Colour your world-selecting your colour for use in clear water
Colour your world
Selecting your soft plastic colour in clear water.
This blog was inspired by a suggestion from Daniel Ingram on the Soft Plastic Anonymous Facebook Page.
Picking your colour
So as we use our plastics, overtime you come to rely apon a number of go to colours, ones that catch fish consistently for you. It is only natural that some of these reach the metaphorical equivalent of a superhero, you know, one that saves the day when all seems lost and you are destined for the dreaded doughnut. But why do these work when the chips are down? Is the colour, shape, action, behavior or all the above right for the conditions. Or is it that you use it 90% of the time and therefore every fish you catch on it makes it a self fullfilling phropecy?
So lets talk colour, asking this question amongst 10 anglers will give you in excess of 12 suggestions. The truth is there is no one gun colour, sure some of our super lures work in a variety of situations, but why is this?
In all liklihood, we as anglers, like our quarry, are creatures of habit. What do I mean by that? Well many of us go fishing when the weather is good, sun is shining, light winds, clear conditions, good water quality and the right time of the tide.
Only the most committed can be found out there in windy, rainy, murky conditions. So it stands to reason that if you fish similar conditions and find a lure that works in those conditions at that location, chances are that this lure will work consistently under that same conditions. But how many of us stop to understand why? Perhaps it might be worth considering the next time you are out.
But what happens when these Superlures stop working, the bite is slow or the barometric pressure is through the floor. When your Clark Kent lure comes up against these Kryptonian conditions, what next?
Time to think it through. Most likely the conditions are slightly different, something has changed. We just need to work out what that was and adjust to counter it. A lot of the time that can mean a colour change to our lure.
Water clarity has a lot to do with this also. In clear conditions, your quarry can see your lure better and are less reliant on just hitting anything out of reaction and vibration and are more reliant on picking what they feel like eating. You need to get them to the point that the feeding reflex is triggered by making your presentation colour and behavior of your plastic as overwhelming as possible. When that feeding reflex kicks in they will be on your lure like lightning.
The challenging thing about fishing in general is cracking the code on the day. We all fail to do this at times.
However perseverance in the face of adversity is even sweeter when it pays off.
Water depth and its effect on colour
We know that water is denser than air, we know it can suspend partials, we know that as depth increases there is less light that penetrates the depth. Without light, colour just does not exist, so the deeper you go the less colour you have.
When light penetrates water it slows down. Did you know that only about 1/4 of all light penetrates deeper than 20m.
Some makes it through, some does not. Going deeper and deeper, the wavelengths of different colours begin to fade and then go grey because of the lack of light. For instance, at about 6m depth, red disappears, at about 10m orange goes, yellow at 20m, approaching 25m green craps out and at 30m blue has problems but black goes ok through 35m.What does all that mean and what does it have to do with me? Well your colour choice needs to be dependent on the depth of water you are fishing. if you are trying to fish 30m or water with your bright red and yellow whiz bang Super plastic, then it better have something else going for it like a strong action or a wicked scent or you are just playing with shades of grey.
Want to know more about colours an depth , check out this blog
Should I still use scent?
Most definitely. As before, we talk about making the strike happen, we need everything going in our favor for this. Visual appeal is one thing to attract attention, but other senses are the trigger to elicit the strike at close quarters.
Picture this, you are hungry. You see a delicious hamburger wandering all alone (bear with me), it looks salivatingly good. You stalk it, it’s not even aware your there. You get close, you can see the detail and it looks good, it’s your favorite type. You come up from behind it but are still not sure what a delicious tasty morsel is doing out here. You are motivated as hunger drives you forward, but something’s not right. All of a sudden, you smell it, that rich deep hamburger aroma, might even be special sauce on there, you have to have it, you are overwhelmingly compulsed to grab that thing and chomp it down, so you jump on it. You grab it and bite into it, you taste that deliciousness, so you smash it down, only to find...
Now picture the same scenario, but as you get close, it smells like a rubber dog toy, would you still have the same compulsive reaction. You might stand back and poke it with a stick right. Fish do the same (proverbial) thing. Anything that can help you get that compulsive reaction to strike and hold the soft plastic is gold.
All scents are not created equal either, find one that works for you and use it regularly, you might be surprised how much this makes a difference. I prefer the Rhino Goo from Rhino Lures, like all scents you would not know what’s in it, but as long as it continues to get me strikes, I am using it on all lures, soft or hard, it’s that good.
Match the hatch
Not really rocket science, but if your soft plastic, does not look like what’s on the menu, then chances are it will get passed up. Being aware of what bait species is so prolific and that your target is eating is key. Matching the size, shape (profile) and colour of the bait can make a world of difference, more on that here.
So what colour and how do I choose?
In clear water, choose a detailed, natural pattern, match your bait species as close as you can. With better visibility, you need to get them zeroing in on your lure. Use scent to get them hooked, adjust your retrieve to mimic the bait fish and don’t be afraid to experiment, when you find what’s working, stick to it.
Use your educated guesses on colour to start out with. A natural colour or a plain white (this mimics the flash you see off of bait as they move, which is also handy if the water is less than clear).
If there are a number of you in your hunting party, its optimal to use differing colours until you find what is working on the day. You can then use this to capitalise on what works best and racking up your catch.
Till next time, have fun, fish responsibly and remember take only what you need and post the rest to social media.