Tacoma native reels in fishing innovation with FishyScents

Anglers, take note — this contraption is quite the catch for your tackle box.

By Mariah Beckman, For the Tacoma Daily Index

Meet Blake Knutsen. The 28-year-old Tacoma native is on a mission to help anglers reel in a bigger catch, and he’s doing it with a twist that feels very befitting of Grit City.

Growing up surrounded by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Knutsen feels like he discovered his passion for fishing too late in life. But it wasn’t just local fish that hooked him these past few years.

“I prefer a catch and release approach,” he explained, “so I’m always trying to look for exciting new ways to give myself an edge while fishing.”

For Knutsen, it was the challenge of outsmarting the fish that really began to lure him back to the water. That’s how he began tinkering with — and eventually making his own — fishing rigs.

Knutsen’s lucky break didn’t come at a bait and tackle shop. He didn’t find it in a fishing magazine either. Turns out he had to look no further than a friend’s garage.

“As a gag,” he explained, “my friend was trying to make a spinner out of an old vaporizer cartridge. These cartridges are designed to release potent oils gradually. I decided to see if it might be possible to modify new cartridges so they could disperse scented oils that were designed for targeting salmon, trout and steelhead.”

Knutsen turned all his attention toward repurposing cartridges to dispense the same fish-attracting scents that regional fishermen already love, but in a whole new way. The result is FishyScents — a fishing lure that combines the flash and light of a traditional spinner with a built-in olfactory element.

Filled with concentrated oils like tuna, garlic and anise (all locally sourced), FishyScents create a powerful scent trail that draws fish in from a distance. The porous ceramic sponge inside these compact canisters ensures a slow, steady release of attractant, minimizing mess and maximizing the lure’s lifespan.

Unlike alternatives such as pastes or gels that smell, well, fishy and have to be applied by hand, FishyScents keep all those pungent aromas in the water where they belong. Even the colors have been chosen with care, such as ultraviolet oils that can be seen more easily in dark, murky waters.

“I see the potential for this to easily replace the leaky bottles people otherwise will lug around when fishing with scents,” Knutsen said.

Keeping true to his Tacoma roots, Blake’s investing back into his community where production is concerned. His scents are created using popular and locally-made ingredients, and his canisters also come from a local supplier. And, while his target market isn’t just PNW fishermen, Knutsen said he thinks the novelty of the spinner’s design is not lost on his customers. For those who support Washington’s cannabis economy, these tanks are “pretty recognizable.”

“Though my product is only tangentially related to cannabis,” Knutsen said, “the inside joke between me and my friends goes that it’s ‘a tale of two industries,’ a real reflection of the idiom that innovation is the mother of invention.”

Knutsen tested his spinners extensively before bringing them to market in 2024, but he said every second that went into developing his lure and putting it through the paces was time well spent. His hope is that he inspires others to get out and experience the beauty of their state with his invention.

“What makes fishing in our region so special,” he explained, “is how beautiful the landscape is. It’s a product of millions of years of ice sheets stacked many miles high, and of massive floods that carved out vast valleys. Not only are you guaranteed a diversified experience when you fish in the Pacific Northwest, but you’re sure to be treated to amazing views wherever you go.”

From South Sound’s iconic waterways to hidden mountain lakes, Knutsen wants FishyScents to be in every tackle box across the state. You can find them online now, and he’s got big plans to stock shelves in bait shops throughout the region in the coming months.

Explore his current offerings and shop online at www.fishyscents.com.