Editors note: This is a re-publication of a blog post originally published on ESPNOutdoors.com in April 2005.
The November 2004 issue of Bassmaster magazine reported that angler Bill Alexander won second place in last summer's BASS tournament on the Hudson River. The article mentioned that Alexander was applying a "finesse approach" for the river's finicky bass.
It noted that Alexander sprayed his plastic worms with – pay attention, now – "garlic-flavored Pam Cooking Spray."
My first reaction was that this was ingenious.
So I went to my local supermarket, where a 5-ounce can of Original PAM was
“Oh, no,” I said to the customer service representative. “Just when I’ve discovered how good it is for bass fishing.”
“For what?” she said.
“You’re using it to catch bass?”
“Well, I haven’t used it yet,” I explained. “I just read about it being effective in a fishing magazine.”
She was silent and I realized that this may have sounded a little odd to her. Like maybe a prank call. So I thanked her and hung up, wondering if they had Caller I.D. on their phone lines.
You don’t think the makers of PAM found out about what Alexander did on the Hudson River, do you? I mean, the timing of his victory and their discontinuation of the garlic flavored product does seem a bit coincidental, don’t you think?
Anyway, I hope Alexander went out and bought a few cases of this stuff after his good fortunes on the Hudson. He might have it to use exclusively for years to come; think of the possible advantage he’d have in tournaments. Or, he could sell it for several bucks per dispense to bass fishermen who want a bag of worms coated with this new elixir of fishing success.
Could Be The Next Big Thing
But now to the real question. Was Alexander’s success just an accident, or is there something more to the story? Is it likely that PAM cooking spray has something in it that makes it attractive to bass.
I’ll bet the first person who discovered that Skin-So-Soft moisturizing lotion repelled biting bugs wasn’t thinking that Avon deliberately mixed an active insect-repelling ingredient into its formulation.
And you probably know the history of that one. Over the years, Skin-So-Soft developed a grass roots rep for doing just that (although my experience is that this product smells pleasant, but it doesn’t do much for repelling bugs, especially a serious convention of skeeters, black flies, or no-see-ums). For years the manufacturer, Avon, denied that Skin-So-Soft had insect-repellant abilities. People speculated that this was because insect repellants had to meet tougher federal product standards than cosmetics, which may or may not be true. However, recently Avon started selling Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition, a separately packaged insect repellant, as well as a combined product with moisturizing, sun protection, and insect repellant abilities. Hmmm.…
So, what about using other brands of cooking spray besides PAM for bass fishing? What about using other flavors?
Who's researching this?
Can’t someone get Dr. Loren Hill, the Color-C-Lector inventor from Oklahoma, to do a study on this?
Will cooking spray work for other fish species beside bass? Probably not walleyes. No human would use leech-flavored cooking spray.
And by the way, PAM is fat-free, so it's good for fish because it has no cholesterol and no carbohydrates.
I know there's something more to this.
Professional bass anglers take note: you may have an opportunity to get sponsored by food product manufacturers. Think of where this might lead. You could treat soft plastic baits with:
Kraft raspberry balsamic salad dressing.…
Lawry’s sesame-ginger marinade.…
Hellmann’s wasabi mayo.…
Bertolli balsamic vinegar.…
Ortega taco sauce.…
THIS could be big.