Lure call never black and white

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Last Cast - Jim Ki­tis

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.

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