Add Scent and Color to Soft Plastic Baits for Bass

garlic

Today's soft plastic lineup seems to have the bases pretty well covered, but even with such diversity, stubborn bass often need coaxing. Could be weather—fall will soon bring a regular parade of meddling cold fronts—or just heavy fishing pressure. Whatever the case, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Fred Roumbanis nudges those tough bites by accenting his plastics with color and scent.

There are many options if you want to add scent, but Roumbanis keeps it simple with the old reliable: garlic. For some reason, bass like this aroma—but that’s not the only advantage.

“I think a garlic scent also masks your human scent,” Roumbanis said. “Anytime you can hide your scent, that’s helpful.”

As for color, Roumbanis keeps things easy with chartreuse and orange. Here’s his plan:

“Whenever there are bluegill present, it’s almost a necessity to add a little chartreuse to your baits. Because when the bluegill get scared, they really flare that chartreuse color,” Roumbanis said. “Whenever I see a bluegill go screaming by I really notice that chartreuse on their tails.”

To maximize this bass-enticing display, Roumbanis uses a garlic scented chartreuse marker to add that bluegill tone to the ends of baits with non-active tails like a Gene Larew Salt Flicker. Such stick-style baits hold the visual accents well, and catch the eye of lurking bass with that frantic fleeing façade.

And while Roumbanis forgoes the aft accents on baits with active back ends, he does take steps to ensure proper targeting. With a bait like the Larew Three Legged Frog, significant kicking action would blur any accents. But there's still room for visual enhancement.

“For super contrasting baits like white, I’ll put a little orange on the chin because that adds a target for the fish to aim toward,” he said. “It really does seem to get the fish to bite better and that gives me a better hookup."