Aniseed has been used as an attractant for a few hundred years, usually mixed into baits, or applied to them before dropping into the water.
Finding out why it attracts fish reveal few answers, because aniseed or anything like it does not occur naturally in the salt or freshwater.
It seems that aniseed is used mostly in freshwater fisheries especially in Europe.
In New Zealand Aniseed along with all other bait 'enhancers' are banned in trout fishing water, so check your licence carefully.
For further information check out Google, using 'aniseed AND fishing' as your search phrase, exactly as shown (without the quotes), but including capitalisation.
Ainseed is not the only plant 'bait enhancer'. In some places garlic and lemon juice are used. In some freshwater fisheries, baits are often salted.
Article written by Tony Bishop