Lure call never black and white
DO fish see colour? This has been a hotly debated topic. Personally, I don’t know and I don’t care.
What I do know is when fishing with lures it is important to have a variety of colours in your tackle box to ensure you have a chance of coming home with a fish.
Years ago, when I was fishing on game fishing boats around Rottnest Island, I knew a skipper who was quite successful in catching game fish.
I asked him what he thought about colours.
He told me that on his boat they kept spray cans of fast-drying water-based paint.
When the crew set the grid up for the mind-numbingly boring hours of trolling that would follow, they would set up their outriggers so there were at least five different coloured lures out there.
As soon as a fish or even a couple of fish were caught, all of the lures were brought in and the ones that were a different colour were painted to the same colour as the one that had just caught fish and out they went again.
If they did not receive a bite within a few hours then five different coloured lures were sent again and the cycle repeated. Let’s equate this to freshwater fishing. I always keep a variety of lure colours in my tackle box when freshwater fishing.
Black is my preferred colour when fishing in freshwater and if that doesn’t work then I will use red.
Same situation as the game fisherman though minus the thousands spent on a boat and game-fishing tackle with the same objective of catching fish.
On the other hand though, as the light changes during the day I modify my lure colours to suit the surroundings.
If it’s suddenly bright and sunny I could go to an orange or yellow to match the conditions.
I have done this numerous times and then suddenly had an overcast period.
Changing to a darker lure has brought success with fish and I have lost count how many times I have done this.
Red is the first colour to disappear under water and a lot of your chemically sharpened hooks are red for this reason — Jinkai made their leader line this colour for the same reason. If it disappears then do fish see it? Please read the third line of this article.
Colours such as blue have been seen at absurd depths.
Also, fluoro colours, like fluoro orange, fluoro yellow, fluoro blue, are also seen in very deep water.
A lot of mulloway fishers along Perth beaches use a sinker and cork as a float on the same rig.
They paint the cork red so it does not spook the mulloway.
Soft plastic and lure fishers tend to have more luck with natural colours like brown and green — this is especially important when chasing black bream.
I always refer to my experience in the tackle trade and after asking a fishing tackle representative if fish see colour or not he said, “I don’t know if they do but I know that anglers see colour, so that way we sell a lot of lures and that’s what is important to us”.
As a rule of thumb, all colours work at different times and it is best to keep your options open and carry a variety of colours and colour combinations with you so you can fish in all situations and ensure a catch.
Wherever you fall on the "do fish see colour?” debate, there are plenty of lures out there in varying colours for every angler.