Fish Allure News

Tips, tricks, and news

Update From the Road: La Crosse, Wisconsin and the mighty Mississippi River

The trip was scheduled, planned out and executed!  Things were oh so close to being perfect, but yet again, I fell just short of the prize.  This trip was going to be different.  I have never been to Wisconsin, or that far Northwest.  I figured it would a great place to get Fish Allure Scented Bait Tabs stocked into a bunch of independent dealers so the list included a ton of local Mom and Pop shops and an appointment with a new dealer, who was set up about a month ago.

The independent shops I visited were a great bunch of shops with interested owners.  However, like all good owners, they wanted to research and field test the product first to ensure it was something that worked and would sell.  After all was said and done I have a bunch of great follow ups to do.  One shop, Fish Tech of Morton Grove, IL, bought on the spot.  The owner knew about the product and was impressed with the technology.  For me, as guy interacting with these shops, it is so cool when an owner understands and gets the technology.  It makes all the hard work seem worthwhile.

I visited Fish Allure dealer Chicago Bait and Tackle, in Romeoville, IL.  Doyle and Betty are a great pair!  Their shop is a unique one, catering to the hard core bass and Walleye fisherman.  Their niche in the market is to carry items not readily available in Wal-Mart or Bass Pro Shops.  They have a great selection of unique hard-to-find and high-end tackle items.  They have done well for themselves, so well they are in the process of expanding.  Great to finally meet you guys in person!  If you are in the Romeoville, IL area, swing in and patron this shop – you will be glad you did.

Ok, can we talk about the Chicago traffic?  In a nutshell, one word sums this up – HORRIBLE!  It took so long to make it through the shop list in this area that I had to deal with the nightmare for parts of two days.  I just so happened to be moving through the area during mid-day.  So I made a mental note to drive through the area as late as possible on the way home.  Yeah…  What was I thinking?  Even at 11:00pm it was still bumper to bumper.  Note to self.  Self, if at all possible, avoid this area forever please!

What about the fishing you ask?  Again, one word from the opposite end of the spectrum can sum this up.  AWESOME!!!!  The fishing on the Mississippi River was exceptional for practice and the event.  FLW got this one right!  Even with a ton of rain and a cold front that took me from wearing flip flops and shorts one day to long sleeves and long johns the next.  The fish did not mind – they must have been hungry, or maybe it was the Fish Allure Scented Bait Tab I was using on my sinker that made the difference???

Practice was good!  I figured out where both large and small mouth bass were spawning.  As a matter of fact I caught the biggest bass this year, a 6 pound 8 ounce giant!  They were in the bushes and although I was shaking most of the fish off (during practice), this one held on all the way to the boat.  The bait of choice was a ZMan Black/Blue Palmetto Bugz, a Reins Tungsten 3/8oz black sinker on 50 pound Sunline Braid.  I believe the subtle modification of adding a Fish Allure tab in Crawfish scent to the sinker tipped the scales in my favor.  Not only in practice, but in the tournament as well.  When you pitched the bait into the bush they would sometimes be on it quickly, but as practice and the event progressed and the fishing pressure and weather started to take its toll, the longer you would have to let the bait sit.  I believe the Fish Allure tab, releasing the scent continuously while it sat in the same area turned those fish on to biting the bait.

For the FLW Tour event, it seems a 71st place finish was not good.  The weights were so close, I missed the money by only one pound and three ounces.  Heck, I missed the cut for the top 20 by a little more than three pounds.  One more upgrade and I might have been fishing longer into the event.  Even though I fell short this was a fantastic experience!  The Mississippi river can be daunting, but for this event she provided some thrills!  Until next time tight lines and good fishing!

Does Putting Scents on Lures Really Matter?

Good afternoon anglers!  Today we have a guest post from our very own Pro, Alex Burton.  Thank you Alex for writing up this great educational piece!

 

 

Does Putting Scents on Lures Really Matter?

By: Alex Burton

 

When it comes to using scents on lures fisherman are split down the middle. Some will not throw a lure without it, while others think it is just a gimmick. So do scents really help you put more fish in the boat?

Let’s start with how a fish “smells”. Fish have nostrils on each side of their snouts. Unlike us they don’t start sniffing around when they detect something in the water. As they move water flows into one nostril and out the other. Special nerves between the nostrils then pick up on various molecules in the water that the fish’s brain then interpret as scent.A fish’s sense of smell is roughly 1000 times greater than a dog. They use this incredible ability to associate certain smells to things in their environment. Be it specific plant life, other fish in their school, or food. They can also learn to associate certain smells to a positive or negative depending on how their experience with that particular scent was.

Obviously some fish rely more upon their sense of smell to catch prey, like catfish for instance. So what about more predatory fish like bass who rely more on sight and sound to find their food? The answer is yes, scent is essentially the icing on the cake for them.

When a bass is on the hunt they slowly patrol their territory. They watch for flashes in the water, feeling for vibrations of struggling or unsuspecting prey near them. After locking in on the location of potential prey they start circling in to check it out. As they move closer scent fills their nostrils signaling that this is indeed their next meal as they go in for the strike.

Based on what we know from above adding scent to your lures gives them that realism, bigger bass especially, need to commit to the strike. How often have you watched a bass follow closely behind your lure, but never actually touch it? That is why, they never got that final assurance they needed to go for it.

As I said earlier fish can also begin to associate some scents negatively, causing them to turn away from that particular source. This is especially true on higher pressured bodies of water where bass are already weary from constant pursuit. Subtle scents like nicotine from smoking or even sunblock will cause fish to shut down in an area.

This is why some of the biggest lure manufactures in the world started scenting their soft plastics. Yum, Berkley, and others all have their own secret blend designed to help bass truly commit or at least hide any negative scents we accidentally put on our lures.  

Unfortunately when it comes to hard plastics like crankbaits we have to add our own scents. While oil based gels, sprays, and sticks work, they are quickly washed off after a few casts. Constantly applying them is not only frustrating, but can get costly as well. Thankfully advancements are being made like the Fish Allure scented decals that don’t wash off, and last for an hour of continuous use.    

To answer our original question, scents do make a difference. They aren’t a magic multiplier, but they will help you add more realism to your presentations. They have also been proven to make fish hit lures harder and hold on that little extra for a better hook set.

If you still question it pick up some Fish Allure tabs or other scent product to test it for yourself. I promise just the confidence boost alone they give you is worth it, whether you’re a weekend warrior or veteran tournament angler.  

 

Update From the Road: Beaver Lake, Arkansas a wild weather ride

During my recent trip to the FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake in Arkansas I experienced weather like no other weather I have experienced in the past. All four seasons in a nine day trip. Winter cold 30’s, spring time rain, and mild temperatures. Followed by one or two days of summer with 80 plus degrees and down pours. Oh yeah… Let’s not forget the fall like winds, bringing down trees and dropping thousands of leaves in the lake seemingly overnight. Yes, we had it all. These ever changing conditions did not help when it came to me finding fish. Where I practiced was flooded and underwater come game day. Oh, I failed to mention the lake level rose over 15 feet in 6 days from practice to Friday’s cut day of the tournament. Fishing for me was painfully slow – hence the 145th place finish in the event.

The sales portion of the trip was also weird. I added a couple new dealers to the network but had to hopscotch around to make appointment times with current Fish Allure Dealers. I also met up with a few of the Fish Allure Pro-Staff guys along the way. Visiting with them made the trip a huge success for me.

Wow… Also forgot to mention, I was getting over the flu from several days prior. During the trip I lost a total of 17 pounds. Having no appetite for days on end will do that to you. I lost so much weight I had to put a new hole in my belt to keep my pants from falling down. Still not 100% yet as the remnants of the nasty bug is still haunting me. However, I feel a million times better than I did just two weeks ago.

So the take away from this trip is mixed for me, but I am going to paint it all in a positive light. I met some great tackle store owners and people this time around. Although the lake treated me with tough love, it was still an awesome experience. Arkansas is a wild weather place and you never know what you are in for while visiting this state. This time I got the bad and the ugly. Next time, maybe I will get the good. As for me, it is on to La Crosse, Wisconsin and the next FLW Tour event just a few short weeks away. Until next time – tight lines and good fishing.

Thoughts from the Desk of Fish Allure’s Mike McCoy: The Truly Good People in the Fishing Industry – Greg Pullen of Lake Cumberland Outdoors Pro Bass Shop.

April 12, 2017 –  I usually do not write pieces like this, but after competing in last week’s FLW Tour event on Lake Cumberland, I feel compelled to recognize a true gem in the industry.  Greg Pullen, the owner and operator of Lake Cumberland Outdoors Pro Bass Shop in Bronston, Kentucky, has set the bar extremely high when it comes to taking care of those lucky enough to patron his store.

Since visiting close to a thousand independent tackle stores over the last year and a half for Fish Allure, I like to think of myself as an expert when it comes to judging how well an independent store is run and how much pride an owner takes in his or her business.  Greg Pullen and his store earn extremely high marks when it comes to having the right tackle and taking care of those who purchase it.  By this glowing review one might assume Greg is a customer of Fish Allure, well at the present time he is not (not yet, that is).  However, the day is coming soon, Greg just doesn’t know it yet.

Greg’s store found its way onto my sales route list, as “just another store” I would visit and pitch to, while on my way to fish.  When I entered the store I quickly noticed it was not your average tackle shop.  He had nearly everything an angler would need for a great day on the lake.  As I walked to the counter to introduce myself I immediately recognized him, but could not recall where we met.  After a minute or so it hit me.  Ah, the Pitman Creek Dealer Show in October…  He said, “You are correct.”  See, Greg actually came into the Fish Allure booth during the show and passed on us, but purchased from another company we were sharing the booth with.  At the time I was silently disgruntled, but Greg laughed it off and continued on his way.  At the time, I had no idea who he was or what type individual he could be.  This changed the second time I entered his store just few days after I arrived for the FLW event.

During the second day of practice I broke the transducer to my Lowrance Electronics HDS 9 unit on my trolling motor.  Frustrated I started to trouble shoot the problem and came up with several options.  Option one, use electrical tape to temporarily fix the problem and take it to the Lowrance service trailer to get fixed.  Option 2, (the backup option) was to check Greg’s store, as I remember seeing an electronics display in his store.  After making a call or two, it was determined the Lowrance repair technician was not going to be around for a while and may or may not be able to help me (in the end he did help in a big way).  So I ventured to Greg’s tackle shop to see if he could help.

Upon arriving at his store, he greeted me by name and was happy to help me with the issue.  After digging around for a while it was determined he had to order the transducer, but assured me it would arrive with plenty of time to spare for the tournament.  He bent over backwards to ensure I was confident in the results he was promising.  I left the store feeling a sigh of relief as I knew I had a plan in place to fix the problem. A few hours later my cell phone rang, it was Greg calling to ask a few additional questions.  He did not like the response he was getting from the company he was ordering the transducer from.  He asked me to take a few pictures of the wires and tags attached to them.  This is the craziest thing, when I informed him I might not have the correct size star head screw driving (not Phillips) to remove the panel, he told me to come to his home.  He had it and wanted to make sure he got the information so I could get what I needed.  In this day and age – who does that?  Greg Pullen does!  Not many other people would, needless to say I was impressed.

After a day or so, I had already managed to get the transducer fixed through the Lowrance service trailer, but as promised the transducer was there for me – I now have a backup.  I also have a new found respect for a small business owner in the small town of Bronston, Kentucky.  Greg Pullen, I hope you see this – I want you to know how much your passion for your customer’s satisfaction is appreciated!  You sir, truly care about what you do and how you do it.  We need more Greg Pullens in this world.  Now let’s talk about getting some Fish Allure stocked in that store of yours…  Just kidding.  If any of you who read this are in Bronston, Kentucky, please stop by Lake Cumberland Outdoors Pro Bass Shop and see what they have to offer.  Spend a few minutes talking to Greg and realize he gets it.  Until next time, tight lines and good fishing.

Update from the Road: Fish Allure is changing the way scent is used in fishing.

April 10, 2017 – My name is Mike McCoy and I am a rookie on the FLW Tour for 2017.  For those of you who may not know me well I represent a brand fairly new to the fishing industry.  This company (Fish Allure scented bait tabs), makes one of the coolest, most innovative products I have seen over the last few years.  This product compares to some of the Stalwarts of the sport, those anglers who without these products would not be nearly as successful.  The likes of Power Pole and Lowrance Electronics come to mind, when I think of game changers in the industry.  Fish Allure, like those companies, is a game changer.  So, why is it a good portion of the fishing community has no clue what this product is?  Simple, education.  Once anglers find out about Fish Allure, a light bulb moment happens for most.  Those who do not have the light bulb moment usually differ to indifference or stubbornness as a key factor for failure to change.

Before Fish Allure was available, anglers had an abundance of scent options to choose from, such as sticks, pastes, gels and sprays to name a few applications.  Some anglers even went to the extremes of making their own home made concoction of fish guts, oils and what nots.  This foul, messy, odoriferous goop was meant to be slathered on anything used in the process of catching a fish.  We all have our favorites and good ole standbys, but folks the game has changed, you should try changing with it.  Could you live without a GPS to get you back to a secret spot or shallow water anchors to hold you in place while you fished it?  If you have made those changes, the change to Fish Allure from your current scent application of choice should not be that hard to do.

Don’t think of it as giving up your favorite scent application, think of it as utilizing a scent product to make you a more efficient angler.  This product fills the void left by traditional scent applications on hard surfaces, it doesn’t wash off.  Fish Allure is a no mess, no waste easy to apply scent tab meant for hard surfaces.  The days of reapplying pastes, gels and sprays over and over again is now a thing of the past.  Simply Peel off the tab, STICK the tab to any dry hard surfaced lure and start fishing.  The results are in the CATCH.  Fish Allure scented bait tabs are water activated, so when the tab gets wet the scent disperses.  It gives off a continuous release of scent for 60 minutes when wet.  If you happen to be rotating through rods and decide to switch baits, just dab the tab dry and it will stop releasing scent until it is ready to be used again.  Once it is put back in the water, it still has the remaining unused time to release scent.  Because you are not reapplying the scent every few cast, you gain casts.  If you had 100 more casts in a day, think of how much more time your lure is spent being where the fish are.  You can’t catch the fish if your bait is not in the strike zone.

One of the biggest differences I have noticed since using the product is my follow to turn away/commit ratio has changed for the better.  We have all had it happen…  Throwing a lure and as you are reeling it back to the boat, a fish follows and for whatever reason it turns away or fails to commit.  Heart breaking!  Fish for the most part are sight feeders.  Seeing what they want to eat first, then deciding whether or not to pursue it.  Does the fish want to invest energy to chase down and attempt to engage something it believes to be prey?  If the fish commits, it moves toward the object and begins to pick up movement through its lateral line.  This movement further commits the fish to engage.  As the fish moves in for what may be the ultimate kill shot, the last piece to the puzzle falls into place.  Does it smell and taste real to the fish?  Most anglers get the sight and sound right, but fall short on the scent.  Hence the heartbreak of the follow and turn away.  Since utilizing Fish Allure I have noticed a marked improvement in fish committing to a lure with Fish Allure versus them turning away. If I can increase my hook up ratio throughout the day, why wouldn’t I use this product to do so?

Another added benefit of using Fish Allure, like any other scent is masking my mistakes.  All scents do a good job as a cover up.  We as anglers come into contact with numerous different items on our way to the lake that leave behind traces of contaminant on our hands that fish find offensive.  Gas, oil and sunscreen are tops on the list of offensive odors that actually turn fish off.  Once you get to the lake and start fishing, the moment you touch your bait those offensive odors have now contaminated your lure.  Wonder why sometimes you get less bites during the day than others?  Pay attention to what you touch and keep your hands clean.  Fish Allure giving off scent as you pull your bait through the water creates a masking action, this gives you the extra time you need to set the hook.  I have seen camera footage of how quickly a fish can strike and blow out a lure, sometimes the angler never even knew it happened.  Having an extra second or two to feel the fish, can be the difference in hooking up or missing out.

Some of my favorite lures to utilize Fish Allure on are:  Crankbaits, spinnerbait blades, top water poppers, chatterbaits and jerkbaits to name a few.  The application opportunities for Fish Allure are endless, and I hear from our customers frequently on new and interesting ways to involve Fish Allure in fishing applications.  So if you want to put the odds in your favor, giving you more time to fish while appealing to all the fish’s scenes try Fish Allure scented bait tabs for yourself and see the difference first hand.

The Highs and Lows of Life on Tour

March 14, 2017 – After an extended road trip lasting almost two weeks, I have finally made it back to the office. During the road trip I rode some of the highest of highs, as some great shops were brought into the Fish Allure dealer network. However, during this trip I also experienced some lows as well. Tournament fishing is not easy and for those out there who are doing it or have done it – you know what I am talking about.

Florida is one of my favorite places to be! I have a good portion of my life in the sunshine state. Fishing there is nothing short of amazing and almost never disappointing. So pulling into Leesburg, Florida, for the FLW Tour event on the Harris Chain of lakes I was extremely excited to get on the water. Practice was a grind but positive. I caught some nice fish – the one pictured to the left weighed in at 5lbs 8ozs. After 3 days the game plan was developed and I had a decent idea of how I was going to catch the fish. I also had put to rest Lake Griffin – too much time involved in getting there. I also ruled out sight fishing, as I believed the bass had concluded their relations and were heading out to post spawn hideouts. The baits of choice were a half ounce Rat-L-Trap (wild shiner) and ima Rock and Vibe (shad pattern), both paired with Shad Fish Allure Scented Bait Tabs. I was targeting hydrilla clumps and stretches in Lake Harris and Eustis.

Day 1 of the Tournament – I ran to my big fish spot. A hydrilla laden area in front of two canals. This is where I caught the big one in practice and where I had the most confidence. I managed one nice keeper early and after about 2 hours, moved back to Little Harris to continue my day. I pulled 3 small keepers from a bay with a mix of lily pads and hydrilla, but it took several hours to do so. After a little more time passed, I decided to leave. Leaving this spot was a tough choice, because I only had 4 fish. Still needing the 5th fish, I moved closer to the launch ramp and settled into a hydrilla flat close by to try and find number 5. The 5th fish came with 30 or so minutes left in the day. After spending the last dozen or so casts in a different spot even closer to the launch, time ran out and I had to get back. After countless casts I had my limit, netting around seven and a half pounds – way back in the field is where I came to rest that day.

Day 2 of the Tournament – FOG DELAY! We waited for about an hour before it was safe to launch. I decided to stick close and allow everyone to get settled into their spots before I made the run to Lake Eustis. After 45 minutes and zero bites at my first stop, I packed up and made the run. Arriving at my spot in Eustis, I immediately knew things were different. This was a morning spot and after 30 minutes, I bailed to Little Harris to try and salvage my day. Now back on Little Harris, I slung those two rattle baits until my arm about fell off – no luck… At 1:30pm, with no fish in the live well I decided to change up and flipped a Z Man punch craw with a 1/8th oz weight. I immediately started catching fish! However, although these fish were keepers, they were not the right size. I quickly finished my limit and headed closer to the ramp to try and locate bigger fish. Arriving at my spot close to the ramp I had about an hour to upgrade – however, no luck. I weighed in 5 fish weighing 4lbs 14ozs and took home the distinction of having the smallest 5 fish limit in the tournament. This tournament was a bust, but the next one will be better!

Now that I am back and have had a chance to get caught up on work and have read the tournament write – ups, I believe I was doing the right thing. Just in the wrong area… Might have been too much hydrilla in the areas I was fishing and maybe I should have targeted smaller patches of hydrilla instead? Either way, I take away some positives. I had a limit each day, even though they were small. I also adjusted on day 2 to keep from being skunked. By switching to a flipping bait, I was able to put 5 small fish in the boat. The only thing I would have changed, would have been to head directly to Eustis after the fog delay on day 2. Don’t even know if that would have made a difference…

Tournament fishing and being on the road is tough. What is even tougher was the 16 hour drive I had coming back, what-ifing myself to death. After a tournament like that one, it is better to not overthink it. I guess I will chalk that one up to experience and move on to the next one. Until next time, tight lines and good fishing!

Photo courtesy of FLW.