Unlock The Secret: How Anise Oil Can Transform Your Fishing Success

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As anglers, we will do anything within the fishing laws to gain an advantage. Using extra hooks, they create their own lures and travel hours to land the fish of their dreams.

There is one tactic, however, that many anglers don’t think of doing. We’re so worried about what the fish hear and see but aren’t as worried about what they taste or smell.

Que Anise oil. This oil is simple to use and does wonders to draw fish to your bait and convince them to bite it. 

In this article, I will cover the following: 

  • What exactly is Anise Oil?
  • Does Anise Oil Attract Fish?
  • How do I Use it in Fishing?
  • What Fish Does Anise Oil Attract? 
  • What Lures Should I Use Anise Oil With?
  • Learn How to Make Your Own Anise Oil
  • Final Thoughts

What Exactly Is Anise Oil?

Anise plant
The Anise plant comes from the eastern Mediterranean region.

Anise is a flowering plant from the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. It is part of the Apiaceae family. It should not be confused with star anise, which has a similar flavour but is not from the same family.

Believe it or not, you’ve encountered the oil many times in your life but maybe are not aware of it. Anise is an herb, and it’s often used as a medicine for upset stomachs and even colds. Some people will also use it as a mosquito repellent and a skincare product!

If you’re into essential oils, you’ll find it’s a common option for many people. If you don’t know whether or not you’ve used it, think of a time when you smelled liquorice and didn’t know where it was coming from. 

Anise oil is also called aniseed oil in many parts of the world.

Does Anise Oil Attract Fish?

Fish are absolutely attracted to the taste and smell of anise. It’s something new that they likely haven’t tasted. Anise oil smells exactly like black liquorice. It has a strong scent; you can’t miss its distinguishable aroma. Luckily, it’s also a pleasant smell to humans!

Most lures or soft plastics have little to no scent or taste. Anise oil provides both of these things to the lures and baits you use. A few drops of it can go a long way to attract fish to your lures. 

When purchasing anise oil, you should look for it from a non-GMO source. The non-GMO source is the purest and will provide the strongest scent and smell. 

How Do I Use Anise Oil For Fishing? 

Thankfully, the use of Anise oil in fishing isn’t overly complicated. As long as you do some preparation for a few minutes before you hit the water, you’ll be in good shape. 

Add Anise Oil To Your Mixes

Since the oil has a distinctive and strong aroma, it works extremely well in particle mixes and any groundbait or method feeder mix.

Add Aniseed Oil To Hemp

Most anglers already know that Hemp has its own unique attraction to fish; adding a few drops of this essential oil goes well with hemp. Adding the hemp with the anise oil into spod mixes is a proven great attractor to fish.

Use Anise Oil In Your Boilies

Many carp anglers use anise or aniseed in their boilie mix to create great carp attracting boilies. The aroma stays within the boilie better than a dipped bait because the boilie mix is cooked into the ball.

Use approximately 2 to 5 ml (one teaspoon) of oil per kg base mix.

Simply add the aniseed oil to the eggs before introducing the powdered dry base mix. Roll the sticky paste into a ball after mixing the eggs and the powder.

Finally, boil the balls for one minute; It’s during the boiling process that gives the outer skin its hardness. 

If you prefer, you can dip the boilie again in oil before putting it on the hook for some extra attraction.

Anise Oil Glug And Dip Baits

Any bait can be dipped into aniseed oil. Sweetcorn, boilies, and pellets are the best baits to coat with the oil. However, due to the water, it tends to wash away quite fast. Leaving the oil in a small tub of these baits helps the oil’s aroma last considerably longer.

Add Anise Oil To Your Lures

One great trick to ensure you get your lures coated with a more lasting anise aroma is leaving them overnight in a ziplock bag. This also prevents wasting any oil, and the bag can be reused many times.

Apply It To Your Fishing Gear

One great thing you can do with the oil is to apply it to your fishing equipment. You’ll be surprised at the scents and oils we leave on our gear. Hooks, lures, and fishing lines are the common recipients of human scent.  

Plus, our hands are all over our gear when we’re attaching putting it together or attaching baits. Our oils and smells attach themselves to everything. Once it gets in the water, these oils come off the lures, hooks, and lines and can spook the fish. We want as little evidence of us in the water as possible. 

Layout the line, lures, and hooks that will be used that day. Place them on an old towel or any of your fishing cloths. 

Once you’ve done this, start applying the oil to the equipment. You can do this by soaking the equipment in a plastic bag filled with the oil or taking a dropper and applying a few drops to each piece of gear. You can use rubber gloves to spread it to make it less messy. These are the two easiest and most efficient methods to use when looking to apply aromatic oils to your gear. 

You don’t have to worry about applying it to your rods and reels. These aren’t going to go in the water! Anything that touches the water should have a hint of oil on it. The powerful scent is definitely attractive to the fish. 

What Fish Does Anise Oil Attract? 

Carp on aniseed baits
Carp are well known to be attracted
by aniseed-based baits.

Anise oil will tempt the vast majority of freshwater fish. You’d be surprised at how well it works, especially if you’re the first in the water or it’s something they haven’t experienced before. It works both in summer and winter periods.


I don’t know many carp anglers who have not used forms of anise or aniseed in various baits at some period. It’s a well-known additive for multiple commercially available attractants, baits, and mixes.

Carp love attractive, highly smelling baits; in the winter, when the carp tend to go off the feed, aniseed can be the difference between catching or not.


Catfish anglers know that patience and smelly big baits are secrets to a successful catfish adventure. They use their barbels to sniff out any bait you throw in the water. No matter what bait you’re throwing, coating it with anise will bring in the catfish faster than expected. 


Crappies are suckers for anise oil. Regardless of where you’re fishing, most bodies of water will have a nice population of these small fish. Coat the lure or soft plastic you’re using with a light layer, and you’ll soon start getting more bites. 


Trout anglers might get mad at me for saying this, but this oil is even a good option for them. We all know that trout are finicky and must be fully convinced before they decide to take your bait. 

If you’re having a day on the water that doesn’t attract trout, then a touch of oil on whatever you’re using might be what the fish want. 


Bass anglers are purists, and it’s understandable! Bass anglers want it to be as fair of a battle as possible. However, many of the soft plastics you buy today have some anise coated on them. Adding a bit more oil isn’t a bad thing. When you know the fish should be biting and aren’t, rub on some and see if it makes a difference.

What Lures Are Best To Use With Anise Oil?

While it’s a liquid, it doesn’t always stick well on the lures you use. Therefore, it is going to be best used on a lure that has a bit rougher texture. 

The best lures to coat are ribbed soft plastics, plastic worms, and rigged lures that can easily soak up the scent and taste of the oil. The scent will easily hold, whether you’re soaking the lures in it or wiping them with it. 

If you’re using a smooth lure, the best way to get the scent to stick is to soak the lure in some of the oil. Therefore, it will not slide off and become useless when the lure hits the water. Soak your lures for a few hours before you hit the water, and they’ll hold their scent fairly well. 

How To Make Your Own Anise Oil

Anise Seeds
Anise seeds can be easily made into
aniseed oil for fishing baits

Making your own oil isn’t as complicated as you might think. The first step is to purchase the anise seeds. These are easily available to buy at any large grocery store. 

  1. Pour a cup of dry seeds into a frying pan and toast them on low to medium heat. The aroma will diffuse in a few minutes, then pour them into a ziplock bag. 
  1. Then, crush the seeds into a powder-like texture with a mortar, pestle, or hard object.
  1. Add some cooking oil (spray) to the powder. This concentrated powder and oil combination is going to create that awesome scent! 

Finally, add half a cup of olive oil to the combination, and the oil is ready to apply. Store the oil in a ziplock bag that you previously used.

Alternatively, If you don’t want to use seeds, combine two tablespoons of anise extract with one cup of water. Whilst easier, this does not have the same potency as using seeds directly.   

Final Thoughts

Anglers have been using aniseed oil for a long time, and many do not even realize that most soft baits are already pre-coated with the oil.

Carp specimen anglers have made the oil part of their baits in various ways, and most carp anglers will carry a bottle with them to add to baits and spod mixes.

You can learn more about fishing with spices, which cover a complete range of the most popular spices modern anglers use today. 

Steve Fitzjohn