Do you know how to pick the right lure color? Did you know that some fish species see colors differently than other species, and some fish see color that we can’t? Did you know that the colors fish see can change depending on how deep they're holding? Ever wonder why fish sometimes make a run at your lure, then turn away without striking?
Ever heard anyone say this, “A guy at the boat launch said they’re hammering on chartreuse lures today!”
And you ended up the day saying this, “I took advice from the guy at the boat launch and threw chartreuse lures all day, but they just weren't biting!”
Figuring out what color to use in a constantly changing environment requires an understanding of how fish see objects and how light and color behave in water...the fish’s world. I can't even begin to try and tell you what lure and color fish will be biting on a given day...that would be a fools errand. Conditions change by the hour, if not the minute, and fish constantly defy logic and the commonly accepted wisdom on color selection. Freshwater lakes provide for a limited range of color choices, even when the water is clear. The most important thing to know is that while we may be able to see for several miles on any given day, fish can rarely see over 100 feet, even under the best circumstance.
Some interesting facts:
Largemouth bass are most able to see red-orange and yellow-green color ranges.
Largemouth bass may take 20 minutes or more to adjust to changes in light conditions.
The eyes of baitfish species can take even longer to adjust to light changes. Makes sense that some of the best fishing is around dusk and dawn or shortly after changes in light levels, doesn't it. The bass have a temporary advantage over their prey, and the baitfish, well they're in for trouble! But we digress, lets get back to lure color.
So if we cast a lure out onto the surface of a gin clear lake and begin our retrieve, the first color to disappear would be red, then orange, followed by yellow, green, violet and finally blue. Hmmm, explains why black/blue worms fished along the bottom can be so productive at times. But there are many, many factors that have an effect on color selection, and most of them come into play when you consider that most of us never fish in gin clear water. Here are just a few of the factors that play into color selection: water clarity, seasonal light, surface conditions, angle of sunlight, distance of fish from lure. Wow! thats a lot to think on...for me, just a country boy from east Texas, its gonna take a while. If you're interested in learning more I highly recommend reading: Why Fish Don't See Lures by Dr. Greg Vinall.
And for those of you who just wanted to see some lure painting....this
Been working on a new pattern for a TFF member. It's called Summer Shad. While getting the colors together I remembered a paint schedule I put together last year specifically for use on a holographic blank. It's been a very productive pattern and pretty easy to paint. Its an especially effective pattern for deep divers fished where threadfin are the major forage this time of year...and that's almost everywhere. All paints are iridescent, flourescent or pearlescent colors and are highly visible in most water conditions. During daylight hours, predatory fish are attracted by flashes of light (because it's part of their survival instinct) and the flash of the holographic foil on this blank really "rings the dinner bell".
Keep thinking good thoughts....always good thoughts