Does WD-40 Attract Fish (Fact Or Myth?)

In the world of fishing, people will try anything to attract the next big catch. There are all types of myths and true stories about the best ways to get fish, but can you use WD-40 to attract fish?

WD-40 very likely has no fish attractant properties and is not good for the environment. Although some people report good success, no conclusive data exist to show it’s any good and the company behind WD-40 also states it’s a myth.

I’ll run through what WD-40 is and why it’s no good for fishing. We’ll also look at some rules and regulations which should make you think twice before using WD-40 just as bait. We’ll also consider some better alternatives so you can net the best catch ever!

Why Do Fish Like WD-40?

While often touted by anglers all around the world, there is no scientific basis for these claims. Whether spraying WD-40 on the bait, pouring it into the water, or using it on hooks, there seems to be no difference to interest from fish.

The company that produces WD-40 does not recommend people to use their product to attract fish.

Normally they are very open to people finding novel usages for their versatile product but specifically mention on their website to not use it to attract fish.

Not only do they point out that it is likely nothing in WD-40 that would attract fish, but they also voice concerns that it is important to respect and conserve the environment.

By this, they are likely trying to discourage the actions of putting WD-40 in the water.

Why Does WD-40 Attract Fish?

There have been many reasons offered why WD-40 may work to attract fish. First of all, WD-40 has a strong smell and as a substance, it covers and clings to surfaces, particularly metal. 

The idea is that it may cover the human scent that is on the lure or fishing line from touching it while rigging it. Some fish may avoid the human scent but not be turned away by the WD-40 stench.

The best way to entice a fish to be hooked by you is not to use WD-40. You should aim to activate a fish’s predatory senses that will entice it to bite on your lure. This is better achieved with specific lures, bait, and timing your fishing trips.

Is WD-40 Illegal For Fishing?

The full list of ingredients of WD-40 is a closely guarded company secret. Despite being invented decades ago, as it is not patented a full list of the ingredients is not available. 

Based on publicly available safety data required to be disclosed, WD-40 has several chemicals which are not known for their fish-attracting abilities. These include Aliphatic Hydrocarbon, Petroleum Base Oil, Surfactant, and LVP Aliphatic Hydrocarbon.

In regards to health and being a physical hazard, WD-40 is accepted as being very low risk. 

According to the national United States hazard rating scheme, WD-40 is minimal harm to the health of humans. This means you would need to intentionally consume significant amounts for any ill effects.

A point to be aware of is that anything that is petroleum-based is not something that should be introduced into the environment in large quantities.

Since WD-40 is technically a pollutant due to the presence of liquid petroleum hydrocarbons, you should not be spraying it or dumping it into any environment.

WD-40 won’t leave as much oil in the water as other sources, such as a boat engine. WD-40 will still leave oil residue if it is on the bait or fishing equipment. 

As WD-40 is not strictly toxic in small quantities, this means there are no laws restricting its use in fishing. Given that WD-40 is great for cleaning and maintaining fishing equipment, it would be very hard to prevent it from being put into the environment completely.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if you use WD-40 as bait, you will likely eat the fish later along with the WD-40. 

If you’re looking for substances that attract fish, there are much better alternatives. For example, specialty bait scent and fish attractants are sold for different water types and fish types.

Not only are these certified to be safe for the environment, but they’re also likely to be much more effective.

Amazon sells such products as the Pro-Cure bait scent that will do wonders compared to a water displacement product like WD-40 that contains petroleum.

Why Is WD-40 So Commonly Associated With Good Fishing?

Fishing is full of superstitions and myths about how to catch the best fish.

If you have one good day fishing, you will want to recreate it as best as possible by using the same gear, going to the same place, and even wearing the same clothes.

This will mean that anglers will make any connections to what gave them such a good day of fishing, even if the links are somewhat tenuous.

Many anglers use WD-40 to protect their gear. Dirt and water are common partners on any fishing trip. This means your gear is exposed to corrosive elements and rust. 

WD-40 will not only give the protective coating but also remove rust or allow articulating parts to move better. 

WD-40’s reputation as not only a versatile substance but specifically quite good at protecting your fishing equipment from rust means it’s a common sight. The hypothesis is that while anglers used WD-40 on their gear, in desperation some started using it as bait as well.

All it takes is for success and then suddenly everyone is talking about using WD-40 as the next big fish bait.

To keep things short and sweet, there is actually no documentation that WD-40 contains anything that would attract fish.

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