Product review by Eric Nelson
Fish attractants and scents have long been an integral part of most anglers’ tactics. The main purpose of an attractant is generally to mask smells that are abnormal to the underwater world, such as the odor of plastisol, metal corrosion, and even tobacco odors that get transferred to the baits. The available scents and formulas are endless, and some companies even claim the more natural baitfish scents built into their plastics cause the fish to hold on the bait longer.
Whether or not this actually attracts fish to the lure is debatable, and I haven’t seen any proof that is true. I have however witnessed fish that were not interested enough to eat change their minds and attack a bait with severe aggression after I added a touch of scent to it. In most cases when I add scents I see very little results, although they do seem to help a smidge on occasion, so as a competitive angler I take every step I can to increase the odds of success.
I recently was introduced to a new product called Diatract while at a Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) event. I didn’t give it too much thought; however, I don’t discount any new product until I have looked into it myself. I opened the sample package I received, and then immediately sealed it back up and to get a breath a clean air. Consider yourself warned: this isn’t your favorite garlic scent, or the refreshing anise oil odor.
There are other powerful scented attractants that we have had faith in over the years, such as Berkley’s Powerbait as well as their Yum line. Diatract, manufactured by Delco Products, steps that up a notch. But does it work?
What is a fish stimulant?
According to the product packaging this is not merely a typical “scent” or “attractant” which I can attest to completely, Diatract claims this is a “stimulant”, and the only one on the market. “What’s the difference?” is the first and obvious question, so let’s take a peek at their claims:
“Researchers identified the precise combination of protein compounds that stimulate the part of the brain that draws fish to a food source. Diatract will cause the fish to search incessantly for the heaviest concentration of the mixture while inhibiting the part of the brain that indicates a feeling of being full. “
These are bold claims, claims that they say are backed up with over 30 years of university research, which sounds impressive. But we don’t know how many tournaments have been put on in a university lab, and competitive anglers want real results in a competitive environment. There aren’t many things more competitive than the Realtree Fishing KBF TRAIL Series presented by Dee Zee Truck Accessories, which is comprised of die hard bass fisherman willing to travel across the country to fish out of little plastic boats. So I started to inquire amongst my peers in the sport and to see if anyone was using the product. I found a proven tournament angler who swears by Diatract’s product.
“Diatract has definitely been a game changer. I would love to keep it my little secret.” – Jimmy McClurkan
Introducing Jimmy McClurkan
When researching the Diatract product, one name immediately came up from other folks in the kayak bass fishing community over and over again – Jimmy McClurkan. Jimmy resides in Dickson, TN with his wife and is a father of 3. His fishing successes range from local bass boat club events to BFLs. Jimmy started fishing from a kayak in 2018 and has shown his skill for the last 2 years with a consistent top 10 average, an impressive statistic for any competitive angler.
Jimmy finished 2020 out by placing 8th in both the Trail and Challenge series championships putting him near the top of all the points standings for KBF. The most important being 4th overall in Angler of the Year points earning Jimmy a spot in DEE ZEE KBF THE TEN, one of the most sought after achievements by kayak bass anglers across the country.
Hands on with Diatract
The only thing more constant than Jimmy’s finishes would be what he attributes the bulk of his recent success to Diatract. I recently caught up with Jimmy to get more information about what he thought about this mysteriously magic sauce, and he graciously set some time aside while prepping for DEE ZEE KBF THE TEN to share his thoughts.
Chad Hoover from KBF introduced Jimmy to the Diatract product. “I thought this is just another fish attractant, but as he explained the science behind the product he had my interest piqued.” McClurkan explained.
Although he hadn’t tried the soft plastics offered by Diatract, he added the product to his confidence baits. Jimmy’s initial response was “WOW this stuff smells horrible and in the fishing world that’s a good thing!!”
Continuing through the year, Jimmy would add the product directly to his baits several days in advance to absorb the stimulant.
“Diatract definitely increased my bite ratio. Last year I caught countless 20”+ fish – to many to count but also the fish that usually don’t bite the 22”+ fish! I caught numerous 22” along with several 23” and a couple 24+. That just doesn’t happen.” McClurkan continued “I won 5 State challenges along the way setting the TN State record for 5 bass over 112”.
Tips and Tricks
When I asked about when to use it and any other tips for folks, Jimmy replied “I’ve seen first hand what it does. So I’m using it straight out of the gate.”
“Something I do is marinate way before I want to use it. If you can put your plastics on your dash to let them get heated up or even just a few seconds in a microwave, I feel like it lets the scent absorb into the bait.”
Where is Diatract sold?
[Editor’s Note: Diatract was distributed to competitors at 2020 KBF TRAIL events, and as word spread of the product and success anglers were having with it, we asked 2020 KBF’s Mid-Atlantic Region Angler of the Year Eric Nelson to research the product and write a review, which in turn led him to Tennessee’s Jimmy McClurkan]
About the Author: Eric Nelson is a Tournament Director for Carolina Kayak Anglers. He is also the editor and owner of www.basstrail.com, a kayak fishing news site. In 2020, he was the KBF TRAIL Mid-Atlantic Regional Angler of the Year.
Jimmy MccLurkan is sponsored by Old Town Kayaks, Dakota Lithium, Halo Rods, Smisek Custom Baits
Picasso Lures, Diatract, Titan Tungsten and Yak Gadget.