Does Garlic Attract Fish?

Most fish species have a powerful sense of smell that allows them to detect scents from a great distance underwater. Fishermen have been using various scent-infused lures and attractants for years to get fish to bite.

But does garlic attract fish? Yes, garlic scent works quite well when you want to attract fish to bite into a lure. Fish are attracted to garlic-infused fish baits because garlic has a strong aroma that spreads quickly into the water. Using garlic is a good way to get rid of the smell of benzine or sunscreen off your hands. 

Keep reading to learn why garlic is a good fish bait, why do fish like garlic, and how to make homemade fish baits using garlic scent. 

Is Garlic Good Fish Bait?

Garlic is a very potent fish bait and fish attractant. Using garlic scent can be particularly effective with other baits. 

This is because garlic enhances the potency of other baits and also masks any repelling odors that would deter fish from biting the lure.

Fish classify scents as repellant and attractive. Garlic is one of the several scents that fish find attractive.

Using garlic baits increased your chances of getting a fish on your line. Besides being attracted to the smell of garlic, fish are more likely to hold onto or bite garlic-scented lures for longer, giving you enough time to set the hook and reel in the fish successfully.

Another reason why garlic is a good fish bait is that it’s readily available throughout the year in any grocery store and is very affordable. 

Do Fish Like Garlic Cloves?

Do Fish Like Garlic Cloves

Although some fishermen drive hooks through actual garlic cloves, that might not be such a good idea. The smell of garlic cloves will attract fish, but the actual clove may be too hard for a fish to bite.

The best way to attract fish using garlic is to pour garlic salt or garlic powder over the fishing bait of your choice. Choose soft and fleshy baits, such as chicken liver, raw meat, raw worms, hot dogs, or soft plastic lures. Soft baits and lures are much more effective at attracting a fish to bite than hard garlic cloves.

Pour a generous amount of garlic salt or powder into a plastic bag or air-tight plastic container. Place your bait of choice into the plastic bag or air-tight container and leave it to soak up the garlic scent. The longer the bait stays in garlic seasoning, the stronger it will smell. 

Soft baits like chicken livers and hot dogs are particularly great at soaking up the garlic smell and flavor. These baits are very effective for catching fish, particularly channel catfish and bullheads. 

To sum it up, instead of using raw garlic cloves as fish baits, soak soft plastic baits or fleshy baits in garlic powder or garlic salt. The smell of garlic will attract the fish to your bait, and the fish will be able to bite into it correctly. 

How Do You Make Garlic Scent for Fishing?

Garlic is such an effective bait for fishing, so it’s a good idea to have some garlic bait in stock. The easiest way to do that is to make homemade garlic baits. 

Most commercial fishing scents are oil-based. These scents disperse slowly and are better at attracting fish than water-based fishing scents

To make a homemade garlic scent for fish bait, you’ll need a few simple ingredients, including:

  • 500 ml olive oil
  • ½ cup of minced garlic
  • ½ cup of salt

To make your own garlic scent, put all these ingredients in a blender and blitz quickly. If necessary, add more garlic or salt until you’re satisfied with the mixture’s scent and consistency. 

Soak soft rubber baits, fish pellets, or dough balls into the garlic mixture and leave overnight to soak. If you prefer fishing with live worms, place a few drops of garlic scent on your worm baits before casting them into the water. 

Use a few drops of garlic scent on soft and hard plastic baits to make them more appealing to fish. 

What Other Scents Attract Fish?

The best scents for attracting fish are those that can be found naturally in the fish’s environment and some pungent-smelling plants, like garlic. These scents create a strong and consistent scent track for fish to follow for several hours.

Besides garlic, here are several other scents that attract fish:

Fish Oil

Natural fish oil or any other fish-smelling product is a highly effective scent for attracting fish. Using fish oil makes much sense, considering it makes baits smell and taste like prey the fish would eat in the wild. 


Most fish species are attracted to the taste and smell of anise. Anise oil has a strong scent, similar to black licorice, attracting fish from all areas of the water to your lure. Use a few drops of anise oil on soft and hard plastic baits to make them more appealing to fish.


Many plastic baits are covered or infused with salt. Most fish species, including bass, trout, panfish, and catfish, are attracted to the smell and taste of salt and will happily bite salt-infused bait. 

Salt is a staple ingredient in every kitchen, and you can easily use it to cure fleshy baits like chicken livers. The curing process will make your baits tougher and harder to slip from the hook. It also helps preserve your bait to be used weeks or months later. 


It’s not completely clear whether fish are drawn to the smell of garlic or garlic masks odors that repel fish. But whatever the case, fish bite garlic-infused lures and hold onto the bait longer. 

Besides being effective for drawing the fish to your bait, garlic scent is easy to make at home. Soak your artificial lures or fleshy baits in garlic powder or garlic salt, or create your own garlic scent using minced garlic, olive oil, and salt.