If you've fished for any amount of time, you've probably heard someone
use phrases like, "You can use any color, as long as it's white." ¬†Or,
"If it ain't chartreuse, it ain't no use!" ¬†I know I've used expressions
like that from time to time.
For these expressions to be so widely used, there must be a great deal of truth to them. ¬†Right? ¬†Of course, they can't be true all the time. ¬†Can they? ¬†Or does color even ¬†matter at all? ¬†Is it just a confidence thing?
a long time now my favorite colors for fluke (and some other saltwater
fish) have been chartreuse, white and pink. ¬†I do try to match a color
to what I think will work best for the current conditions, e.g. stained
water, clear water, cloudy skies, rough water, etc. ¬†Having said that, I
admittedly, at times, use them somewhat randomly as well, e.g. "This
color looks cool! ¬†I think I'll try this one." ¬†
Does it matter?
on the Irish Ayes the other day, we had a pretty hot fluke bite going.
And when the bite is hot that's the time to experiment. ¬†What I learned
that day is that color definitely matters (at least sometimes). ¬†Let me share my experience.
My rig was set up as follows:
white 3 oz. Spro bucktail with a white bucktail teaser hook placed
about 12" above the Spro. ¬†I also had a stinger hook attached to the
Spro (see Rigging the Bucktail Stinger: 101).
bait on the Spro I had two Chartreuse 4" Gulp! Swimming Mullets (one on
the main hook and one on the stinger). ¬†On the teaser hook above I had a
Pearl White 4" Gulp! Swimming Mullet.
Using the rig like this, every
bite came on the Spro or the stinger attached to the Spro. ¬†After a
while I swapped out the white Gulp! on the teaser with a natural color
3" Gulp! Shrimp. ¬†Still, every bite was on the Spro or the stinger.
then replaced the natural shrimp on the teaser with a small piece of
Pink Gulp! Cut Bait (which I cut into a pennant shape). ¬†After doing
that every bite I had came on the teaser. ¬†The fish were now
totally ignoring the Spro in favor of the teaser despite the fact that I
still had two pieces of chartreuse hanging off of it, which they were
tearing up just moments ago!
I fished like that a little longer -
replacing the pink bait on the teaser with another pink piece as I lost
them. ¬†Then I replaced the chartreuse Swimming Mullets on the Spro and
put a Pink 5" Gulp! Jerk Shad on it and added another short pink pennant
shaped strip to the stinger. ¬†Immediately the Spro started to get bit
again. ¬†With pink on top and bottom I never knew which one would get hit
next (but they both did).
As I noted above, being in the middle
of a hot bite is the best time to experiment. ¬†So, I decided to remove
my pink bait on the teaser (which at this point was any piece of pink
Gulp! I had) and I put the natural color shrimp back on. ¬†Once again, I
could not get a single bite on that hook, while the Spro continued to
get devoured. ¬†
Based on this experience I could only draw one
conclusion - color matters! ¬†And, at least on that day, the colored that
mattered most was pink, followed by chartreuse. ¬†The natural color and
pearl white baits were a bust.
I'm curious to hear your experiences and preferences as far as bait colors for fluke. ¬†Do you think it matters?
Oh, and "If you don't use pink, you better rethink!" ¬†I'm still working on that one.
See Comments and Discussion Here