful.

There are many reasons why this can be quite an argument in the fishing world, so it’s better to stick to the main core, understanding bass anatomy.

Are Bass attracted to garlic? Yes, garlic and other scents work quite well when you try to capture bass. You need to know how to work on these particular scents as bass are very sensitive to their sense of smell.

In this article, you will understand the science behind scents and attractants. You might find your curiosity going in too deep if this works.

Do Scents And Attractants Work?

There is plenty of scientific research showing some fish being drawn into chemical sources even if they are yards away. Some studies indicate fish can recognize different aquatic plants and other fish in the same school by their individual smell.

Believe it or not, a fish’s ability to smell is a thousand times better than fog, and many biologists have proven fish species can smell double or even triply as the fish age.

How Does A Bass Smell?

Bass does have two nostrils on each side of its snout. The first one is the anterior nostril, and the second one is the posterior nostril.

Water flows into the anterior nostril and then over the olfactory nerves, then back out through their posterior nostril. There is no link when it comes to the sets of nostrils and their throat.

As the water holding the scent molecules flows down to their olfactory nerves, a message is being sent to the brain, and the scent will be classified if it’s a good or bad scent.

Eventually, the bass will act on the sense by very conditioned response.

Bass Behavior

To fully understand how they work their way out with their sense of smell, you need to understand the bass’s normal behavior.

Usually, bass finds their targets either by sound or sight first, and they will only activate their sense of smell as a last resort.

When a bass feels or hears the presence of bait, he will then activate the final stimulus, which is the smell coming from the bait. Once they strike and crush the bait, they will confirm the prey’s flavor by his sense of smell.

Things To Avoid When Fishing Bass

There are plenty of scents that will eventually repel bass, and these are scents like gasoline or some oil. Make sure to keep your hands free of these things like gasoline, oil, nicotine, and some sun-tan lotion.

There are some hand cleaners specially made for fishermen to clean their hands. Try to avoid eating foods in the boat while fishing, as certain foods or sauces can negatively smell.

Positive And Negative Smell

Much research demonstrates when the bass is caught and released. It emits a chemical into the water that is usually interpreted by other basses as a negative smell.

This is why some fisherman won’t catch another fish in the area, and you get no more strikes. You know there are still fish in there, but they are not attracted to your bait at all.

There is also a response to a positive smell, and bass normally holds into a worm emanating a positive scent for a period of time. This will give you the advantage to get a good hook set and capture the fish.

Three scents appear to be positive scents for bass. This includes salt, anise, and some garlic as they are a good masking scent rather than an attractive scent.

Water-based And Oil Scents

You have to understand that smells and scents are transmitted to many fishes by the water surrounding them. This is where the adage about oil and water will come to play as many scents are oil-based.

Although some oil molecules do disperse on their own normally, they do not last long. As a result, you have to add these scents quite frequently.

On the other hand, water-based scents are just as bad or even worst because they can be thrown off the bait by just casting. If you plan to get these scents, you should expect to pay more money for them as they are expensive.

Fish Oil And Other Bait Built-in Scents

You can consider getting a scent that utilizes a fish oil as a base that stays on the bait as they are quite well and disperse readily. It also leaves the water a scent trail, and some baits even have a built-in Yum or Gulp bait.

If you look in many worm packaging, you will notice that most of them have a built-in scent like some of them contain garlic or salt.

After years of experience and experimentation, many fishermen came up with different scent products while trying to fish bass.

It turned out that using scented worms will bring more catch, although not a huge number but more than enough to notice.

This is because bass tends to hit the worm harder and hold on to the worm longer, giving you more opportunities to get a good hook set.


Overall, it is important to know the anatomy of bass and how scent works on them. The scents can either make or break your fishing routine.

So, it would help if you remembered the things mentioned above, and it will give you a higher success rate of capturing one.

Many scents can be messy, and you must be careful with them as they will strain your boat’s carpet. It is best to put your scent in a round plastic container and just dipping your bait into the scented formula.