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How to choose the correct fishing lure colour

Inducing a reaction strike from fish using correctly coloured fishing lure patterns.

Author:     Date Published: 19th of March 2018
fishing lure colours patterns Fishing lures come in all shapes, colours and sizes. They all have different actions, different ways to retrieve when fishing and different diving lengths. While most people pay attention to size, weight and retrieve style, often where most people go wrong is by not choosing the correct fishing lure colour for the conditions. This article will explain the common colours of fishing lures and why these colours exist and provide you with an easy guide to prepare yourself for catching more fish by choosing the correct colour combination.

The number 1 rule: Match the water

Matching the water is something that not many people know about, but it is the most critical step to choosing the correct fishing lure colour when heading out. Match the colour of the water and surroundings, and this will attract fish to your lure. For example, don't use a white lure in muddy waters as fish rarely rely on sight to attack, instead they get their sense from movement in the water and the vibrations of the lure passing through the water. This is what will attract a fish to your lure.

When a fish has visual contact with a lure, they assess if this fish something to eat, or something foreign. If you are using a white lure in brown water, it is much easier for the fish to see the lure before it attempts to bite it, and will notice something odd in the way it looks, and will often abandon the attack.

For this reason, just like in regular hunting, fishing requires a camouflage approach. To eliminate the ability of the fish to detect your lure as being something foreign, simply match the lure to the water colour and surroundings.

This article will explain to you how to obtain a blind reaction strike (lure a fish to attack based solely upon lure movement detected in the water) using various coloured lures, common colour combinations and the conditions they are most suited to.

Black Fishing Lures

Black fishing lures are suitable for night fishing in clear waters where there is no direct moonlight casting over the water. This is because the fish is already in darkness, hence any colour other than black or dark brown is going to appear out of place.

Brown Fishing Lures

Brown fishing lures are ideal in muddy water with fairly low to no visibility. The reason for this is that the fish will sense the lure in the water, but because the lure is brown like the water, most fish will hit a brown lure in brown water with no visibility, more so than any other fishing lure colour.

Green Fishing Lures

Green fishing lures are perfect when fishing when the reflections of the surrounding trees is casting a green reflection over the water. This is because when the fish is looking through the water column, it is already seeing green colours from the foliage reflection. Using green fishing lures in waters with some or full visibility, provided the surrounding trees are green and the majority of the reflection on the water is green, is your best way to attract a fish to your fishing lure.

Yellow/Orange Fishing Lures

Yellow fishing lures are ideal for conditions where the water is mostly clear or slightly murky but has 100% direct sunlight and a strong yellow or orange reflection coming off the surface. This is because the fish will be blinded by the direct sunlight and everything will appear yellow or orange to the fish. This will camouflage your lure and end up with more fish hitting your lure.

Blue Fishing Lures

Blue fishing lures are ideal for use in conditions where the water has a slight or strong blue colour Clear deep waters usually cast a beautiful slightly dark blue colour, while more shallow waters will be a pale blue. Extremely deep clear waters such as at sea, can create an even darker blue appearance. Sometimes waters such as lakes also gain a blue colour, either because of depth or because it is reflecting the sky above. Match the blue colour of your lure to the shade of blue you see yourself, and watch more fish hook up on each outing.

Red Fishing Lures

Red fishing lures can work well in direct sun but are primarily a visual lure. Red lures are often used to imitate fish in the water which have red fins, or to simply draw attention to the lure. They can however work well as a reaction lure alone at sunset when the colour of the sky turns an orange/red colour.

Gold/Silver Fishing Lures

Silver fishing lures are a little different in that they should be used in waters where other fish of a silver colour are found. Silver and gold colours often more directly imitate a real fish and rely upon your catch believing what it is seeing, rather than acting on instincts alone.

White Fishing Lures

White fishing lures are normally great for bright clear days with a lot of white cloud reflection on the water but can also work well as a sight attack if other silver fish are known to frequent the water.

Realistic Pattern Fishing Lures

Matching the colour of the water to the lure is always going to catch more fish. This is because you are using a totally different technique than if you were to use only realistic pattern lures. The stealth blind camouflage is always the best method to catch more fish, and these lures tend to be cheaper than realistic looking lures.

That said, realistic looking lures have a benefit in they can catch fish in all waters, as they have both vibrations and look realistic, however fish may still notice something strange about your lure even if it looks like a realistic fish to you. Most people who fish using realistic pattern lures do so with a few different shapes, to get as close to what the fish in the water would normally feed on.

Personally, I would use water colour matched lures over realistic lures, as they are much cheaper and provide a tactic most people do not employ and they significantly lower the ability of the fish to sight the lure before striking.

Many fishers consider realistic looking lures the best, however if this is you, try the water match camouflage trick and see for yourself how these low cost fishing lures can pay off and land you more fish.
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