The taste of the bait given determines whether it will be taken by the fish

The taste of the bait given ultimately determines this, whether it will be taken by the fish. The sense of taste is the last barrier between the fish and the angler.

To find out the taste of a particular food, the fish pulls him into the mouth. Tasting and possibly spitting it out takes fractions of a second. In my laboratory, I conducted experiments with perches, measuring this time with a stopwatch. They need 1/4 seconds, to determine the suitability of the food for consumption.

The zander turned out to be even faster, while trout and catfish took more time. However, it does not matter in fishing practice, because we need much more time to notice a bite and jam.

Gary Klein, the famous perch hunter in America, is a man of incredibly fast reflexes. He admits anyway, that he is too slow, to jam, even when the fish is taking in front of his own eyes. Whether the caught bite will be swallowed by the fish, or spit out immediately, it depends on the instant chemical control of the sensory organ, which protects the fish against mistakes. The sense of taste determines the suitability of the bait for consumption, it therefore constitutes between
an angler and the fish the last barrier, which the angler should try to overcome. Most artificial lures affect the eyesight of the fish, sense of hearing or lateral line. Not paying attention to the sense of taste, may turn out to be a tactical error. Many anglers believe, that the artificial lures they use, such as: plastic worms, "Jigsy", wobblers, or metal spinners, they are very attractive to fish. In reality, however, they can be disgusting. For this reason, it should be done when fishing for predatory fish, wanting to outsmart them, use their sense of taste. Not all fish species have good eyesight, hearing or smell, but they all have a perfectly developed sense of taste, which helps in sorting edible and inedible things.

Anglers who ignore the taste of fish, they have to console themselves with weaker catch results. Fortunately, there are many options to make your bait more attractive like this, that it becomes very tasty for the fish. You just need to understand it and know it, how to approach the case.

Internal flavor

The taste stamens in fish are arranged differently than in humans. They are found throughout the mouth and form patterns, characteristic of a given species of fish.

Lots of fish, such as: salmon, trout, karp, catfish or perch, they have in the palate, right behind the front teeth of the upper jaw, particularly sensitive flavor parts. The palate of the trout is long 20 cm, includes approx 2500 taste stamens. For comparison, the much larger language of an adult man contains only 9000 these stamens. In other species of fish, the taste rods are also located on the gills and in the throat.

In the catfish they are most densely arranged on the gill tukes, which allows you to accurately perceive the taste stimuli from the water while breathing. In some places, the number of taste rods in the catfish reaches 50 pieces per mm2, and so 5000 per cm2. Fish can capture the taste of substances dissolved in water better than humans. They recognize the acid 160 times better, salt 200 times and sugar 900 times better.

Outer flavor

In some fish, the taste stamens are also found outside the mouth, their taste sensitivity is the same. They may be located between the teeth, on the lips, around the mouth, on the chin and around the head. For example, the taste-sensitive zones in carp extend from the lip to the pectoral fins. Some species recognize the taste by the whiskers around the mouth: in cod, one mustache in the chin, in the carp, barbel and sturgeon 4, and u European sum 6. American catfish, due to the density of the whiskers around the mouth, bears the nickname of the cat. I am 8 mustache: 2 between the eyes, 2 on the sides of the upper jaw and 4 on the chin. Its whiskers are simply sown with taste sticks, on which it is located 20.000 taste points. Whiskers are very active when searching for food, because they have a highly developed sense of touch. The interesting item is carefully palpated and found to be fit for consumption.

Perceiving taste stimuli is difficult for humans to imagine. A carp could, for example, stick his head in a chocolate ice cream and taste it "cheek to cheek".

Who cannot imagine perceiving taste sensations with "ears", this one must put himself in the position of the sum, which has 175.000 taste points spread all over the body and has incredible "tasting" skills. You could call it a floating tongue. Many anglers think, that the fish must take the bait, to find out the taste. However, it is different. For a fish a light touch with the outer parts of the body is enough – and everything is clear now. She doesn't like the flavor of the bait, it quietly moves away from the hunting ground. The external sense of taste creates additional problems for anglers. Apparently proven too, that the fish don't even need to touch the bait, to find out its taste. It is enough for them to be in the vicinity of the fishery. Similarly, as if getting closer to the sausage was enough for us, to be sure of its taste. We are able to locate the smell from a distance, however, to establish the taste of an item, you must take it in your mouth.

From a distance

There is no such division for animals that live in water. Fragrance and taste particles are distributed evenly in the water.

To be able to perceive the above-mentioned stimuli from further distances, the high sensitivity of the sense organs must be guaranteed in the fish, which even the smallest concentrations of the substances in question can be recognized in water. That at least some species of fish have these abilities, this was proved in the 1960s in experiments with catfish. Well, after depriving the sum of the sense of smell, it was found that, despite everything, he was able to find a source of food. In this experiment, the fish followed the trail of fine chemical particles dissolved in the water (liver extract) and reach the starting point located at a distance 30 times the body length of the fish. Moreover, it was proved, that certain chemical components were better distinguished by the sums by taste than by smell. Catfish aren't the only fish that can recognize taste from a distance. Rainbow trout, for example, are just as good, they taste even better than smell the amino acids (the most important chemical ingredients that stimulate most fish to eat). Savoring the taste at a distance makes fishing more difficult. Fish can recognize the bait from a distance, and this is often the case, that when approaching it they make a backward turn at some point. This is not due to the wrong appearance of the bait, but often with its unpleasant taste.
The right measure

The reaction of the fish to the bait also depends on its taste. Anglers, who do not take this natural defensive behavior into account, they catch less. So what is needed is "the right measure" for our lure, to hit the fish to the liking. What is this "appropriate measure"? In fact, fish have a taste sensation similar to ours and distinguish between similar taste directions, as well as us. So they react to substances, being ingredients 4 basic flavors: salty, sweet, bitter and sour. Reaction to these substances does not mean anything, that all tastes suit the fish. Sugar is a tasty addition to candies and Coca Cola, however, scientific research has shown, that it has little effect on predatory fish. In my laboratory tests, only rainbow trouts reacted positively to sugar, and only to its high concentrations. Other species like pike perch, perch or catfish showed no interest in sugar. Salt has a stimulating effect, however, it does not always stimulate the appetite of the fish. Higher salt content in your favorite food can even lead to rejection. After all, good results in fishing, e.g.: large-mouthed bass was achieved using an artificial lure impregnated in salt. Personally, I find it wrong to use salt and sugar to attract predatory fish to the hook. These substances do not contribute to increasing the appetite of the bait. The most stimulating substances, so far discovered, there are organic bonds found in living tissues. The most popular are amino acids, alcohols and organic acids. Each species of fish responds best to specific substances, but amino acids are quite versatile. What trout tastes like, it does not have to correspond to a zander. Each species of fish also has its own favorite set of amino acids, with related species reacting similarly. You could probably compose sets of amino acids, that would only have exciting properties for a certain family of fish. You could then fish for perch using a stimulant, which e.g.. zander would not be interested. The taste is varied among the different types of fish.

From mother nature

So how to find the right bait agent among many amino acids or other substances?? Mostly natural bait is taken, or you can combine it with artificial bait. Predatory fish is chemically programmed for a given prey, therefore predators hunting mainly for volcanoes find them chemically attractive. However, the habituation to a given type of food in fish is not so strong, lest they try other varieties of it. However, if the food is in excess, for example, a certain species of insects, it may happen, that no other food will be ingested. Mostly, however, fish fit in this way, that they eat everything, what they can find. The decisive aspect here, however, is the taste of the food consumed. It can be a surprise too, that the food in abundance is not necessarily the delicacy of the fish, on the contrary, even an unfamiliar kind of food can be eaten willingly.

A friend of mine once wanted to use a pot to catch eels for a scientific project. Various natural lures did not bring the expected catch. On the advice of a professional fisherman, he used crab meat as bait, which resulted in, that the effect was immediate. It was a somewhat puzzling situation, for there were no crabs in the waters there. However, the eels ate them very willingly, no matter if they have encountered them in their lives, or not. Earthworms can be used as another example. They are animals that live on land, and yet they are the most hunted bait for most species of fish. Pike love fatty fish, for example, for mackerel, never seen before. However, it contains a certain "flavor package", known to pike from other fish it consumes.

Blood excites predators

Every angler should show some panache in using natural bait. The attractiveness of a dead fish can be increased by making short cuts on its sides. The blood of young fish excites perch, zander and other predators. However, pay attention, so as not to damage the insides of the bait fish. The "taste" of the already digested food content is perfectly felt by the fish. It is something so unnatural, that already had even a minimal cut of the guts (gall bladder in particular) causes a complete decline in interest in such "prey". In the experiments I have conducted, while feeding perch with ground fish meat, I found, that the meat, which had been cleared of its entrails, was readily accepted by them, while the uncleaned was simply discarded. In nature, there are many examples of flavors that effectively discourage predatory fish from the object that emits them. As an example, I will only mention the skin glands of some frogs and toads. The specialized secretion produced by these glands has a repulsive effect on the taste buds of almost all predatory fish. Same, they automatically consider such a frog to be completely unremarkable and inedible.

Despite the attractiveness of natural lures, their choice is not always the best. Some are even forbidden, others are not readily used by anglers. Artificial flavor enhancing additives are a possibility, something like concentrated natural baits. Crayfish essences and concentrates are known, crabs, earthworms and leeches. Plant essences are available now (e.g.. fruit and garlic extract) and they work on white fish, e.g.. carp stimulating. Among the flavor "enhancers" we distinguish between aromas and ready-made ones, crafted baits. Their forms are diverse, from liquid to solid. They have many advantages, because they can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time, moreover, they can be combined very well with artificial bait. With their help, the angler is able to decide on the intensity of the propagation of active flavor molecules in the water. Moreover, the angler himself can increase the visual attractiveness of his bait, by using appropriate paints, be shiny foil. There are various possibilities of preparing the bait with flavors: smearing the outer surface, filling the gaps and soaking the bait. In any case, the aroma irritates the taste organs of the fish and forces it to keep the prey in its mouth longer. Unfortunately, the reverse is also possible. Using the wrong flavor enhancer can make the bait spit out immediately. The use of aromas is becoming more and more popular. For example, soft plastic is tasteless to fish, which has been observed in aquariums in perch and other fish. However, the same material is soaked with a certain aroma, the fish stayed longer in the mouth, and even swallowed it.


When enhancing the flavor of artificial bait, so-called supernatural taste stimuli are stimulated. This automatically leads to better fishing results. In the rainbow trout test, salmon roe was compared, trout super bait, with an artificially crafted bait. In Poland, fishing with roe is strictly prohibited! The "aromatic bomb" used turned out to be five times more catchy, than salmon roe. However, we must try to exclude substances that repel fish, which are unfortunately very widespread. They include hand creams, deodorants, colognes and tobacco, especially chewing tobacco containing a high dose of nicotine. Therefore, by smoking cigarettes over the water, we effectively transfer their smell (taste) on the bait put on the hook. Experience has shown, that the most deterrent for fish are lotions against insect bites. They contain the highest dose of the DEET chemical. Perches can sense this measure in negligible concentrations, less than 1 part on 1 million parts of water. Hands smeared with this agent once, they make the bait on 90 minutes unusable. It is therefore advisable to wash your hands before fishing, however, use completely water-soluble cleaning agents. Many fish feel and hear first, before he sees anything. Their aroused curiosity makes them approach the object of interest. On closer approach, they can already smell and taste without touching the bait. If it's still interesting, the taking is certain. Decision in this case, I remind you once again, directs the sense of taste, being the last barrier between the angler and the fish.