It’s known that the majority of fish species have a very powerful and well-developed sense of smell that allows them to detect and distinguish between different scents underwater. That’s why anglers have been using strong scents like garlic with their bait to attract more fish.
So, do fish like garlic? Fish do like garlic because it has a strong scent that spreads quickly in the water and attracts them to the bait. Mixing garlic with baits such as corn, dough bait, or even worms can be very effective as the strong scents will make the fish bite and hold on to the bait longer.
Keep Reading to learn more about why fish like garlic, how to make garlic baits at home, and how to fish using garlic baits.
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Why Do Fish Like Garlic?
The majority of fish species have a very sharp sense of smell. This sharp sense of smell allows them to process different scents and chemical signatures that are dissolved in the water then these scents are classified as either attractive or repelling.
Garlic produces one of the strongest scents that fish can detect. As the scent of garlic spreads quickly in the water, it passes through the fish’s olfactory system then the fish’s brain classifies the garlic scent as attractive.
Can Garlic Be Effective as Fish Bait?
Garlic can be very effective as fish bait, especially with other different baits, as it can enhance their effectiveness and mask any repelling scents that would drive fish away from biting.
Since fish classify garlic scent as attractive, they will be more to bite on baits or lures with that particular scent, and they’ll also hold on to the baits or lures longer, giving you more than enough time to reel them in successfully.
Another reason garlic is effective as fish bait for many anglers is that it’s very easy to obtain as it can be found in any grocery store and comes at a very affordable price.
You can also use garlic corn as bait because of the same reasons.
An alternative bait option is the Berkley Garlic PowerBait, which disperses a strong scent in the water that trout can easily detect, and it also masks all other scents that might turn trout away from biting. It’s a must-have trout bait for all anglers.
What Kinds of Fish Can You Catch with Garlic?
There are many fish species that you can catch with garlic, such as trout, carp, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, bullheads, bluegills, panfish, and yellow perch.
All of these species will be able to detect the scent of garlic in the water, which will trigger them to bite. For instance, Trout have a good sense of smell, and scented baits have proved to be very effective with them.
How to Make Garlic Bait for Fishing?
You can easily make garlic bait for fishing by mixing some garlic powder with your bait. However, the most effective method is mixing an oil-based garlic scent attractant with your bait, as this will allow the garlic scent to spread faster and more efficiently in the water.
To make an oil-based garlic scent attractant at home, you need to blend some minced garlic or garlic powder, olive oil, and salt. Try adding more or less of any ingredient until you reach the ideal scent and consistency.
Now, let’s break down how to mix the garlic scent attractant with different kinds of bait.
Mixing the garlic scent with corn bait
Garlic-scented corn will be much more effective for catching fish than regular corn.
All you need to do is add some of the garlic scent attractants to a can of regular corn and leave them to soak overnight so that the garlic scent is absorbed properly by the corn.
If you’re using dry-feed corn, you will need to soak it in a bowl of water for about 12 hours first, then cook the corn on low heat for about 45 minutes to make it soft before adding the garlic scent attractant.
Mixing the garlic scent with dough bait
You will need some additional ingredients for the dough, such as flour, water, and eggs. Using food coloring or glitter, you will also need to make the bait more visually appealing to the fish.
- Mix half an egg and some water with the garlic scent attractant. The number of ingredients you use will mostly depend on how much dough you make.
- Add some food coloring and glitter to your mixture, then stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Add a tablespoon of flour to your mixture, then keep stirring. Keep adding flour to the mixture until the consistency of the dough is suitable to be shaped and molded on your hook.
- You can add more of the garlic scent, food coloring, or glitter to your mixture according to your preference.
Check out my other article to learn more about how to make dough bait for trout.
Mixing the garlic scent with worm bait
You can use different kinds of worms as bait, including nightcrawlers, waxworms, and earthworms.
If you are using dead worms, you can add the garlic scent attractant to the soil where you store the worms and leave the worms to soak up the scent overnight. You can also use the same method with artificial worms.
You can learn how to fish trout with worms here.
How to Fish with Garlic Bait?
It’s important to learn how to fish properly with garlic-scented baits to increase your chances of getting more bites.
So, let’s break down the most common techniques used with different kinds of bait.
Rigging or chumming garlic corn bait
- If you’re going to rig your corn bait on a hook, it’s best to avoid using large hooks because the corn kernels could easily fall off of them.
- You can start by tying your hook to your line using a clinch knot, then add 1-3 corn kernels on the hook. Make sure that the corn kernels are completely covering the hook.
- Having multiple corn kernels on the hook is more effective in case one of them falls off the hook or gets eaten before you can reel in your catch.
- You can attach a split-shot weight to the fishing line at about 1-to-2 feet from the hook if you want your corn bait to sink, or you can attach a bobber at about 4-to-6 feet up the fishing line if you want your corn bait to float.
- If you’re going to chum your corn bait, you need to throw about half a can of corn near the area you’re fishing in, then wait a few minutes for the fish to detect the scent of the corn and start feeding.
- If you don’t see any results within 30 minutes, throwing your corn in a different area is best.
Rigging garlic dough bait
- If you’re going to right your dough bait, you first need to roll a small amount of the dough into a ball shape using the palms of your hands.
- Next, you need to slide the dough ball slowly onto your hook, then press it gently to smooth it and ensure that it covers the hook entirely without leaving any seams or cracks.
- Once the dough ball is molded on your hook, you can cast it out. Make sure to keep your casts smooth and less frequent so the dough bait will remain on the hook longer.
Rigging garlic worm bait
- If you’re targeting smaller fish species, cutting off some parts of the worm is recommended to make it easier to bite on.
- To rig worm bait, you need to thread the point of the hook through the worm multiple times. This will make the bait more effective as it will create multiple holes in the worm’s body, which will allow the scent of garlic to be released quickly into the water.
- You also need to make sure that the hook point exits halfway down the body of the worm. This way, the other half of the worm will be free to dangle off the hook to create a string-wiggling action in the water that will attract more fish and give them more time to take the bait into their mouth.
Are Oil-Based Scent Attractants Harmful to Fish?
Oil-based scent attractants are not harmful to the fish as the oils used are not toxic, and they can be easily digested by the fish. The oils are very useful as they make the scent attractants much more effective and allow the scent to disperse quickly in the water.
What Scents Are Fish Attracted to?
Fish are most attracted to natural scents that are available in their environment. This includes the scents of baitfish, fish eggs, and crustaceans like shrimp. They’re also attracted to some strong scents available outside their environments, such as garlic, coffee, cheese, and anise oil.
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