Attracting fish – Scent Attractors

Rubby-dubby, chunking or ground baiting (anything that involves putting a scent in the water to attract fish) are all common practices for the average boat angler outside of the UK. Here are a few tips to help you increase your catches via the use of a scent trail.

Anyone who has ever seen Jaws (I guess that’s everybody then!) has seen that using free bait is one way of attracting fish to a boat (albeit a 30foot plastic fish). When you are out on a boat the open sea can seem like a big place, in fact it is. Some fish hold around structures on the bottom whilst others don’t, you need all the help you can get when trying to find the fish, so why not bring them to you?


Most of the species caught in UK waters can be attracted using a ruby-dubby or ground bait but some of the most susceptible include:-

  • Bream
  • Garfish
  • Mackerel
  • Shark
  • Tope
  • Ray
  • Bass
  • Conger Eel

Methods Of Putting A Scent Trail Into The Water

Rubby-Dubby is fresh oily fish mashed to a pulp and put in a mesh sack that can then either be lowered to the bottom or suspended at the surface. The scent trail from rubby-dubby will be released slowly and consistently over a set amount of time. If you are one of those people who likes to plan in advance you may also like to consider freezing some ruby dubby, it may be best to get the wife’s permission to use the freezer first though. Frozen ruby dubby breaks down even more slowly.

Chunking involves cutting fresh (it must be fresh) fish into chunks and introducing it to the water by hand. Chopped Sandeel (Launce) and Mackerel are especially good for attracting Bass using this method.

The other thing to think about when attempting to attract fish in UK waters is the tide. Our tides our strong and you should always keep this in mind when introducing bait into the water, that last thing you want to do is by keeping the fish 200 yards downstream of where your baited hook is. Whilst this is mainly guess work, the more you fish an area the more you should know what to expect from the tide, this makes experience an invaluable asset.

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