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Catching Fish or Fishermen? The reason low cost lures are a good choice.

Is there such thing as the one and only best colour combination for hard body fishing lures?

Author:     Date Published: 28th of July 2014 at 11:41pm
Best fishing lure colours Many people starting out in fishing tend to believe that hard body fishing lures which realistically replicate fish found in the environment will be the way to go for catching their target fish. While these lures will no doubt work to some degree, their effectiveness can actually be lower than a less realistic artificially coloured lure. There are a few main reasons for this, which I will detail for you below.

The natural colours of fish have evolved over time to blend into the natural environment as best possible. This means that when fishing using a natural coloured lure, while should it be spotted by a fish, will likely provoke a response, the fish will have a much harder time spotting these lures. You will also not get the attention of all nearby fish, meaning results will often never be maximised. The reason fish of these natural colours and looks exist today, is because they have adapted to their environments mainly due to the fact they are not as easily targeted or spotted, not because they are a preferred food source to the predator fish. If they were easy for other fish to see, they would have died off thousands of years ago through the process of natural selection.

The second important factor: Fish first react to vibrations and movement in the water, and secondly on physical features such as eyes and shape. In slightly murky or dark waters, they will rely almost entirely upon vibrations and movement, so lure action is extremely important. The last thing that occurs in these waters will be a fish viewing the lure, and an attack will often occur simply due to the fish spotting a fake eye on the lure, more than enough to convince the fish it is time to attack.

In clearer waters, fish will still use their sense of vibrations and movement to locate other fish, however once spotted they will assess the look of the lure much more than in other conditions.

This however, doesn't mean that a realistic lure is the most effective in clearer waters, while fish still sense colours and lure shape, there are further factors that come into effect in the instance where the lure is being viewed and assessed for attack.

Some species of fish are tetrachromats, meaning they have 4 visual pigments, compared to our 3. In addition to the red, green and blue, these fish can also view a forth based on the ultraviolet spectrum. The addition of ultraviolet into the visual spectrum completely alters the perception of low to mid levels wavelengths within the green to red perception, along with changing the perception of medium wavelength levels within in the blue spectrum. Tetrachromacy can provide the ability to process 100 million visible colours, compared to human vision at 1 million.

Common lure colours Even for fish without tetrachromacy, most will still view colours differently to us, while they will spot shades of colour, and interpret them in a similar way to us, they may not view the colours the exact same way. This is because the frequency of light quickly alters as it moves through mineral rich waters, rather then when we view them in the open air. Due the the disturbance and scattering of light in water, colour shades can change and blend much easier to the eyes of fish, provoking reactions completely unexpected if you are predicting a realistic based lure to be most effective.

A further factor to assess, is that in clearer waters, the scales on the surface of the bait fish are highly reflective, meaning that direct sunlight can provide a very bright blue at the top of the fish, with the underneath appearing green, yellow or white. The colours each bait fish will reflect differs depending on the shape and how vibrant the natural colours are.

Fish may also interpret white as a blind spot due to a reflection of light on the fish, meaning that they are not put off attacking a bright lure, even if the colour is mostly white. Many fish naturally have white stomach areas, and a bright silver look on the side of a bait fish can be imitated by white in many cases. In the same way, a mostly darker blue, green or black can be seen as the fish blocking the light, again triggering the same response in the target fish. A mid range colour will blend between these two extremes, and will also provide a varying reflection off the side to the approaching or following fish.

If you aren't already beginning to see, this is why there is no 100% perfect lure to fish with, there are also no scientifically proven lures which are specific to any individual species. If there was, the amount of money changing hands on a weekly basis in the outdoors industry would easily provide the funding for the science required to produce the 'perfect' lure, this has never occurred, even after over 100 years of lure fishing and billions of dollars being spent each year.

There are so many variables that the only sure option is having an array of lures, and trying different lures in different conditions, then you will begin to build a mental map of what works best in which conditions, along with the species you are often catching with each lure at that time.

Species and their predatory nature are also very important, for example, you will catch redfin perch (english / european perch) on many different styles of lure, due to their extremely high predatory nature, regularly they will strike a fishing lure without visual confirmation, this is especially true at times when they are in a feeding frenzy, where they will take any lure that presents. When it comes to lures for trout, most colours are known to work, and their nature is a milder version of the redfin perch. With most estuary and bay / ocean species the colours pink, blue, white, green and yellow, or combinations of these, will be taken by many species. For Australian native bass and perch species, pinks, yellows, oranges and greens very commonly provide catches.

Now you have the above information in this article to consider, you can hopefully make more informed choices when it comes to hard body lures, remember to try many lures when starting out, not focusing on the most popular or expensive, a lot of fishing lures are designed only to catch fishermen by the wallet, not actual fish as these people expect when purchasing.

Simple or basic lures can often prove just as good or in many cases even better results than the most expensive lures on the market. Catching fish will come down to some trial and error initially, along with a good array of self learnt or taught retrieve styles, you will then soon narrow down your colour choices, lure weights and lure actions based on personal experience.

Every fisherman will try something a little different, while we all search for perfection, this always comes down to the skill and experience of the individual using the equipment, and quality equipment will assist in achieving good results. To ensure you don't fall into the new fishermans trap, just remember, good quality equipment doesn't have to be expensive, and a complete fishing knowledge achieved over time will bring you your own personal fishing perfection, which will open up the opportunities for catching many different species of fish and success when fishing in a wide range of conditions.
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