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
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