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Muskie Fishing -> General Discussion -> do lure color choices matter?
 
Message Subject: do lure color choices matter?
paul worsterberg
Posted 9/7/2017 10:01 AM (#876887)
Subject: do lure color choices matter?




Posts: 13


Location: chicago
hi,

wondering if anyone has an opinion on lure color as it relates to water color?

i know two things about lure color: 1 is to match the forage fish, ie perch, cicsoes, etc. and 2 is dark baits in dark water.

do those two rules hold up in the crazy world of musky fishing?

mnmusky
Posted 9/7/2017 10:13 AM (#876891 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




I like white on stained water with overcast days. Other then that, no color preference.
NPike
Posted 9/7/2017 10:22 AM (#876896 - in reply to #876891)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Posts: 387


I'm a believer in trying to match the hatch. On Conesus I use silver since the main bait is alewives it seems to help. On Chautauqua I use perch colored jerkbaits and crankbaits and it seems to help. When I've been up to Canada I also use perch colored baits where they eat a lot of perch and it works.
I think a bit of flash can help as well.
sworrall
Posted 9/7/2017 11:06 AM (#876912 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Location: Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Muskies can see color, but it's not as simple as that. Water breaks down light quickly (think a rainbow) so even at high noon in very clear water, the longer frequencies are gone pretty fast. In 10' on a clear day a coke can on the bottom will appear black or nearly black. Color (cone) vision is there on a clock basis only, reverting to black and white (rod) vision as a process that is clock based, not light availability based. In the evening it's likely that muskies may not see much color for two reasons, light availability due to sun angle, and whether they physically can see color at the time.

Then there's the issue of how colors on baits are made. If the primary color in orange, for example, is red with a bit of yellow added, that lure will appear grey and darker/faster than if the primary color is yellow with a bit of red added.

Settle on contrast, and use dark lures against a light background (like a cloudy day) and light lures against a darker background (like a sunny day) and if going deep against rocks, weeds, etc. contrast there too. Black is a guaranteed correct color no matter what as the absence of all color, and white is as the presence of all color. Remember muskies see what is slightly above to directly above them all the time, can't see the end of their nose or a short triangle area in front of their face, and are badly nearsighted, so the detail you see on a lure is wasted on a muskie. And also keep in mind scale color on baitfish is markedly different that that of most paints. Contrast is the key, if they can see it they will hit it active enough, and most of the time will miss it or follow if they can't.

bigbite
Posted 9/7/2017 11:20 AM (#876916 - in reply to #876912)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Posts: 1312


Location: Pewaukee, WI
Absolutely! I agree with Steve's assessment 100%.
horsehunter
Posted 9/7/2017 11:29 AM (#876917 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Location: Eastern Ontario
My best coloured Suicks are firetiger especially the ones that have no paint left.
esoxaddict
Posted 9/7/2017 1:54 PM (#876935 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 7442


Muskies feed largely by sight and obviously the lateral line. Color is pretty far down the list. Contrast is important. Color, not so much. I do have certain colors I prefer in various types of water, but that's as much for me being able to see the lure as it is because they've just plain worked for me. I have a good friend who swears by black in coffee colored water. That's great and I'm sure it works. But it's nearly impossible to see your lures during the retrieve.
jonnysled
Posted 9/7/2017 3:08 PM (#876946 - in reply to #876935)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 13267


Location: minocqua, wi.
esoxaddict - 9/7/2017 1:54 PM

Muskies feed largely by sight and obviously the lateral line. Color is pretty far down the list. Contrast is important. Color, not so much. I do have certain colors I prefer in various types of water, but that's as much for me being able to see the lure as it is because they've just plain worked for me. I have a good friend who swears by black in coffee colored water. That's great and I'm sure it works. But it's nearly impossible to see your lures during the retrieve.


never know Jeff, even your numbers might improve if you venture out on the limb and give color a try.
Musky Brian
Posted 9/7/2017 3:08 PM (#876947 - in reply to #876935)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 1670


Location: Lake Country, Wisconsin
esoxaddict - 9/7/2017 1:54 PM

Muskies feed largely by sight and obviously the lateral line. Color is pretty far down the list. Contrast is important. Color, not so much. I do have certain colors I prefer in various types of water, but that's as much for me being able to see the lure as it is because they've just plain worked for me. I have a good friend who swears by black in coffee colored water. That's great and I'm sure it works. But it's nearly impossible to see your lures during the retrieve.





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ARmuskyaddict
Posted 9/7/2017 3:10 PM (#876949 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 1727


Muskies are looking up through the water column, not down into it like we are.
paul worsterberg
Posted 9/7/2017 4:06 PM (#876954 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Posts: 13


Location: chicago
wow--some solid replies--thanks! it's like this forum is a musky crystal ball. musky are amazing animals--just beasts! great to know about their sight. i've never seen a musky wearing glasses...
horsehunter
Posted 9/7/2017 4:25 PM (#876957 - in reply to #876949)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Location: Eastern Ontario
ARmuskyaddict - 9/7/2017 4:10 PM

Muskies are looking up through the water column, not down into it like we
are.


Yet they will feed on catfish suckers carp and never walleye which live where
horsehunter
Posted 9/7/2017 4:38 PM (#876959 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Location: Eastern Ontario
If colour was really important which i don't believe the more colours I have would only increase the odds of me having the wrong one on. I take a lure that has been productive in the past and use it. The more fish I catch on a given lure in different situations the more confidence i gain to use it. I spend a lot of time trolling the Larry where i can use two rods and often troll two identical lures ( in as much as no two lures can be absolutely identical ) . The things I change are lead lengths, how the rods are set, inline or big planer boards, Area and depth fished.
jonnysled
Posted 9/7/2017 4:40 PM (#876960 - in reply to #876959)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 13267


Location: minocqua, wi.
Jeff ... from your experience, do you think boat color matters? what caused you to want a blue boat, was it for better hook ups?
Juhas
Posted 9/7/2017 4:56 PM (#876965 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: RE: do lure color choices matter?




Posts: 362


Colors and paint jobs catch fisherman.
ToddM
Posted 9/7/2017 9:08 PM (#876985 - in reply to #876960)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 15996


Location: oswego, il
jonnysled - 9/7/2017 4:40 PM

Jeff ... from your experience, do you think boat color matters? what caused you to want a blue boat, was it for better hook ups?


Doesn't show dust.
ToddM
Posted 9/7/2017 9:10 PM (#876986 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 15996


Location: oswego, il
I think color does matter. Ask guys that troll lsc. Maybe not when fish are stupid active but it does matter. I can tell you this, I didn't bring enough white twitch baits with me to lotw!
BNelson
Posted 9/8/2017 6:54 AM (#877006 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Location: Contrarian Island
color matters, at times more than others...more of it boils down to where the lure is presented and how active the fish is or isn't...
horsehunter
Posted 9/8/2017 7:29 AM (#877010 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Location: Eastern Ontario
I always remember an article from years back Infisherman I think, where when Mark Windell was guiding he would catch a fish then take the bucktail off and give it to the client. He would then put a totally different colour on and continue to catch fish. I have lost count of the number of times I caught fish on one of my firetiger suicks and someone in the back of my boat was catching on a different colour. I have been to numerous Muskies Canada outings ( tournaments for a $2 trophy )where numerous fish were caught on many different lures of many different colours. In lots of situations it is the first lure through and could just as well be a socket wrench. I use a lot of lures made by my buddy Shawn Maher and although he does a great paint job if I put the lures down 16 feet on a Waterwolf camera I cant tell brown perch from perch or glitter perch, blackperch.

If you think changing lures every 15 minutes helps you go at it but don't leave them on the floor of my boat.

Edited by horsehunter 9/8/2017 7:33 AM
supertrollr
Posted 9/8/2017 7:40 AM (#877011 - in reply to #877010)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





sure but of all 3 important things of a lure it's the least important .imho size ,shape,color.i would add that i learn something cool from a carp anglers at tv,he said white is the perfect color for the back and black for the belly.imo it's a really intelligent color choice for a lure.even if white belly is my go to belly color i feel like mother nature haven't add to fish white belly to be that easily seen,and the dark back is to escape from the trouble that can came from above. i have not seen a single musky cranks like that

Edited by supertrollr 9/8/2017 8:44 AM
tundrawalker00
Posted 9/8/2017 8:00 AM (#877014 - in reply to #877011)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Posts: 385


Location: Ludington, MI
Yes. This is the reason most bump boards have many colors on them.
ToddM
Posted 9/8/2017 9:01 AM (#877022 - in reply to #877014)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 15996


Location: oswego, il
tundrawalker00 - 9/8/2017 8:00 AM

Yes. This is the reason most bump boards have many colors on them.


You are onto something here! What is the best color for a bump board?
short STRIKE
Posted 9/8/2017 9:10 AM (#877025 - in reply to #876986)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 466


Location: Blaine, MN
ToddM - 9/7/2017 9:10 PM

I think color does matter. Ask guys that troll lsc. Maybe not when fish are stupid active but it does matter. I can tell you this, I didn't bring enough white twitch baits with me to lotw!


Hey Todd... you have it in your schedule to elaborate on specific white twitch baits?!?!?!? leaving for LOTW in 10 hours
Musky Brian
Posted 9/8/2017 9:13 AM (#877027 - in reply to #877025)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 1670


Location: Lake Country, Wisconsin
short STRIKE - 9/8/2017 9:10 AM

ToddM - 9/7/2017 9:10 PM

I think color does matter. Ask guys that troll lsc. Maybe not when fish are stupid active but it does matter. I can tell you this, I didn't bring enough white twitch baits with me to lotw!


Hey Todd... you have it in your schedule to elaborate on specific white twitch baits?!?!?!? leaving for LOTW in 10 hours


Crane white with black stripes works well when that bite is on there...
Jerry Newman
Posted 9/11/2017 1:45 PM (#877461 - in reply to #876917)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Location: 31

horsehunter - 9/7/2017 11:29 AM My best coloured Suicks are firetiger especially the ones that have no paint left.

Good one... made me chuckle!

When guys in my boat want to switch just for "color", I like to compare the color of a bait to the moon phase, and the action/vibration, depth, and speed of the offering to the weather. 
 
It's my opinion that the fish catching ability of an offering is predicated considerably more by it's action rather than it's color.  There's been many occasions when one particular bait is getting hammered and my boat partner wants to switch to that "color" without first considering that maybe it simply has better action. I always start with any noticeable difference in its action first, but I also can understand how it's simply easier and more natural for most to relate to color first... to each their own.
 
Somebody brought up Mark Windels and this reminded me of a conversation I had with him almost 30 years ago while I was in the middle of ordering a gross of his muskie chuggers. He asked me why I was ordering so many and I said it was so I could pick out the ones with the better side to side action. His curiosity roused he asked if I could tell the difference. My reply; absolutely... and that identical looking baits rarely have identical action.
 
With that said; I concentrate more on getting the action of the bait just right, and try not to have any preconceived notion of an advantage with color. Does color matter... I have no idea and honestly do not pay too much attention to it anymore.
 
A shallow water prism flash would be a whole different conversation though
ToddM
Posted 9/11/2017 2:10 PM (#877468 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 15996


Location: oswego, il
It was a custom bait made by spoonpluggerino. It looks a little like a big game but wider. About 7" long. Had a slow rise and dove a little deeper than a crane. The 8" brown and white, black and white crane worked well too.

Edited by ToddM 9/11/2017 2:12 PM
Barphbag
Posted 9/11/2017 3:15 PM (#877481 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Posts: 39


Location: Southern Indiana
Had a trip to Webster several years ago when the only bait that moved fish was a blue/nickel bucktail. No other baits moved a single fish. After 2 days bought another blue/nickel bucktail, all they had was a totally different blade size & shape but it moved fish too. We fished 2 different lakes and the same thing on both. Only time I've seen that happen, but it's hard to believe color didn't have something to do with it.
esoxaddict
Posted 9/11/2017 3:35 PM (#877485 - in reply to #876960)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 7442


jonnysled - 9/7/2017 4:40 PM

Jeff ... from your experience, do you think boat color matters? what caused you to want a blue boat, was it for better hook ups?


In a perfect world, the boat should match the color of your truck, including seats, carpet. etc. But when you're buying used, condition trumps all.

Unless it's brown. No brown boats. Looks like a giant turd...
jonnysled
Posted 9/11/2017 3:38 PM (#877487 - in reply to #877485)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?





Posts: 13267


Location: minocqua, wi.
i'd pick a faded out scratched up ranger over a pristine smoker craft ...
Fishysam
Posted 9/11/2017 8:55 PM (#877536 - in reply to #876887)
Subject: Re: do lure color choices matter?




Posts: 951


I would say your color ideas in the first post are correct, steves information is great, but. If the fish can locate a lure any way other than just sight- I only think color matters 2-3 days a month...
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