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Does color really matter   Part 1 Clear Water
Here is my take or opinion on the subject of color.
Clear water 1’ to 12’ and crystal clear (gin Clear) water 20’ and beyond.  The key word here is Clear and crystal clear-gin clear. Your lure colors are more visible in the upper water column of clear water due to the clarity of the water and light penetration. Light penetration is the biggest factor and can change the way fish see the lure although not as big a factor in our clear water lakes.
In these conditions natural baits work best but still may change and as we go deeper in depth as the sunlight rays change. The light changes the way fish see our lure. The biggest thing that may change the lure color or the way fish see the lure is full sun, intermitting clouds and overcast and something we rarely think about the angle of the sun across the water. One rule of thumb is to fish with multiple colors. I always fish at least 2 colors and 3 if possible.
Nighttime is another story. Fish can see shadows not color although the full moon may help as far as color is concerned but not very likely. Remember a darker color will have a darker shadow. This is a time when you would want to fish lures that may rattle or blade clanking together or bait that would have a lot of vibration. Fish hear using their lateral line. With any clanking, rattling, or vibrating baits the fish can zero in on the target then fine tune when it sees the dark shadow.




 

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 Good points Dick, I am not sure just what they see, but like you, if one color isn't producing (or has slowed down) I will quickly change colors.....until I get more strikes. On a good day when they are "slaming" my fly I will keep the same color, just change flies when the one I am fishing gets "chewed" up. One thing I do believe in......My pop always said " as the sun gets low and the long shadows start to appear......always switch to BLACK." Especially top water. He believed they can see a dark object against the sky much better than a lighter color once the sun gets low. I believe he is right. Some of the best top water days I ever had (Bass or Gills) were late in the day when I switched to a BLACK bug. Just something to think about. In Muddy water, almost the only time I will switch to a popper. While fishing several ponds on a golf course, I was having no luck at all, very muddy water.

After switching to a popper.........the fish came alive (I guess the sound and vibration help them to locate the fly).  On very slow days...it seems like I change flies all day long (both style and color)

..................Don in SC

 

 

Donald I think your dad was right. That would be my recommendation although I think there would be much more in your arsenal than Black. I think any dark colors will work but as the evening progresses you may end up with black.

There has been a lot made of contrast, Don. Black against the sky is a good example. The old red head/white body lures of the past also come to mind. That is about as uncommon a combination as you'll find in nature, but it catches fish.

As for black, I still remember what Bill Dance said about jigs for bluegill - "Make mine black." He says the same about soft plastic worms for bass, too.

I appreciate your share from your dad. Stuff like that makes us all better and in touch with our roots. Thanks.

Something interesting enough thought it might need to be re-posted for our newer members.

Worth at looking at again we have many new members.

About 35 years  ago I bought a thing called a Color-C-Lector.  You dropped the probe into the water and lowered it to a depth you thought the fish might be.  There was a color scale on the dial that the arrow pointed to... telling you what color was most visible at that depth, under existing lighting conditions and the clarity of the water.  (clear, stained or muddy).

Say what you will, but it worked for me.  As lighting conditions changed, say it became cloudy, and the bite dropped off, I'd re check the Color-C-Lector and change color on my lures accordingly. And the bight picked up again till conditions changed again. This has worked for me in lakes, streams, and saltwater.  I think they still sell the Color-C-Lectors.

So perhaps it isn't that fish see color as color... it's more likely that some colors are more visible under certain light, and water clarity conditions.  So yes, fish see color and color is important.  

Stan I'm sorry but this is a 4 part series I may have to repost 1 through 4.

Very good article... I'm looking forward to reading the whole thing.  Even as old as I am, I always learn something new. Thank you for taking the time to share all this wonderful information.

Aloha,

Stan

I've read studies from the 30s and 40s That prove they not only see color, but also recognize - and remember - shapes.

Most research suggests they see colors as we do, but with a yellow filter
Countless gallons of ink have been spilled on that very subject, summarized best this way,

"You gotta fish where the fish are."

Finding em is 80% of the battle.

Frank this was a subject I wrote about in 2013. With all the new people I thought it would be nice to revisit. I'm so glad you enjoyed it I tried to write it so it would be easy to understand. Frank thank you for you input and please feel free to jump in and participate anytime that's what make this a great site. GOOD FISHIN.....

Thanks a bunch great info.

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