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Applying sunscreen and then handling bait a no-no?

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Applying sunscreen and then handling bait a no-no?

Old 07-03-2014, 05:25 AM
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Default Applying sunscreen and then handling bait a no-no?

My regular fishing buddy and I have a constant conversation when bottom fishing for grouper/snapper where he chides me for putting on (more) sunscreen when on the boat. His theory is that even though I use alcohol wipes to clean my hands, some of the lotion will still be on my hands and get onto the bait which will repel the fish.

We both usually catch the same amt of fish, give or take. However, our last trip we stopped at a spot where I put on more sunscreen and we started to fish. He was getting decent a red grouper on every trip to the bottom, whereas me, on the other side of the boat couldn't even get a bite. This went on for maybe 20 minutes in which he limited both of us out and I had nothing, not even a bite. We switched sides of the boat at one point too.We use the same bait and leader and basically wait till we feel some activity and start reeling in.

We moved to another spot looking for snapper and things evened out a that location, including picking up more reds that we had to toss back.

Needless to say I'm now thinking of wearing disposable gloves to put on sunscreen. But I will still have to listen to him say ... remember that time you couldn't buy a bite and....

Anyone else have a similar experience or special protocol for using sunscreen while fishing?
Old 07-03-2014, 05:35 AM
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All sunscreens reflect UV light. That's how they work. Since most fish can see UV (we can't), your fingers are putting a visible pattern on the bait or lure. That may or may not repel fish depending on whether or not they are keyed into a particular visual pattern to locate prey. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't particular.

You need to remember this when you apply the new ProCure scents that also provide UV reflection. How you apply the scent can be important since the fish can see it.
Old 07-03-2014, 05:41 AM
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I never apply sunblock then handle bait. Buy a better block like bullfrog and apply before you go.
Old 07-03-2014, 05:59 AM
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I'm extremely funny about sunblock and smokers handling bait. I've heard stories that seem to prove that it makes a difference but I haven't seen it first hand but... it makes me sleep better at night knowing I did everything I could to increase my odds.
Old 07-03-2014, 06:03 AM
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Ive heard that it is a huge no-no in bass fishing, saltwater not sure how much of a factor it is but I dont take any chances.

After I apply I always wipe hands off with paper towel and then wash hands with a piece of chum or cut bait and then dry with paper towel again. I have seen so issues with my method.
Old 07-03-2014, 06:14 AM
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Definitely agree that sun cream affects the bait, be it by the UV marks - didn't know about that one - or the fact that it add a very unnatural scent. I try to rig my baits before the sun gets very high, sometimes I'm even organized enough to do it the night before, though that is rare...
Old 07-03-2014, 07:43 AM
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Seems like an "old wives tale" to me. Will still wash hands after applying anyway however.
Old 07-03-2014, 07:52 AM
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i wash my hands after and i've never seen a difference. but even if it costs me a fish or two, i'd rather miss out on that than get a nasty burn or skin cancer later in life. reapply, wash hands, continue fishing. no big deal
Old 07-03-2014, 08:55 AM
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get the aerosol sunscreen....problem solved
Old 07-03-2014, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by SHANE704 View Post
get the aerosol sunscreen....problem solved


NO NO NO..that shit stains fiberglass!!
Old 07-03-2014, 09:22 AM
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Out my way we always, always handle bait and terminal tackle with latex gloves. In addition, we use lemon joy to wash everything down. Even wetting down the line when chinching up a knot, I will not spit on the knot. Instead just a dot of LJ on the knot and it slides down like hot butter.
Old 07-03-2014, 09:31 AM
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I'll second that! NO AEROSOL SPRAY on boat!
Old 07-03-2014, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Seefood Man View Post
Out my way we always, always handle bait and terminal tackle with latex gloves. In addition, we use lemon joy to wash everything down. Even wetting down the line when chinching up a knot, I will not spit on the knot. Instead just a dot of LJ on the knot and it slides down like hot butter.
Really?
Old 07-03-2014, 04:43 PM
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There are always extremists.

Go fish, wear long sleeves and a hat if you are worried about sunburn. Wear sunscreen, wash hands afterwards. Have fun.
Old 07-03-2014, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by VanW View Post
Really?
Yes really. More hookups
Old 07-04-2014, 05:18 AM
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There is a bottle of softsoap in my center console. Wash hands after every application, even when I'm using artificials.

Catching fish can sometimes be a game of inches. The variables are too numerous to conduct an accurate study on whether or not it makes a significant difference. If I can do something, anything, to put me at an advantage, I will.

Fish have a sense of smell. Sunscreen usually has a very strong smell. No reason to take chances.
Old 07-04-2014, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by DCSC View Post
I'll second that! NO AEROSOL SPRAY on boat!
Neutrogena spray does not.
Old 07-04-2014, 05:35 AM
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As mentioned... use Joy dishwashing liquid on your hands. Joy leaves nothing behind is rinses 100% off.

The only Sunblock I use is Blue Lizard... no stain... lasts a long time. Most scent on bait comes from the cutting board.
Old 07-04-2014, 05:58 AM
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I've heard the same thing about fuel. If you fuel the boat, you don't cut the bait.

Ditto for beer and smoking. Really, beer on your hands is an absolute no-no. Hops are very bitter and they can smell them mile away.

But really, if fish will hit a plastic lure (ever smell one of those up close?), they will hit a hunk of dead flesh even if it has a trace of sunscreen on it.

Wash your hands, relax, enjoy.
Old 07-04-2014, 02:50 PM
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We always wash hands after reapplying sunscreen. It can't hurt.

And I agree, NO SPRAY lotion on the boat!

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