Back in the early 1970's, there were very few fish attractants on the market. We made our own by mixing anise oil, the licorice smell in many modern products, with vanilla extract. I liked the smell, it always made me hungry, and it seemed to help catch more fish. I kept mine in a half-pint jar in the bottom of the boat and dunked my plastic worms in it before almost every cast.
If nothing else, the scents cover other smells that might keep a fish from biting. I will never forget one spring morning when Linda was beating me nine bass to one. I remembered putting gas in the boat that morning and getting gas on my hands. I washed my hands and used some of her lotion. I don't know if the washing or the sweet smelling lotion helped most, but I caught as many fish as she did the rest of the morning. I am real careful when I gas up on the way to the lake now!
In a tournament a couple of years ago, Ricky Cooper beat me four fish to one. He was spraying a garlic scented spray called Lockjaw on his plastic worm. I bought a can as soon as I got back to Griffin! I have used it many times over the past few years and it seems to help. I guess bass like a little garlic on their food. I also use a scent the company claims is made from crawfish. Since Real Craw smells like the favorite food of bass, it makes sense to me that it would help. I am sure it could not hurt.
At the Georgia Bass Chapter Federation tournament a few years ago, a Valdosta, Georgia company called Sport Products gave us all a sample of their lure scent, Super Strike. I like the way it smells and am sure it would also help get a few more strikes each day. It is endorsed by Georgia pro Stanley Mitchell.
Many of the pro fishermen claim to soak their plastic baits and pork products in scents before using them. I glued a small pill bottle to the console of my boat and keep an inch or so of the attractant I am using in it. I can dip a worm or jig and pig in it before a cast and freshen it up. I really haven't changed much since the old jar of 25 years ago! A snap-on cap keeps the juice in the bottle while running down the lake.
Many lures come with a built in scent. Salt was the favored attractant a couple of years ago and all kinds of worms came with salt in them. You could taste it when you bit the worm off to make it shorter. Others have differing additives to catch the fisherman and the fish. They all probably help - or at least don't hurt.
During the miserable winter weather, check out all the scents available. If you are real inventive, come up with one of your own. Win a bunch of bass tournaments and then put it on the market. You could make more money selling it than you could winning the tournaments! Or come up with one just for crappie fishermen. There should be a good market for it.