SINY

Does Lure Color ACTUALLY Matter?

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It can't not matter.

 

At a base level, color has to matter. Natural selection and evolution is all about every living thing developing features and a color scheme to help it be successful. Predators develop features that help them sneak and stalk. Prey develops features, including color, to hide, camouflage, and elude capture.

 

So you get fish with dark backs and light bellies because over time that scheme has proved most successful over thousands of years in not getting eaten. Predator looking down has harder time picking prey with dark back out against dark bottom. On flip side, predator looking up would have a harder time picking out a white belly against a lighter sky.

 

Countershading, or Thayer's Law, is a form of camouflage. Countershading is the pattern of animal coloration in which an animal’s pigmentation is darker on the upper side and lighter on the underside of the body. This pattern is found in many species of mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish, and has existed since at least the Cretaceous period.

 

When light falls on a uniformly coloured object such as a sphere from above, it makes the upper side appear lighter and the underside darker, grading from one to the other. This pattern of light and shade makes the object appear solid, and therefore acts as a visual cue which makes the object easier to detect. Countershading reduces the ease of detection of predators and prey by counterbalancing the effects of self-shadowing, again typically with grading from dark to light.

 

The reverse of countershading, with the belly pigmented darker than the back, enhances contrast and so makes animals more conspicuous. It is found in animals that can defend themselves, such as skunks. The pattern is used both in startle or deimatic displays and as a signal to warn off experienced predators. However, animals that habitually live upside-down but lack strong defences, like the Nile catfish and the luna moth caterpillar, have upside-down countershading for camouflage.

 

Among pelagic fish it is common to find the upper surface dark-coloured and the lower surface white, so that the animal is inconspicuous when seen either from above or below.

 

—Frank Evers Beddard

 

 

…so nature hasn't done all this crap since the "Cretaceous period" because it doesn't matter, things evolved this way because it matters.

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I'm confused.  Doesn't this kind of support the fact that color doesn't matter?  Prey stood out and was getting eaten, so it has evolved into more inconspicuous colors and still gets eaten.  


It obviously makes sense for the prey to evolve to avoid getting devoured, but I don't think a predator really cares, do you?  


I agree it matters for a species survival, which is what I think you're saying.  I don't see how this applies to catching a predator though.  If I'm misunderstanding, please elaborate as I find this an interesting subject.  Thanks.


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Counter-shading is a good observation. One cool paint job would be a dark bottom and lighter top. Arbohgast tried that but fisherman didn't buy into it. I think it would work. Just like chartreuse and glow work. No fish I know looks like that in a Stripers life.

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On 1/27/2015 at 10:16 PM, Sweetwater said:

1855897

Color does matter sometimes, but not very often. My favorite plugs generally have a quirk or exception on them- faded wonderbread, scarred chrome, the red chicken foot, etc.

 

Some of my colors. I learned about this after I retrieved a plug I had lost the year before, put new hooks on it and caught just as well. It was a great plug to throw when everyone else was using standard colors.

 

I used to scrape all my Bombers to see if I had any non-insert ones, then scrape them carefully to get them as clear as possible. The chromed ones worked the best. If I scarred them up too much, I would just sand them. The middle one is loaded, with shards of aluminum foil stuffed in the hole.

Hi George,

 

I'm playing around with some scraped & sanded clear Mambo Minnows so I'm keen to learn more about your results with clear plugs (and any tips/ideas you care to share).

 

I love the idea of the foil (although it seems like a PITA to do).  What size hole do you use?

 

TIA for your help.

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On ‎1‎/‎27‎/‎2015 at 8:34 AM, Maruthu said:

I don't know what the fish thinks, but I thought violet/blue will disappear first because of their low wave length. Ultra violet has less penetration capability than visible light and even glass will block some amount of UV rays. Red on the other hand I thought has more penetration capability. Hence the use of infra red rays to expand blood vessels in some medical devices or in fog lights. Can someone give some more info on this?

the link told all there is.

test it out yourself,,go in a  room with something red and slowly turn the light down,it will become brown then black.

orange will do so a bit lower in light.

yellow somewhere in the middle.

 

HH

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I've never thrown a "color". The color of a fly or lure matters sometimes, as part of the overall attraction, but even with all the studies & use or various colors, I'm not convinced it's what the fish see with the color that gets bit, as much as it's the movement and perception of life that a color might add. It's often commented in color discussions, "have you ever seen a chartreuse or hot pink baitfish?" How do we know that's what the fish see? We can't know what a fish see's for certain.

 

Light, and subsequently depth of the water changes colors as we see them, but how much that affects what the fish see, any fish, there's no way of knowing. So, color is just a part of the many possible factors that cause a positive or negative response to our flies or lures. The trouble is we are a visual oriented animal and many folks relate color as being the reason they're catching fish or not. There's more to it than that. 

 

Color is only a reference for what's working or not working, based on the type of lure or fly being used. For example, bucktail jigs, if one color doesn't seem to be producing, try another. It's still a bucktail and similar action regardless of color. But, then the question might be was the problem the color or not getting them where fish are seeing them? Many would blame the color. IMO, too often it's more likely the latter, but color is still our point of reference.

 

So, it's only important sometimes. 

Edited by Jim H

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Posted (edited) · Report post

9 hours ago, l.i.fish.in.vt said:

color only matters to those that don't know how to fish,

They probably know how to catch fish better than you As long as they catch more fish with a certain color in a certain condition..

Edited by levari

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I recommend finding a fishing book about colour (Yes, us Canadians put a U in colour, lol). There are entire books written about this very subject. I have one called "The Master Angler - Using Color technology to catch more fish" by Phil Rabideau. Colour undoubtedly makes a difference, but not always, and there are often more important aspects than colour. As you have noticed and others have mentioned, colours change underwater.

 

For salmon fishing in the ocean people tend to use blues and greens as the Salmons eyes are adapted to see those colours as the bait fish the Salmon eat are silver/green, silver/blue usually, but as the Salmon come back to spawn in the rivers their eyes adjust to be able to detect red/orange/pink better as that is the colour of Salmon eggs which they aggressively attack out of competition, or need to see to spawn successfully. However, people still catch the Salmon on other colours than what they are keyed in on, as colour isn't the most important aspect. Size, movement, depth, scent, and being in front of the Salmons face is far more important than what colour you use. Some days though there will be tons of guys putting lures right through the fishes face and they just won't bite, and sometimes changing the colour, along with changing other aspects, is enough to trigger a bite.

 

One never knows for sure what or why things work, but we all have our theories, and it's fascinating to ponder. That's part of what is so endlessly captivating about fishing. No matter what we think we will never know for sure what the fish is thinking. You can have everything dialed in perfectly and get skunked, and do the same thing another day and put on a clinic. Tug is the drug :p

Edited by AaronWilde

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I always try to match the bait fish color at where I fish. Mostly mullet colors silver n a bit of light brown. But my Halco jig metal only come in silver n gold colors.

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color does matter, yeah being good gets U fish but going from light to dark may make the bass grow.

we all ahve a views werk what you think is best.

 

 

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