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How to Mask Unnatural Scents While Fishing

During the summer pattern, fish strike less actively and they do a bit more investigation of your lure before they take it. That brings scent into play, more so than in the springtime.

During the summertime, scent plays a larger role. If you’re throwing a rig that has a lot of hardware, like a Tokyo rig, the fish might already be a bit suspicious. A bad scent might make an even more negative impression. You don’t want to double down on negative aspects.

Many sanitizers or soaps have a rubbing alcohol scent, even after you rub it in, or there’s a perfume. The scent of commercial hand soaps or hand sanitizers can be overpowering even for humans. The fish are definitely going to pick up that scent, especially during that investigative period. You don’t want the smell of alcohol or perfume on your lure.

What you can do is cover those scents up with a more appealing scent to fish or try to neutralize the odor. We recommend some good options below.

Pour Cold Coffee On Your Hands

Strike King pro Danger Kelly recommends saving a bit of undrunk coffee at the bottom of your cup and pouring a bit onto your hands once you get to your fishing spot. (Obviously, make sure the coffee is lukewarm or cold by that point.) 

Fish like the scent of coffee—clearly, as we’ve developed entire bait lines that feature that alluring aroma—and a little bit on your hands will help ensure no other unnatural perfume or alcohol smell spooks the fish.

Strike King also sells the coffee scent we use in our lures as a spray. You could carry a can of that to apply to both your lures and your hands. 

Rub Your Hands Through Your Hair

If you’re lucky enough to have a nice head of hair, and if you don’t use a lot of product in it, you can run your fingers through it a few times. This will re-introduce a more musk-like smell to your hands and reduce the pungency of any lingering hand sanitizer or hand soap smell.


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