Do you love big bluegill?
by Big Y Fly Co.
I'm a true believer that fish do see color. Sometime just making a little change can make a difference which is one reason I always use 2 colors or more on any baits I may use.. I do believe that when the water gets muddy though we can throw the color theory out the window only colors being lite and dark with dark being the emphases on muddy water. I've fished water so muddy at about 3 or 4 inches you can no longer see your lure. I think at that time is mandatory to be using a dark bait and make all the noise it possibly can with it. I think at that time they are using there lateral line to locate pray. So they have at least 3 ways of locating their pray that being sight and sound and one we don't think of much especially in the fly fishing community that is smell. That's another whole can of worms and if you ask some fly fisherman who are real purest that's not even in the equation. I have seen a few flies with rattles tied in them for the sound issue but with our small Bluegill flies I don't think that's something we can do. So I guess for the sound issue it would be the fly smacking the waters surface. In the muddy water is there anything such as to much noise just being a beginner I don't have an answer nor could I make an educated guess but I am sure some noise would be a plus in muddy water conditions. Sorry if I babbled but I'm thinking the color issue is important but at all time they can not see colors only light and dark and knowing there is much more to it than color.
DICK I think you are right on the money here!!!!!!! One thing you did mention of particular interest to me was the noise of the lure hitting the water,AGREE WHOLE HEARTEDLY WITH THAT ALSO!!!!!!! Sir Jeffrey , either through conversations or posts on here mentioned as much . THe reason he liked some of my flies is the very light weight and how they hit the water when he's using his long tele. rods he favors. It's lots more natural than say a big ole musky bobber hitting the water !!!!!!! I also think that color is so very important that a subtle change can make all the difference in the world. I don't know what color gills see but one color I believe is an absolute is a little subtle touch of red. My reasoning is simple, when a fish or bait bleeds it bleeds red. Don't know what color they see it as only that it is different than all other colors . Very few things in nature are Red and what's the color of blood, gills, blood in spawn? RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRED...................
Agreed I think red brings out the killer instinct of the fish wanting that easy meal of that injured fish. When possible I''m hoping to incorporate the red when ever possible because I feel so strong about it.
Yup I'm trying to put a little splash of red on almost all my recent ties now with either sssssssssssmall amount of 2 strand red yarn , or marker......
Great topic, but confusing, I watched an episode of in-fisherman with Doug Stange and a biologist who insisted fish did not see color and have read articles as far back as I can remember on the importance of color. Few years ago everyone was switching to red hooks and many are still pushing them while many companies have quit making red hooks since fisherman did not see any difference in amount of strikes and stopped buying red hooks. Then throw in Cajun Red fishing line whose main selling point is that red is the first color filtered underwater so it is virtually invisible and fish don't see your line. So leaving out every other color the so called experts don't even agree on red. Use red to attract fish use red to be invisible to fish. Like just about everything else in fishing I guess we go with our gut and use what we are comfortable with using.
there is no truer defination on this subject! rick you explained it perfectly! also in consideration;; crankbaits; jigs; plastic baits of all types come in different colors;; made by manufactures that have gone thru extensive study . how many times have we; used one color;; and no results;; changed to a different color;; and slayed them!!
I believe that they do, especially in shallower water. I nearly always lead off with a red, or a red/black jig. And while I will change colors to suit the fish, I do tend to favor red.
You know I use to believe that also. But think about it your catching fish and all of a sudden they turn off. So you change up the color and again the bite picks up ( this is another topic all together as to why) and I do have some thoughts on that . For many years people thought that fish don't see color and some still believe that and I'll be the first to say I've never seen through a fishes eyes so I really don't know what they see but so many times a color change up changes everything. Why I don't know but I have to assume that the change in the color had something to do with it so if a fish can't see color why. Some people say that different color give off different shadows and to this I feel there is some merit to only because when we fish muddy waters we choose our dark baits not that they can see the color but the shadow the darker the bait the darker the shadow and this has worked for me for many years.
That most fish are endowed with the biology to see color is well known. Depth and water are the factors that determine how well they see the color that is before them.
Thanks David for your input. It is a fact that in our minds fish may see color and personally I believe that to be true. I also know that light presentation through the water column changes the colors. You may be fishing a nice sunny day and catch fish and a cloud may block the sun and you see your bite quit. That's because your bait has changed color to the fish and may no longer be visible just because of the suns rays and light penetration has changed at the depth your fishing. It don't take much to change your presentation even the angle of the sun. There is so much to it and a very interesting topic to say the least.
Thanks, Dick. You have it spot on.
Ages ago, when I was a new member at BBG, one of my first questions was about color and lure selection. I got all sorts of responses, of course, which started me down the rabbit hole. In time I learned there is far more data available about bass and their color perception, than there is about sunfish. That is where the money is, of course, so the bulk of the research into fish vision has been applied to bass. It is a serendipitous stroke for us that the two fish are in the same family and see essentially the same in the spectrum. So what works for the one, also applies to the other.
In time, I think I found some common ground and here are the results. There is nothing but a lot of research (and some actual fishing) to back up these selections, so make of them what you will.
The Essential Lure Colors
Orange/yellow (red, brown)
You can mix and match to your hearts content, of course. Pink is fun, for example. "Electric Chicken," if nothing else, offers some laughs. And on some days, the fish are like Chuck Norris - they decide what they like. But these "categories" cover the practical palette in so far as the eyes of fish are concerned.
NOTE: Most of this range applies only in fairly clear and shallow water, too. Let either the turbidity (muddiness) or the depth (or both) increase and most of it goes out the window.
If you wish to go even further into whittling down the colors, I'd suggest you get down to the first three and perhaps, yellow.