Do Crappie Scents Actually Work?

do crappie scents work, adding scent to your jig, crappie scents

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Do Crappie Scents Really Work? 


The short answer is… YES!!!! There is absolutely no doubt that adding a crappie nibble, or Powerbait formula tipped critter, or one of the new Fireballs will lead to more bites and thus more fish catches!

Are they worth it?  NO…at least not from my perspective!

This is going to be a more controversial topic in the beginning but after you hear about my own personal Odessey that I went on as a kid by tipping my jigs you will hopefully understand why I say you should limit your use of them.


What Are Crappie Scents?


Scents have been added to baits since the introduction of plastic fishing lures.  Most of us have heard stories about old timers dunking their baits in coffee, spitting chewing tobacco on it, or some sort of natural scent.  While successful fishing trips should mostly be chalked up to a placebo effect, it shouldn’t be entirely discounted.

Fish do work off of their senses just like us, and smell plays its roll.  

Sometimes it was revealed what a successful fisherman had added (he was really just a great fisherman) then anglers would follow suit.  Businesses got a whiff themselves and knew they could market it and started pushing different squirt on scents.

Then a very innovative company, named Berkley designed an entire business model around specializing in scented bait.  One of their most notable releases were tiny drops of dough bait referred to as “Crappie Nibbles”.

These little things were a hit from the get-go as anglers swore that they could catch way more fish with each tipped jig!  


My Journey With Scented Crappie Baits

When I was learning the ropes in crappie fishing along the banks of Rend Lake, I would walk up and down the rocks along the 154 bridge closest to Sesser looking for jig heads, and disregarded tube jigs that had just a little bit of plastic left that I could use.  One day I made a huge score!

A nearly full bottle of a green shad scented enhancer with a pump top had been forgotten.  Being a curious kid, the first thing I did was squirt some in my hand and smelled it and to this day I still smell it!

I would periodically spray the liquid on my jig throughout a day. 

A short time later I was fishing under the bridge at Harrisburg Lake when an old man introduced me to crappie nibbles.  

It was evident from the get-go, that these little bites of dough worked as, every time I would put one on, I’d get bit!  While I never noticed any difference in size of the fish I would catch, I did notice I was catching a lot more bluegill while trying to catch crappie.  It wasn’t long before I developed a dependence on using these baits as the dopamine hit I’d get from the increase in action.

Unfortunately, I found out what developing a dependence on something was, as for a period of time, we were unable to restock.  I would be riding shotgun in the passenger seat heading up to the lake already defeated because I didn’t have the “secret weapon” therefore was likely not going to get bit as well.   

I found myself moving around more than usual since I wasn’t getting bit every cast and my confidence fell.  The funny thing looking back is, I rarely came home with more keeper sized fish when my jig was without the nibbles, the action was all that I was paying for.

I say this as a warning…

Adding crappie scents is a great idea under the right circumstances!


When I Believe The Right Time Is To Use Crappie Scents


Going off of my experience, I do believe there are three key times to use the additional bait scents…

  1. After A Cold Front
  2. When Fishing Brand New Waters
  3. When Fishing With A Child


Cold Fronts


When a front pushes through the bite all but shuts down.  Fish have little motivation to chase a bait down so we do need all the help we can get to increase the action. 

I believe this is the absolute best time to tip your bait with a high-quality crappie scent since they will add several extra bites, keeping morale higher!


When Fishing On New Water


Anytime I travel to new waters, I prep by knowing contour lines, dominant cover, and everything possible I can about the lake.  The one thing you won’t know is the exact location of the fish, and what colors they’re feeding on. 

Adding a little scent to the bait will help you gain a few bites, helping you to zero in on what you need to do!


When Fishing With A Child


I know it seems hypocritical but if you find yourself fishing with a child and the bites are few and far between, then in order to keep their attention consider adding a bait scent. 

When introducing someone to fishing, they need to be given every opportunity to enjoy early success so that they don’t give up too soon!  




Bait scents do work, there’s no doubt.  Fish rely on the sense of smell to let them know if something is edible or not and these bait enhancers are specifically targeted at making sure the fish want to eat them.

I still do use them under the right conditions, but I also know that I can catch fish without them.  This falls in line with not having any more of your favorite-colored jigs…You just make the fish bite something else!



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