Lure Colour Basics

On a recent trip trolling for lake trout it was interesting to observe patterns relating to lure colour effectiveness and light conditions. With all things being equal (depth of lure, lure type, line type, water clarity etc.) certain spoon colours worked better or worse depending on general light conditions.

Recently used Lake Trout Lures

Recently used Lake Trout Lures

In bright sun, flashier spoons with a metallic blue and metallic green with mirrored silver backs worked best. In overcast and low light conditions spoons with high contrast, in this case black and purple with a white pearl back and dark blue with a white pearl back, worked best. These results followed the general rule of thumb that in bright sun conditions flashier lures are best while in low light conditions lures with darker colours which provide sharp contrast against a poorly lit background are better.

Well used pike lure favorites

Well used pike lure favorites

A recent article[1] by Drew Myers presents a similar trend for pike lures. Metallic finishes are good in clear water – for example: a good northern lake trout lake. In tea stained waters, the classic red and white spoon, the yellow and red five of diamonds are excellent. Colours such and chartreuse, fluorescent orange and firetiger also produce and a recent trip confirmed this. A #4 Blue Fox Super Vibrax spinner in firetiger has long been a favourite of mine for pike and large bass. The #5 Blue Fox Musky Buck in firetiger has also tempted its fair share of pike and musky. In muddier or green tinged water Myers also suggests these hot colours can work well but adds that a strong contrast profile can help. Hot colours paired with black fit this bill nicely.

For walleye fishing, great advice comes from the back of the Northland Fishing Tackle Mr. Walleye (R) Crawler Hauler . It states that “In clear water, “nickel, red and blue” are hard to beat. For mildly coloured water, “green, yellow and gold” are usually the best. In stained and muddy water, use “gold, glow-in-the-dark and hot fluorescent attractor blades.” Well said…

Reference:
[1] D. Myers, “The Colour Factor – It’s not all red and white with pike” Ontario Out of Doors, August 2013 pp. 28-29.

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